School closures may come to a halt

School closures Salmon Arm and Armstrong may be off the table according to a North Okanagan-Shuswap School District 83 report.

Official trustee Mike McKay

Official trustee Mike McKay

School closures in the Shuswap and Okanagan may be off the table according to a North Okanagan-Shuswap School District 83 report.

The previous board of education, which was fired in June, originally extended the public consolation process for closing Armstrong Elementary and Silver Creek Elementary, but the report states that may not happen.

The report gives recommendations that the process should be closed, with “no recommendation to close a school in Armstrong at this time.”

No closures were recommended for schools in Salmon Arm either, “however, it is recommended that the district study the educational impact on students who are in 3 and 4-Grade splits.”

Official trustee Mike McKay has outlined criteria to address school closures which looks at a school’s psychical condition, population, financial cuts and the community’s confidence in quality learning, said the report.

The criteria list is:

“1. Is the school’s physical condition in a poor state and would it disproportionately drain the district’s resources to bring the facility up to a reasonable standard and is there another school that has space and can be reasonably accessed by students?

“2. Is the school population dwindling to a degree that it is not reasonable to deliver a full and robust educational program?

“3. Is the school district in such dire financial circumstances that significant cuts in all areas of operations are required and school closures and program consolidations need to be part of that overall plan?

“4. Has the school lost the community’s confidence regarding its ability to provide quality student learning?”

Schools also may be eligible for a new Rural Enhancement Education Fund.

The School District 83 meeting is held Tuesday night after the Observer’s deadline.

The story will be updated as information is provided.