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Armstrong fights to keep schools open

Armstrong Elementary School
Image Credit: Armstrong Elementary/Facebook
February 05, 2016 - 8:00 PM

ARMSTRONG - A North Okanagan community fiercely opposed to a possible school closure is ramping up support.

Parents, teachers and community members in Armstrong are calling on School District 83 to keep all four of the city’s schools open and operational.

The school board is looking to cut costs, with one option being reducing the number of schools in Armstrong down to three. The idea on the table is to amalgamate the current four schools into two K-7 schools and one grade 8-12 school. The most likely school to be shut down is Armstrong Elementary, also known as The Brick School.

“It’s sad and it’s hard to not get emotional over the school,” Kim Weston with the school parent advisory council says. “It is a staple of Armstrong and it is the oldest standing brick school of its kind in B.C. as far as I know. When you think about Armstrong, or you see anything to do with Armstrong, you think of that brick school.”

Weston says the community is growing, with increased enrolment expected in the coming years.

“We’ll be at capacity at all three schools again,” Weston says.

Armstrong Elementary was built in 1921 and currently has fourth generation students at the school.

The school board is expected to vote on the recommendation Feb. 9. If they vote for the reconfiguration, there will be a 60-day consultation period that follows.

Between an online petition, and a hard copy version, about 600 signatures have been collected in opposition to any Armstrong school closures. You can find hard copy petitions at the Armstrong post office, Rosedale grocery, the library, curling club, and dollar store. Members of the public are also invited to email their input to the Armstrong Elementary PAC at brickschoolpac@gmail.com.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at chelston@infonews.ca or call 250-309-5230. To contact the editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724. 

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016
InfoTel News Ltd

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