Policy, real estate topics for discussion

School District 20 took care of a number of different issues at their meeting, including weather policy, and building sales.

The trustees of School District 20 took care of a number of different issues at their Jan. 26 meeting, including weather policy, building sales, and automated external defibrillators (AEDs).

On the first day of the winter semester, Jan. 5, parents and students weren’t sure if school busses were running because of a large snowfall the day before.

There were technical difficulties with the phone line dedicated to transportation issues, causing confusion among parents.

Trustees accepted a letter from Catherine Zaitsoff requesting they look at a creating policy to avoid the same situation seen on the first day of school.

There was discussion about whether a policy was necessary, but prompted by trustee Rosann Brunton, trustees agreed to come back and look at different ideas at the next trustee meeting in February.

“We can wait until we get some recommendations and then we can maybe move it towards policy at the next meeting,” she said.

Other trustees agreed that policy was the way to go.

“There should be some kind of system,” said Mickey Kinakin.

Also from Zaitsoff, was a letter asking about the current status on the sale of the Blueberry school building.

Board chair, Darrel Ganzert said he couldn’t share any information about the sale.

“The board is not in a position to discuss any issues about Blueberry other than the fact that it is with the ministry,” he said. “Things are moving along. We don’t anticipate it to take months, but rather weeks, but we don’t know. Until the ministry says something to us, we don’t have any information to provide to the public at this time.”

The building has not been used as a school since 2002, but is currently used as a recreation facility and community hub. In October, the Blueberry Creek Community School Council tried to buy the building for $1.

Financial issues were also on the agenda, specifically dealing with the money the board saved during the strike in September.

The school board took half of the strike savings from SD20, totaling almost $590,000. They are unsure of when the province will take back the other half.

“They have said they will take 100 per cent (of strike savings) from each district, and they have taken 50 per cent from all districts,” said Natalie Verigin, board secretary-treasurer.

School District 52, in Prince Rupert, sent a letter asking for 20 per cent of its total strike savings back and the board agreed they should do the same.

“I think that we should be sending a letter asking for the same amount, if not more,” said trustee Mark Wilson. “All the districts should do that. I think we should have a letter.”

The next school board meeting is Feb. 23 at Stanley Humphries Secondary School in Castlegar.