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Decision on North Okanagan school closures, reconfigurations expected next month

January 26, 2016 - 9:00 PM

VERNON - A decision on school closures and reconfigurations in the North Okanagan is looming. 

Town hall meetings were recently held in Armstrong, Enderby and Salmon Arm to get feedback from parents and community members about possible school closures and changes, and School District 83’s board of education will be taking it all into consideration over the next couple of weeks.

“I thought (the town halls) went really well, we got lots of different ideas from people,” board chair Bobbi Johnson says.

The board was meeting privately today, Jan. 26, to look at reports from each town hall meeting and is expected to decide what to do at a public meeting Feb. 9.

“I can’t guarantee what the board will say. We are all over the board on this,” Johnson says. “We have almost two weeks to look it over and come up with some kind of decision.”

There are a number of recommendations being considered across the district to help deal with financial challenges. The proposals are identified in a 2015 long-term facilities report, and include closing Lenwood Middle School in Armstrong and making Pleasant Valley Secondary School Grade 6 to 12 sometime between 2017 and 2019. Also being looked at is closing Grindrod Elementary in 2016 and making M.V. Beattie Elementary in Enderby kindergarten to Grade 5 and A.L. Fortune Secondary Grade 6 to 12. Closing Parkview Elementary in Sicamous and converting Eagle River Secondary to a K-12 school is also on the table.

“Personally, I think this is a really tough decision no matter what we do. I’m pretty sure most of us won’t be happy,” Johnson says.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at or call 250-309-5230. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

News from © iNFOnews, 2016

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