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Rossland writes for schools

The School District won't without reading material coming up to the Jan. 15 Open Forum on the possible closure or reconfiguration of Rossland’s schools.

The list of all the submissions is up on SD20’s website and there is no shortage of Rossland submissions, the majority of which came in on the final two days before the deadline for written entries.

All of the letters are in PDF format and readable online, and there are about  200 submissions, with less than 10 of those regarding the district’s repurposing of Castlegar Primary.

Submissions against the closure are from residents, public figures and businesses all concerned about what the closure will do for the city.

Many of the businesses and organizations in and around Rossland brought up ideas to make Rossland’s schools more financially feasible.

Redstone’s management suggested they are interested in a gold academy:

“It seems the district has been put in a no win situation thru budgets that have been heaped on them from the Provincial government. Does it not make sense to continue K -12 in Rossland given the potential and real growth in student numbers. We believe that the current trend in student populations and the potential for creative programming could boost the numbers significantly.”

The  City  suggested a meeting with the school  board.

“On behalf of Rossland City Council please accept our endorsement of K-12 education in

Rossland so that the entire School District can benefit from the diversity provided in each of the three high school settings.

We would be happy to meet with the Board of Trustees and discuss specific ideas that may generate more revenue for the School District rather than list the ideas herein.”

Red Mountain Resort wrote:

“Business investors, residents and tourists are attracted to communities with a full range of learning opportunities.

Capitalizing on alternative opportunities for Rossland Secondary is a key consideration toward attracting investment and working toward a sustainable economy for Rossland. A closure of Rossland Secondary would send the wrong message to investors and raises concerns regarding the long term vitality of the local community and government support.”

The Rossland Chamber of Commerce noted that when surveyed, membership of the chamber felt that this is the number one issue facing the community.

“Closing Rossland Secondary School will affect Rossland’s ability to attract new families, economy, sense of community, important and well-used community spaces, such as the auditorium and gymnasium, and the ability of Rossland youth to participate in extracurricular activities,” the chamber noted in its letter.

Rossland’s Sustainability Commission voiced concerns on the future of Rossland without K-12.

“While the Sustainability Commission is sympathetic to the financial pressure placed on your Board by the Ministry of Education, we respectfully submit that any plans for Rossland that do not include K-12 will create serious economic and social challenges for Rossland and the surrounding communities.”

These are just a small sample of the many letters sent to School District 20.

The next important meeting is on Tuesday, Jan. 15 at Rossland Secondary at 6:30 p.m.

The Rossland PAC will meet with SD20’s board on Jan. 22. The first readings of the bylaw will take place on Feb. 4 at Trail Middle School at 7 p.m. The second reading of any Rossland reconfiguring will take place Feb. 12 at Rossland Secondary.

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