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Students in the South Okanagan join more than a half-million B.C. children and head back to class tomorrow.

For secondary students in Osoyoos, the walk, cycle or ride will still be along 62 Ave and 115 Street.

“It was a different summer for sure,” said Superintendent of Schools Bev Young about the work undertaken after the Okanagan Similkameen School District board was given the dollars it needed to keep Osoyoos Secondary School open for at least two more years.

The late-June addition to provincial funding allowed the Board to vote on the last day of classes last spring to reverse an earlier decision to close the school and send Osoyoos students to Oliver.

“As far as staffing and getting teachers where they needed to be, that all happened in July,” she said. “The residual hiring, that had to wait until August, but that’s normal.”

Both Osoyoos Secondary and South Okanagan Secondary may be playing catch-up as school gets started tomorrow, but Ms Young expects that to be short-lived.

“The schools are maybe a little bit behind the eight ball with having timetables in students’ hands — a little more behind where they usually are right now, but they will be ready the first day of school.”

The school is expecting 209 students to walk up tomorrow morning, although that could be a little higher depending on students moving to the community who have yet to register.

A handful of Osoyoos students have determined to attend classes in Oliver, she added.

“We’re focusing on students. Now that these funds are here for at least a couple of years, were moving forward and we’ll focus on that,” said Ms Young.

“We’ve got good things to look forward to in all of our schools.”

The new school year will also see changes at Osoyoos Elementary after a Good Shepherd decision to close is expected to send up to 15 students back to the public school.

That has resulted in the addition of another teacher for the school.

The district is also taking a close look at capital improvements at each of its schools after the provincial government late last month announced up to $20 million in capital improvement funding.

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