Twin Rivers school is full to capacity, but Grade 7 students will be able to continue to attend with the addition of some portables. Photo: John Boivin

Twin Rivers school is full to capacity, but Grade 7 students will be able to continue to attend with the addition of some portables. Photo: John Boivin

SD 20 trustees won’t send Castlegar Grade 7s to high school

Board decides to install portables at two schools instead

Grade 7 students at two Castlegar elementary schools won’t be going to high school next year after all.

Trustees of School District 20 voted unanimously Monday night against the controversial scheme that upset many parents in the community.

Instead, the district will buy two portables to house students at their current elementary schools.

“I’ve changed my mind on that,” said Darrel Ganzert, the board’s vice-chair. “It became very clear recently that that is a very short-term solution to the problem …

“Besides the public, who convinced me it was not a good idea, the educational leaders in our district did not think it would be a good idea to move Grade 7 students into the high school either,” he added.

The board raised the possibility of moving students next year from Twin Rivers and Kinnaird elementary to Stanley Humphries Secondary School. Both elementary schools are over-capacity, while SHSS has some room to spare.

But parents bristled at the thought of their children attending the high school a year early.

SEE: Castlegar Parents ask school board to keep Grade 7 in elementary schools

About two dozen parents showed up for the board meeting, held at Kinnaird Elementary in Castlegar. Most listened patiently while trustees explained why they decided not to move the children, and buy portables instead.

“The demographics have shown Castlegar is becoming the centre of the West Kootenay, economically,” said trustee Gord Smith. “It’s bringing people from all over B.C. and Canada, so it’s reasonable to expect there’s going to be growth in this community.”

“I’m quite comfortable leaving Stanley Humphries with that below-capacity level because I think we will see that population grow into that school.”

The portables will be installed at Kinnaird and Twin Rivers Elementary. Board superintendent Bill Ford estimated the portables would cost about $135,000 each — but that’s before shipping, taxes, site preparation, and installation costs.

After the meeting, parent Robyn Varga said she was happy to hear her son wouldn’t have to go to Stanley Humphries for Grade 7 next year.

“I don’t think they should be mixed with high school kids. It would change him,” she said. “They do stuff as elementary kids that they wouldn’t do in high school.”

Newly-elected board chair Catherine Zaitsoff said input from parents made a difficult decision easier.

“When we got the survey results, and saw it was 75 per cent, we knew right away,” she said. “It’s really an important point for me, that there be community involvement and collaboration, and I think this went really well.

“It was a really hard decision to make, to find our way, but with the help of the community I’m excited for the future.”

However, trustees also said they realized the portables were only a temporary solution.

The district is going to launch a study to plan the district’s facility needs.

With Castlegar projected to grow, that will most likely mean a new school in the south end of the city, they said — but that is a discussion for a future date.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

SD 20 trustees won’t send Castlegar Grade 7s to high school

Just Posted

Email your letters to editor@trailtimes.ca.
Concern over permanent shelter in Trail

Letter to the Editor from P. Crain, Trail

IG
Trail Ferraro Foods recognized for diligence during pandemic

Letter to the Editor from Joslyn Sharp of Trail

The Rossland Rotary is banding together, while staying six-feet apart, for another community fundraiser this holiday season with the ‘100 Rosslanders Who Care project’. Photo: Submitted
Rotary seeks 100 Rosslanders Who Care!

“One Hundred Rosslanders Who Care” each pledge $100 to fund a community project

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Interior Health reports 70 new cases overnight

The total number of cases in the region is now at 1,426

Photo: Trail Times file
Heavy traffic back up in Trail after 3-vehicle collision on the bridge

A collision on the Trail bridge backed up traffic through the city’s core on Wednesday afternoon

A man wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of COVID-19 walks in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest day of pandemic with 13 deaths, 738 new COVID-19 cases

Number of people in hospital is nearing 300, while total cases near 30,000

The COVID-19 test centre at Peace Arch Hospital is located on the building’s south side. (Tracy Holmes photo)
B.C. woman calls for consistency in COVID-19 post-test messaging

‘Could we just get one thing straight?’ asks Surrey’s Deb Antifaev

(File photo)
Alberta woman charged after allegedly hitting boy with watermelon at Okanagan campsite

Police say a disagreement among friends at an Adams Lake campsite turned ugly

Court of Appeal for British Columbia in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. woman loses appeal to have second child by using late husband’s sperm

Assisted Human Reproduction Act prohibits the removal of human reproductive material from a donor without consent

Krista Macinnis displays the homework assignment that her Grade 6 daughter received on Tuesday. (Submitted photo)
B.C. mom angry that students asked to list positive stories about residential schools

Daughter’s Grade 6 class asked to write down 5 positive stories or facts

B.C. projects targeting the restoration of sockeye salmon stocks in the Fraser and Columbia Watersheds will share in $10.9 million of federal funding to protect species at risk. (Kenny Regan photo)
13 projects protecting B.C. aquatic species at risk receive $11 million in federal funding

Salmon and marine mammals expected to benefit from ecosystem-based approach

Barrels pictured outside Oliver winery, Quinta Ferreira, in May. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
B.C. Master of Wine reflects on industry’s teetering economic state

Pandemic, for some wine makers, has been a blessing in disguise. For others, not so much.

Damien Smith, with father Thomas Smith, is “frozen” with joy as he watches a special message Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds recorded for Damien’s 9th birthday on Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020. (Contributed)
Shuswap boy celebrates 9th birthday with family, community and Ryan Reynolds

People from around the world send birthday cards showing young Canoe resident he’s not alone

Most Read