School configuration meeting next week in Kimberley

SD6 Board seeking feedback from parents on changes to elementary school configuration

Selkirk Secondary is the top priority for replacement in SD6

Kimberley parents of elementary students are reminded of the public meeting next Thursday, October 6, 7 p.m. at McKim School. The purpose of the meeting is to seek feedback on proposed changes to the configuration of Kimberley schools.

The SD6 Board and staff are looking at a draft Long Term Facilities Plan, which is a requirement of the Ministry of Education. All school districts must have a plan in place in order to proceed with funding requests for replacement or upgrades.

Kimberley’s schools are currently comprised of two K to 3 elementary schools, one 4 to 7 middle school and an 8 to 12 secondary school. The proposal in the draft LTFP is that the three elementary schools become neighbourhood K to 7 facilities. This means students will go to the school in their area. If you are within the Lindsay Park catchment area, that is the school your children will attend.

This would result in a reduced cost for busing and the report also cites research that the fewer times a student has to transition from one school to another, the better off the student is. There are already four K to 7 schools within the Rocky Mountain district.

Selkirk needs replacement

In addition to suggesting new configuration for some schools within the Rocky Mountain School District, the Long Term Facilities Plan before the Board, also outlines the facilities in line for replacement or major upgrades. Topping the list is Selkirk Secondary in Kimberley.

Selkirk was identified as a priority for replacement in 2009 and a comprehensive report on its condition was done at that time and updated in 2015.

The school’s replacement is in the District’s longterm plan, but superintendent Paul Carriere says that the Ministry has indicated it could be some time before replacement occurs. Currently, replacement is budgeted at some $22 million.

The District is considering a series of phased upgrades to extend the life of the school until such time as replacement funding can be secured.