The Neighbourhood of Learning committee completed a survey on the topic of Rossland schools, receiving back over 500 responses. The survey, which council discussed at last week’s meeting, impressed council members.
Coun. Jill Spearn said the survey was done professionally by Jennifer Ellis, NOL co-ordinator.
“It really did prove some things,” Spearn said. “Rosslanders are feeling very strongly at this time.”
Spearn alluded to an earlier survey which found results consistent with this one.
“That 85 per cent of Rosslanders want k-12 in Rossland,” she went on. “If you read the chart it went down from there. Our next best scenario would be k-10 or k-9, and then K-7 at MacLean.”
She said that the response from the 518 people that responded was consistent as well: That Rossland feels strongly that for the sustainability of our community it needs K-12, though she said there were some who weren’t in favour of that.
Spearn also applauded the support from other organizations in the community.
“The chamber of commerce clearly came out with a very strong stance in their strategic plan to support k-12 in Rossland,” she said. “That’s another really interesting aspect of the survey that we need to note: The impact of closing the school economically, how having the kids in our community is nothing but positive for our community, for our businesses, for the kids themselves, for all sorts of healthy reasons.”
Spearn said the school budget that just recently was passed by the school district, was helped along by the fact that the board separated the budget from school closures.
“It says in (the Trail Times) how quietly it went through, while the reason it went so quietly, as you might have noticed, is that they separated the school closures and the facilities part of the budget right out of the motion, so the budget’s gone through with all of the cost savings that the school boards come up with $1.4 million,” she explained. “But the actual closure of schools including our schools in Rossland is a separate motion still to be debated, and they’re not going to make the decision, or they don’t have to make a decision according to the way the procedures are going.”
That process won’t be until some time in December.
The future of what education will look like is still not known in Rossland, but Spearn said that’s not such a bad thing, as it gives the community another year to plan.
“We have more time to plan for that. More time for reins and we have more time to prepare kids and families and teachers and everybody who’s involved.” As well as businesses.
Spearn thanked the chamber for making it a priority in their plan, since it echoes the city’s own priorities for the school and the community.
Coun. Kathy Wallace weighed in.
“I just want to send out compliments to all the individuals involved with the NOL,” Wallace said. “I think you’re doing excellent work. I read through the presentation that was made to the board.”
Wallace called the presentation practical, and created with a common sense approach with good numbers to back it.