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School District 8 Board of Trustees begin new term

The Kootenay Lake School District Board trustees were sworn in this month with trustee Lenora Trenaman elected for the fifth year as chair. There’s four new members: Susan Chew for Salmo, Taghum & Blewett, Allan Gribbin for the South Rural Zone, Sheri Walsh – City of Nelson, Bealby Point and Becky Coons – Town of Creston. Trenaman says it’s a good mixture of incumbents and new members.

One thing the board has their eye on she says, is the Province’s report after a funding model review was conducted, which is expected by the end of the year.

“That’s a significant undertaking for the ministry to do. It doesn’t happen often, maybe once every ten or fifteen years. It’s been quite sometime since the government has looked at the criteria for allocating to districts.”

She explains that consultation was conducted earlier this year.

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“It had an advisory group travel around the district and consult with all districts and all the stake holder groups and we understand that that report from the Implementation Advisory Committee is in the Cabinet right now being looked at.”

Trenaman says she’s not sure at this point how it might impact the district, but they’ve been told there won’t be additional money. Recommendations are expected from the report with the new model being implemented this spring.

Another project for the board coming up next year is having another look at the facilities plan as it’s been five years since last process was initiated. “We will be back into a review process to engage with our community and to look at all our data,” Trenaman explains. “We have to see whether or not the direction of that facilities plan is needing any modifications.”

The plan sets out recommended reconfiguration and closures, as well as phasing of any changes to ensure smooth transition for students and families. That includes building a new elementary school in Nelson and closing Trafalgar – the plan outlines that if Trafalgar is not closed by June 30, 2019, consultation around the closure will
begin anew.

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