Combining Salmo schools top reconfiguration option

Salmo elementary school would close and Salmo secondary would be reconfigured as a K-12 in the top-ranked option presented last night.

Salmo secondary would become home to both elementary and secondary students under the top-ranked reconfiguration option presented at a public meeting Tuesday.

Salmo elementary school would close and Salmo secondary would be reconfigured as a K-12 in the top-ranked option presented at a public meeting last night.

The Kootenay Lake school district presented seven possibilities to the 35 or so people who turned out. Four involved closing Salmo elementary, including the top three.

The second-ranked alternative would see Salmo secondary become a K-9 and Grades 10 to 12 bussed to L.V. Rogers in Nelson. However, secretary-treasurer Kim Morris said that option “isn’t highly supported” by the community. “They want to keep K-12 in Salmo,” she said.

Morris added there does seem to be support for combining the elementary and secondary schools provided space can added to the latter, which is the third option.

In that scenario, they would invite community partners.

“If we were to get a new build or an addition is there a partner like a daycare society, library, or [government] ministry that is also looking for a new build that could partner with us? New builds are excellent opportunities for partnerships as usually more than one organization in a community is looking for capital for new or updated space.

“Crawford Bay is an excellent example of this in that when the new school was built the community raised a lot of capital funds and brought them to the table for the new build.  As a result the community has permanent office and meeting space in the new school.”

The fourth option would see Salmo elementary become a K-5 and Salmo secondary a 6-12. The fifth option would make the elementary school a K-4 and the secondary school a 5-12. (Presently Salmo elementary has K-6 and Salmo secondary Grades 7 to 12.)

The sixth option would turn Salmo secondary into a K-7, with Grades 8 to 12 bussed to L.V. Rogers. The last option involves creating a trades and apprenticeship program at Salmo secondary to build enrolment.

A final public meeting is scheduled for tonight at Mount Sentinel at 6:30 p.m. to discuss options for Slocan Valley schools. It follows meetings last week in Nelson and Monday in Kaslo.

The school district says this round of meetings is to share data but no decisions have been made.

Parents and other community members have until March 28 to comment on the options. Afterward, another series of meetings will be held to present a draft plan. Feedback will be collected until April 30.

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