SD20 board to study international student revenue possibilities

Trustees explore international student revenue and renaming of Twin Rivers Elementary.

School District 20 trustees made a decision Monday night to explore the possibility of recruiting international students as a means of increasing revenues.

The motion presented by the revenue generation ad hoc committee authorizes the board to fund up to a maximum $25,000 a feasibility study/business case development by an external consultant related to the reestablishment of an international student program. The funding for the initiative will come from some unexpected revenue generated from international students that enrolled in the district this year.

Superintendent of Schools Greg Luterbach agreed that the research should be handled by an outside consultant. “We don’t feel from a staff perspective that we have either the time or the background to take this on,” said Luterbach. “We need to bring someone in that has expertise to tell us what could it look like, what would it cost, what would we have to invest to make this a successful program.”

Trustees Kim Mandoli and Mickey Kinakin expressed concerns based on what they saw as difficulties experienced the last time the district engaged in an international student program. After much discussion, the motion passed with trustees Mickey Kinakin and Mark Wilson voting against the motion.

The board also decided to create a committee to explore the potential idea of renaming Twin Rivers Elementary in light of the recent blending of Twin Rivers Elementary with the former Castlegar Primary school. The committee will be made up of the Principal and Vice-Principal of the school, two parents from each campus, two staff members from each campus, two students and two non-parent, non-staff, community members.

The committee will be charged to bring forward by February 15 a shortlist of 3-5 names, in order of preference, for the board to consider. The proposed name will be for the entire school yet include a strategy to be able to identify both campuses. Based on the recommendations brought forward, the board will also consider making no name change.

Twin Rivers PAC vice chair Catherine Zaitsoff was present at the meeting and the board asked for her input. “This is not an issue [the current name]. Everybody that was starting at Castlegar Primary when you changed the administration are already now at Twin Rivers, everyone coming in just calls it the Castlegar Primary campus,” responded Zaitsoff. “The cultures are already together.”

The vote to go forward with creating the committee was 5-4 with Castlegar trustees Mickey Kinakin and Rosann Brunton being joined by Kim Mandoli and Gordon Smith in voting against the motion.