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May 15, 2015 edition of the Salmon Arm Observer

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  • Shuswap Market News

    Your Classified Connection / Vol. 26 No. 20 May 15, 2015

    z Ashton's Floor Covering*z Appliance Plus*z Askewsz Best Buy*z Canadian Tire*z Coopers*z Home Hardware* z Jysk* z KIA Fly*z Marks WorkWear*z Michaels*z Pharmasave*z Red Apple*z Rona*z Superstore*z Safety Mart*z Safewayz Save On Foods z Sears* z Shoppers Drug Mart*z Visions*z Walmart*

    *Limited distribution

    Inside

    Flyers

    Everythng ShuswapBook to offer new resource in schools.Plus South Shuswap A8,9Sports A18,19

    Shuswap

    A21New planFormer chief looks to regional role. PlusMore parking A22 Whats On A23

    Chase

    A4Around the bendn U15 rider Matthias Shipley flies around a tricky corner during the Salty Dog Enduro on Sunday, May 10 at the South Canoe trails. Matthias and Benjamin Shipley, aka Team Tysley, were first place in the Boys category with 17 laps (51 kilometres) in three hours and four minutes. For complete results from the race, go to zone4.ca.

    LachLan Labere/market news

    Silver Creek school to remain open

    Students will be entering class-rooms at Silver Creek Elementary in September after the School District #83 board voted against closing the school.

    The school, which now has 36 stu-dents enrolled, had been proposed for closure as part of a long-term fa-cilities plan in response to low num-bers and the need to reduce costs.

    Parents and school district staff

    rallied to prevent the shut down, ar-guing in favour of converting the school to a Montessori education model which, they say, would boost student numbers and provide a new educational option for students in the school district.

    Another primary concern was the long bus ride either to Hillcrest El-ementary or possibly Salmon Arm West. This would see some students on the bus for an hour and 15 minutes each way, or 30 hours per month.

    When it came to the vote, the ma-

    jority of trustees opted to keep the school open, causing an eruption of applause and cheers from anxious parents in the audience.

    Im ecstatic, said parent Kristy Clark. If the school closed, it was going to be homeschooling, so keep-ing the doors open, this is the much better option. Im thrilled.

    Trustee Debbie Evans champi-oned the effort to keep the school open, her hands shaking and her voice breathless as she implored her fellow trustees to keep the school

    open. She noted the closure would reduce property values and fracture the entire community.

    You cant put rural schools in a cookie cutter, she said.

    If this is passed, we could lose not only the school but the library, the store, the fabric of rural life. We cannot ignore that.

    Trustees paid tribute to the parents and the Parent Advisory Council for

    Education: North Shuswap, Falkland to convert to K-8, others still under review.By Tracy Hughesmarket news staff

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  • showing them there were other options for Silver Creek than clo-sure.

    You came with a so-lution and that is heart-warming. You showed us how the community was working together. You were not com-plaining, instead you were telling us how great it could be, said Bobbi Johnson, board chair.

    But other trustees warned the board that keeping the school open does have impli-cations for the school districts budget and services to the entire student population.

    Trustee Barry Chafe, who was the lone vote in favour of closing the school, noted the budget keeping Silver Creek classrooms oper-ating is more than Ive ever seen.

    Every action has a reaction and keeping this school open, the consequences are just too high.

    This was echoed by trustee Michel Saab, who encouraged a complete review of the districts educational philosophy.

    Any time you in-crease in one area, its at the expense of an-other If we are going to make it a priority to keep all the small rural schools open, we are going to also have to run a basic secondary, without all those op-tions and services. And I wonder if we will see those same parents back here when their kids are in high school asking for those very services.

    Evans made a mo-tion to immediately begin moving Silver Creek Elementary to a Montessori model, with a three-year fund-ing commitment to the program; however, this was not palatable to most trustees.

    Instead, a committee will be formed to eval-uate the Montessori option at Silver Creek, and to consider con-verting the school to a K-Grade 8 model in an effort to boost enrol-ment and offer a differ-ent option to students than Shuswap Middle School. The committee is to report back in Feb. 2016.

    In addition to the Silver Creek closure, trustees also dealt with four other recommen-dations from the long-term facilities plan.

    They agreed to do away with a plan to convert Parkview El-ementary School in Si-camous to the K-Grade 5 model and put Grade 6 and 7 students into Eagle River Second-ary. Instead, as was the consensus among Sicamous parents at the public informa-tion meeting, the board will review options to convert one of the Si-camous schools into a K-12 configuration.

    We know things cannot stay as they are. There is optimism that Sicamous can do any-thing, just give us some time, said Chafe.

    Trustees also unani-mously supported mo-tions to add Grade 8 to North Shuswap and Falkland schools, which are both cur-rently operating under a K-Grade 7 structure. This would save bus-

    ing costs and also allow students to transition straight to high school rather than spending one year at a middle school before moving to secondary.

    A proposed change to make Ranchero El-ementary a K-Grade 5 school was put on

    hold, and any changes will be reconsidered for 2016 and beyond as part of the Enderby-area recommendations.

    We need to do some more work on Ranche-ro, so I think the best thing is to keep it K-7 for September, said Johnson.

    Board considers K-12 for SicamousContinued from front

    n Kristy Clark and Noah Ralston, representing the Silver Creek PAC, encourage the school board trustees to keep the school open.

    Tracy HugHes/markeT news

    A2 www.saobserver.net Friday, May 15, 2015 Shuswap Market News

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