Trustee calls for public input

Dear Editor

Dear Editor

Towards the end of last year, a Community Consultation process took place within the communities of the Gold Trail School District, following which School District staff prepared a report, A Vision for a Sustainable and Equitable Future for All, which included a number of recommendations. I encourage all community members to read the report, which can be found on the Gold Trail School District’s website at www.sd74.bc.ca , as the recommendations include matters which affect the future education of all students within our district.

Recommendations which will be of particular interest to residents of the immediate Ashcroft Journal area are:

1. That Sta’t’imc, Nlaka’pamux, and Secwepemc languages be developed as Board Authorized Courses and taught [to all students] kindergarten through grade 7.

2. That the Board of Education consider closing Ashcroft Elementary School and restructuring Ashcroft Secondary School to provide K-12, early, and adult educational services.

3. That the Board of Education consider closing George M. Murray Elementary School and combining the students with Cayoosh Elementary School effective September 2012.

4. Reconfigure Lytton Elementary School to reflect a school capacity of less than 75 students.

The School Board Trustees will vote on the report at the next Open Board meeting, which will be held at Kumsheen Secondary School, Lytton, at 7 pm on Feb. 22.

It is critical, in the period leading up to that vote, that I am able to determine the feeling of my own community of Ashcroft, as well as the other communities likely to be affected by the outcome of the vote. I therefore encourage parents, students, community leaders, and anyone else who cares about education within the Gold Trail School District to contact me with any thoughts and ideas they would like taken into consideration. With continuing declining enrolment, rising costs, and the prospect of reduced funding from the Ministry of Education, we really are at a cross-roads. We need to be realistic, and not let the heart rule the head. At the same time, we need to ensure future educational stability within our communities; and what is most important is that we need to consider what is ‘the right thing’ for our existing students, and those students who will be passing through the hands of our educators in the years to come.

I encourage you to contact me with your views. I can be reached by email at croden@gw.sd74.bc.ca , by telephone at 250-453-2045, or by cell phone at 250-457-0349. Alternatively, please forward your comments to the District’s Superintendent, Teresa Downs at tdowns@sd74.bc.ca ; or the District’s Secretary/Treasurer Lynda Minnabarriet, at lminnab@sd74.bc.ca , or to your local Trustee.

Christopher Roden

School Trustee, Village of Ashcroft