Thinking outside the schoolhouse

Good times may be just around the corner for Ashcroft and Cache Creek, but don't expect the schools to fill up to their former capacity.

It’s been a promising summer for Ashcroft and Cache Creek, as industry starts to pick up: the Ashcroft Terminal in Ashcroft and exploration of the old Maggie Mines site north of Cache Creek.

Solid industry will be what eventually gives the local economies a boost as others look to the confidence shown by those companies who choose to invest in our areas.

We can only hope that confidence continues to grow.

Declining population over the years has left nothing but skin and bones of our towns. Each time we have to cut somewhere else, we think to ourselves that there’s nothing left to cut. We quickly find out that that’s not the case, as we’re asked to cut more.

The school board relies on student population: no students equals no schools.

It is unfortunate that comunities such as Spences Bridge and Big Bar have lost their schools in the past few years. When you don’t have much left, schools become a central point, a sign that not all is lost, and the focus of dreams for the future.

Gold Trail has come up with an alternative to leaving communities without their schools. It’s not a great plan, but it’s as good as it’s going to get while enrolment continues to drop. In a perfect world, the province would provide money to build new schools in each of our communities that would be custom built for rural communities with low numbers in each grade from K-12.

As it is, although the staff proposes school closures, they are not leaving the communities without schools.

Yes, it’s a compromise, but it’s better than losing the school entirely – which would be the alternative.

One day, populations in our communities will level off. With industry’s help, they may even grow again, but it’s not likely that we will have a student population large enough to fill the halls and classrooms of our schools to capacity. Rural populations everywhere have been declining for decades.

Perhaps it’s time to accept that we need to look at a different way of doing things.

Wendy Coomber is editor of the Ashcroft-Cache Creek Journal

Just Posted

Federal Green Party leader visits Ashcroft

Elizabeth May was in town with Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon Green Party nominee John Kidder

Historic Cornwall fire lookout to get some tender loving care

Volunteers are being sought for a work bee at the lookout in August

Ashcroft resident now in his 25th year of riding to raise funds for BC Lung Association

Wayne Chorneychuk once more getting ready to ride in the Bicycle Trek for Life and Breath

Wildfire smoke can pose serious health risks

Tips to help you stay safe during the smoky summer season

Communities in Bloom judges coming to Ashcroft

All are invited to a meet and greet, where prizes for best gardens and street will be presented

Feds lowered poverty line, reducing the number of seniors in need: documents

Liberals introduced a poverty line that was below the prior low-income cutoff

$900M settlement reached in class action on sexual misconduct in Canadian military

After facing criticism, the government moved to begin settlement proceedings in early 2018

Tax take stays ahead of increased B.C. government spending

Tax revenue $2.1 billion higher than budget in 2018-19

Two toddler siblings found drowned on First Nation in Alberta

The Siblings were found drowned on their family’s property, according to RCMP

Chiefs honour Indigenous leader wrongfully hanged in B.C. 154 years ago today

Chief Joe Alphonse says they want his remains returned to his homeland in B.C.’s Cariboo region

Rare white ravens spotted again on Vancouver Island

Nature photographer Mike Yip said mysterious birds back in Coombs area

B.C. government seeks advice on reviving Interior forest industry

Public website opens as meetings start with community leaders

Psychics, drones being used to search for missing Chilliwack woman with dementia

Drones, psychics, dogs and more have been employed to help find Grace Baranyk, 86

B.C. mom to go to Europe court in hopes of getting alleged abducted daughter back

Tasha Brown alleges her estranged wife abducted their daughter Kaydance Etchells in 2016

Most Read