The formation of an ad hoc working committee for each of Salmon Arm and Armstrong zones will be the next step in developing the School District No. 83 (North Okanagan-Shuswap) Long-Range Facilities Plan.
The role of the committee, which will be known as the School Reconfiguration Working Group will be to provide the Board with a recommendation(s) on the best way(s) to proceed with the selected option. These recommendations will come to the Board. Prior to implementation, public consultation will occur in order to gather feedback.
The final step will be Board approval followed by the roll-out of the detailed plan.
The Board chose E5 in principle – what does that mean?
Board Chair Amanda Krebs notes the next steps will be for the Board to approve the terms of reference for the Salmon Arm working group, which she is thinking will happen in September. “Hopefully by October the working committee will be sorting out the details.”
She noted that in the past month many of the questions from parents and the public were about the LRFP options were operational in nature which we could not answer from a governance point of view. By the Board supporting E5 in principle, the working group will study the option in detail and come up with a plan.
“We added in ‘principle’ to give the working group flexibility because we do realize there are faults with all of the options,” said Krebs. “So, consultation isn’t completed. It’s just next time we have it, we’re going to have answers for all those operational questions that people have been asking.”
Why did the Board approve this?
Krebs explains that although none of the options are perfect, and that there is still work to be done in other areas, E5:
• reduces the number of transitions between schools and will allow staff and students in each site more time to build relationships and enhance building culture
• is financially responsible, making better use of current facilities and requiring far fewer portables that need to be purchased with local funds. E5 will be $3 to $4 million dollars less expensive to implement than E4.
• maintains current configuration for K-5, K-8, and 6 – 8 schools (least disruptive)
• helps balance staff workload between the two schools
What will the Working Group Do?
The working group will advise the Board on all matters related to the implementation of the chosen option including:
• To propose a viable timeline
• To consider any/all transportation impacts
• To consider any/all facilities impacts
• To consider any/all student and staff impacts
• To consider the impact to all feeder schools
• Any other considerations as required
Terms of Reference approved for the Armstrong committee will be similar to those to be developed for the Salmon Arm area. View Terms of Reference here. The Armstrong committee will be studying Option B4, which is to reconfigure the Armstrong area schools to K-4 (Highland Park and Armstrong Elementary), 5-7 (Len Wood Middle) and 8-12 (Pleasant Valley Secondary).