School district wants more structure at March 8 consultation

Even 15 minutes before the meeting got underway, it was standing room only.

The Okanagan Similkameen School District wants a little more structure to a March 8 consultation meeting following a raucous initial session February 9 when up to 1,000 Osoyoos residents showed up to express their displeasure about a potential school closing.

The district late this afternoon released a Process Update that provides for those wishing to speak at the forum:

  • to advise the school district in writing no later than noon March 7;
  • indicate which if any group or organization is being represented; and,
  • summarize in bullet points the messaging to be delivered.

The District did not indicate how many people would be allowed to speak, nor provide any information on how they would be selected.

Those registered to speak are being asked to keep their comments to less than three minutes. The session will also include an “open mic” time for further comments and questions.

The form requesting addition to the Speakers List is located here.

The process change comes a day after several local media reported Education critic Rob Fleming would be attending the March 8 session and planned to address the Board.

There was no discussion of the process change at the Board’s regular meeting February 24.

At the February 9 meeting, more than 40 parents, politicians, students and others waited their turns at two microphones to express their views and offer ideas.

At issue are two options put to the school board by senior staff in January to deal with the looming budget crisis resulting from declining enrollments, reduced provincial funding and excess classroom capacity.

The only two proposals approved by the board to move forward were:

  1. Close Osoyoos Secondary School (OSS) and transfer students to South Okanagan Secondary School (SOSS) in Oliver.
  2. Close Osoyoos Elementary, transfer students to OSS, making it a kindergarten-to-grade-8 school, and transfer grades 10-12 to SOS.




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