Crunching numbers

An independent school option for Rossland grade 8-12 students for fall 2013 is now officially looking for students.

Time to put the money where the mouth was.

For all of those people who raised their hand at a public meeting on the future of kindergarten to Grade 12 education in Rossland and said they would send their young people to a school outside of the public realm in Rossland—if one should exist—now is the chance to ante up.

The call for enrolment is going out as the Neighbourhoods of Learning (NOL) committee in the city—who is investigating an alternative to sending grade 10-12 students down the hill to Trail’s J.L. Crowe Secondary School—is asking for parents to sign up their young people for fall classes.

The group has secured funding from the provincial government and will know by early next week if the school will be a distance learning partnership or an independent school.

“So we’re looking to the community for an expression of interest … because we are moving ahead even if there are only eight kids,” said NOL committee chair Aerin Guy.

The size of the enrolment will determine where the classes will be held.

“So we have to get a sense of that before we move into confirming a location,” she said.

The new school would include Red Mountain Academy in its mix.

Provincial funding for an independent school is slightly less, while distance learning or an independent partnership would mean more provincial funding.

The independent school would operate with an inquiry-based, personalized learning approach with teachers “on the ground” to work with students, said Guy. Such a school would offer a full course program available to all learners, not just Rossland or Academy students, including a graduation program.

Students would be able to participate in sports teams and other activities extracurricular to their academic studies.

“There will be sports teams associated with the school, if the numbers permit it, as well as all of the other things people expect from a high school,” said Guy.

The school would receive funding from the provincial government, but it would need to charge a tuition of approximately $1,000 per student in order to operate during the first year.

“In subsequent years as our school grows, the cost for local students may lessen,” said Guy.

For people considering registering a student in an independent Rossland school for fall of 2013, they can express interest to for an application package before Wednesday, June 19.

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