SD20 invests in play for Rossland kids

School District 20's board just approved $60,000 for a new playground that will appeal to kingergarteners to Grade 3s.

Rossland school’s younger students will soon have their own turf with plans for a playground for its primary kids.

School District 20’s board of education just approved $60,000 for a playground structure that will appeal to kindergarteners to Grade 3s, a must since the former Rossland Secondary School now accommodates K-9 under one roof. Rossland’s parents advisory council meets this week to discuss what the structure will look like and whether any fundraising will take place to top up funds for a grander vision.

“It’s excellent news and we’ve been looking forward to some kind of announcement so that we would know what we would be working with,” said principal Karen Lavender. “We will definitely be talking about what the next steps are moving forward in terms of this money.”

The money comes from local capital funding from the sale of MacLean Elementary, according to  Natalie Verigin, SD20 secretary-treasurer.

Last year the Ministry of Education gave $50,000 to Rossland for a new playground apparatus, funds which were topped up by SD20 as well as through fundraising efforts. But the structure designed for middle-school kids is too mature for the youngsters now sharing a yard since the board decided to sell Maclean last year as part of its efforts to make cuts to a dwindling budget.

The school, that has yet to be renamed, has managed to find a balance between separating primary from secondary students and deliberately mixing the different age groups for learning purposes such as peer mentoring and tutoring, explained Lavender.

“Because five year olds and 15 year olds are obviously very developmentally and emotionally different, we also are doing things within the school that separate them when it’s appropriate,” she said.

“We do have separate recess and lunch playtimes for those kids so that they can play more appropriately with their age groups.”

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