The Future of Schooling

The Future of Schooling

The Board of Education of School District No. 83 (North Okanagan-Shuswap) will hold a special board meeting on May 26 at 6 p.m. The focus of this meeting is to discuss the SD83 Long Range Facilities Plan, particularly the greater Salmon Arm area.

Long Range Facilities Plan: The Board of Education of School District No. 83 (North Okanagan-Shuswap) again wrestled with the grade configuration for schools in the Salmon Arm area for the Long Range Facilities Plan, agreeing to pick up the conversation at a special meeting (May 26 at 6 p.m) or at the May board meeting. Discussion began with Superintendent of Schools/CEO Peter Jory outlining the process to date. Each trustee then gave their thoughts around the options (link to LRFP discussion below). Board Chair Amanda Krebs suggested, and it was approved, that as many of the people sending in letters said they felt the Jackson campus was inequitable to the Sullivan Campus, they also consider looking at Shuswap Middle School as a potential high school and turning the current Jackson campus into a middle school.

LISTEN TO DISCUSSION HERE
BRIEFING NOTE HERE
SUMMARY OF CONSULTATION HERE
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON SALMON ARM OPTIONS
LINK TO THE MEETING

The above information is from the email notice I received on May 18th. There has been significant discussion on this topic recently as the SD83 Board has brought forward a couple of new options which have had some push-back from the community. The most controversial one was where they take the current JL Jackson campus (currently hosting grades 9 & 10) and make it a full secondary school (grades 9-12) as well as the current Sullivan campus hosting grades 9-12. This brought up questions of:

  • access to schools – North Shuswap kids will still have to travel a minimum of one hour each way, with some closer to 2 hours each way
  • equal access to facilities (the Sullivan campus is a recent, modern high school with new facilities like labs whereas the Jackson campus is quite a bit older without modern facilities)
  • who gets directed to which school
  • and numerous other issues

One of the options is to place a Secondary School in Sorrento. In looking at the layout of schools in the district, we can see that all the communities outside of Salmon Arm have secondary schools, except the west end areas of Sorrento, Carlin and North Shuswap. Sicamous (30km from Salmon Arm), Enderby(22km) Armstrong (38km), each have their own secondary school serving municipal populations between 2500 and 4500. Shuswap west (Sorrento, North Shuswap, Carlin) together hosts around 12,000 people and is up to 90km from Salmon Arm on slow, twisty roads.

I’m not going to tell you what I think the SD83 board should do,
I think it’s pretty clear.

The decisions the SD83 Board makes now, will affect schooling in our area for the next 20 years or more.

More information can be found at the SD83 website: SD83.bc.ca

Read a letter from a group of teachers at the Sullivan campus. It doesn’t quite capture the option of a high school in Sorrento but it outlines in detail some of the problems with two high schools in Salmon Arm.

You can write to
Our local trustee Marty Gibbons mgibbons@sd83.bc.ca
and the SD83 Superintendent/CEO Peter Jory pjory@sd83.bc.ca
Other Trustees
Amanda Krebs akrebs@sd83.bc.ca
Tennile Lachmuth tlachmut@sd83.bc.ca
Quentin Bruns qbruns@sd83.bc.ca
Marianne VanBuskirk mvanbusk@sd83.bc.ca

Here is a link to the meeting on May 26th at 6pm.


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