Two non-instructional days added to school calendar

School board adds more days off to calendar and passes amended budget.

To follow up on directions given by the Minister of Education, two additional non-instructional days to support curriculum implementation have been added to the SD20 school calendar. This will be followed up next year by the addition of one more non-instructional day. This brings the total on non-instructional days in this year’s calendar to eight. The new dates are April 15 and May 19. The days were mandated by the education ministry, but the choice of the dates is up to each district. The board consulted with a committee that included 18 teachers and district staff before selecting the dates.

Amended budget for current year adopted

Trustees passed an amended annual budget bylaw for the 2015- 2016 school year in the amount of $42,208,388. The midterm budget is balanced and takes into account changes to items that were budget estimations at the beginning of the year and now have become actual income or expenses.

The revised budget also includes several grants received from the Ministry of Education and revenue generated by sharing services with other districts.

Revised expenses included increases to principal and vice principal wages, additional educational assistant staffing and capital expenditures on portables for Glenmerry. Some of these expenses were funded out of one time surplus money and Natalie Verigin, secretary-treasurer for SD 20 warned, “This one time surplus money that we used for ongoing expenses is what some people call a structural deficit. We have used one time money for ongoing expenses that can’t be sustained with current budget money.”

Kootenay-Columbia Learning Centre gets funding boost

The committee for children and youth at risk recommended that $6,000 of the CommunityLINK surplus be allocated to Kootenay-Columbia Learning Centre in support of resources and equipment for the Castlegar site. A relocation of the junior alternate program has meant that the facility being used is lacking some of the resources needed to run the program. The board supported the motion.

Decision to rename Twin Rivers postponed

A decision to rename Twin Rivers Elementary and Castlegar Primary was postponed after much discussion. The board had previously asked that a committee consisting of stakeholders be formed to offer suggestions of a new name that would better reflect the change of configuration that has taken the two schools and joined them into one school with two campuses.

The committee submitted a list of choices in order of preference as follows: Twin Rivers Elementary and Castlegar Primary School; Twin Rivers Elementary Columbia Campus and Twin Rivers Elementary Kootenay Campus; Twin Rivers Elementary School and Twin Rivers Elementary School– Castlegar Primary Campus; Twin Rivers Elementary School and Twin Rivers Primary School. The first choice reflects the fact that the committee was not in favour of a name change. The committee also reported that two classes at Twin Rivers were surveyed and an overwhelming majority of students did not want any change to the current names.

Castlegar trustee Mickey Kinakin was in favour of respecting the committee’s recommendation to not rename the school. “We as a board need to be sensitive to students and their parents as to what they want,” he said.

However, several other trustees including Toni Driutti and Kim Mandoli really wanted to see name suggestions that reflect a directive to join the two schools as one and did not like any of the given suggestions. Superintendent Greg Luterbach stated, “The status quo does not reflect that they are one school with two campuses.”

Twin Rivers PAC member Catherine Zaitsoff attended the meeting and spoke to the board during the public input time. She reiterated that students and parents have embraced the change to one school and are not confused by the current names. She also explained that parents need a name that clearly communicates which building is being talked about when discussing things with their children such as where they will pick them up, where to meet a sibling or where an event will be held.

Just Posted

NDP bring Green New Deal to the Kootenays

MPs Wayne Stetski and Peter Julian held climate change talks in Nelson, Cranbrook and Revelstoke

Elk River reclaims property as its own

Laws make it harder to protect private land than ever before says farmer, local government

Smoke-free summer a boon for West Kootenay tourism

Tourism centres seeing numbers up

Saving lives on grocery list for Castlegar responders on Wednesday

Crews attended local supermarkets three times during the day

Black Press Kootenay Career Fair underway in Cranbrook

Today, Thursday, August 22, around 40 employers will be waiting to meet potential new employees

New police force in Surrey must avoid VPD, RCMP errors made in Pickton case: Oppal

Boots are scheduled to be on the ground by spring 2021

Conan turns to the Property Brothers for tips on buying Greenland

Jonathan Scott suggests removing glaciers and mountains to bring in ‘more natural light’

Forests minister visits B.C. town rocked by multiple mill shutdowns

A third of Mackenzie turns out for rally, not much to cheer about

B.C. sockeye returns drop as official calls 2019 ‘extremely challenging’

Federal government says officials are seeing the same thing off Alaska and Washington state

B.C. music teacher accused of sexual misconduct involving girls

Police believe other victims could be out there after the arrest of Lamar Victor Alviar

B.C. family stranded in Croatia desperate to come home

Funds being raised to bring back mom and two children

B.C. man on trial for daughters’ murders says an intruder broke in

Andrew Berry takes stand in his defense for December 2017 deaths of young daughters

‘Plenty of time for a deal’: Teachers’ union expects kids back in school on Sept. 3

BCTF says class size, composition at the heart of the issue

Most Read