By Yolanda Ridge, Rossland News
The bronze letters on the side of the building read Rossland High School. The legal name, appearing on accounts and official school documents, is still Rossland Secondary School.
Some people have started referring to it as Rossland School but the most commonly heard name is still RSS.
What should Rossland call the kindergarten to Grade 9 school we fought so hard to keep?
“Really Special School,” was one RSS student’s response to the question.
There is no doubt about it—the initials have a presence in this town, both physically and emotionally.
“RSS is a name known in the community and if there is an initial change it will take people a while to shift their speak,” said principal Karen Lavender, “but consideration for the new school is more important.”
Lavender does not identify any day-to-day struggles produced by the lack of a name but thinks it would be nice to have a new identity to go with the new configuration. “I have asked about timelines and haven’t received any to date.”
According to Greg Luterbach, School District 20 superintendent of schools, the naming process is the responsibility of the board of trustees. As outlined in the district policy statement, the board must appoint a committee who is then responsible for coming up with a shortlist of potential names.
At the district board meeting on Monday, a motion was brought forward to begin the process. The committee will be appointed by the superintendent, explained board chair Darrel Ganzert, and will “likely include a local trustee, school administrator, parent, and student.”
The timeline of the process will be up to the committee, once it is appointed, and although they will be submitting the list of names based on order of preference, it is the board that will make the final decision.
“I really hope the school board consults the community and the PAC in regards to the name change,” said Leslie Paul, chair of the Parent Advisory Council (PAC), who understands why progress has been slow.
“I think they are so busy trying to get everything done and deal with student/classroom/staffing/busing issues that names are not a priority right now.”
This sentiment is echoed by Gordon Smith, Rossland’s board representative, who will likely be appointed to the committee as local trustee.
“September start-up is the busiest time for the district and with a new school configuration in Rossland and over 100 new students attending J.L. Crowe, the board and staff have been focusing on classrooms,” said Smith.
Smith was confident that the superintendent would turn his attention to striking a committee in the coming weeks.
“I am hopeful that there will be members of the community, perhaps the RSS PAC, that will volunteer their time to represent the community in providing a short-list of names that will generate some excitement and sense of pride in the school,” he said.