Westwold Elementary Consultation

 As per Policy 1115.1 the Board of Education of School District No. 73 (Kamloops-Thompson) is serving notice that Westwold Elementary School is being considered for closure, effective September 2019.   

The consultation period regarding the future of Westwold Elementary is now closed. Please find all comments submitted to facilityinput@sd.73.bc  below.   Minutes from the Nov. 22, 2018 public meeting can be found here. The transcript of the public comments from that meeting can be found here. All feedback has now been examined, administrators will make a recommendation to the Board regarding the future of Westwold Elementary at the January 28, 2019 regular scheduled Public Board Meeting. 

For additional information, please contact 
Superintendent’s Office at 250-374-0679.

 

 Comments or Suggestions 
 Please submit your comments or suggestions to facilityinput@sd73.bc.ca
 Diane M. 
I am not a parent however I feel strongly that our local children should have access to top quality education. If this can be supplied at the Westwold School then that is where they should be. Long time periods spent on bus to get them to other locations should be avoided if possible.
Diane M.

I love the idea of it becoming a specialized school in Agriculture, Horticulture, Animal and related things. 

Tammi C.

Although I do not have school age children, the loss of our school will totally deter more young families from ever moving to this community .. and this community is full of a lot of seniors who will inevitably will pass or leave the area in the future! There are a few young children living in the area right now that will need this school in the future! At a young age travelling to out of town schools is very hard on them and their families! I love the idea of using the school as a speciality school! This may attract a great amount of future students.!

Nicola K.

We have just moved to the area and were sad to find out we did not have a school nearby. We are now homeschooling but I would have two children ages 7 and 9 to attend if the education was right for our children. 

I would love to see a forest school outdoor school style set up. I think children benefit form multi age classrooms and education. 

Lindsay M.

Is it possible for the gymnasium to be accessible for community members to play sports/tennis? While we wait for the school to have higher enrollment.

Teresa N.

I chose to move, and live in the Westwold valley in the summer of 1991.  Knowing there was an elementary school in the community was instrumental in making this decision.  When I ventured to the school with three children in tow to register my sons in Grade 3 and Kindergarten, and see if there was any kind of a pre-school program for my 3-yr old, Bill Abley was ecstatic!

Westwold School was fun and was the heart of the community!  And there was indeed pre-school, albeit parent-run! The school body (principal, teachers, secretary, custodial, support staff & students alike), always welcomed and included the structured, parent-run pre-school, and we always participated in picture day, assemblies (when the timing was right), and of course the Christmas concerts.

Students were involved in clubs, extra-curricular games, and field trips.  It was always better when the teacher actually lived in the community, it made a huge difference; when the teacher was invested, so too were the students.  Sports teams just about always consisted of multi-grades.  For a little competition, basketball, volleyball and soccer teams would be driven to Falkland and vice-versa on a regular basis.  Students participated in town functions too, like Young People Concerts at the Sagebrush Theatre and skiing & snowboarding at Silver Star in Vernon.  Attending school in your own community also allows for time to participate in town run activities like hockey, dance and swimming.

After regular school hours, the school was still busy.  For a lot of years there was adult volleyball and floor hockey, Brownies & Cubs, Girl Guides, Babysitter training, and baseball games on the diamonds. 

These were also the days when the health nurse still traveled to the school to do check-ups and immunizations, and whatever else was required in our rural area.  The nurse would be weighing a baby on the scale, the secretary would be typing away, and a student could have been there printing off copies of the Westmont News, which Eva Harvey is still the editor of.

One of my sons has ADHD, and mild and moderate learning disabilities.  He truly was a challenge, especially in a classroom environment.  Pam Doherty not only played the piano beautifully, she rose to the occasion when managing this student.  As a parent, we need to be continually mindful, proactive, and be our child’s advocate.  I verily believe that if my son had been in a larger class and school, his educational journey would not have been as pleasant.

When my oldest son was in grade 6 (6/7 split), Cory Yamaoka recognized that he should “go ahead” and graduate with the sevens.  It was a simple thing, but I doubt this would ever have happened in a larger school. (My son continued his education and was in the first graduating class of TRU.) 

Westwold School, like other small schools, was often a “training” school for first-time principals, what a great place to get your feet wet!  However, there needs to be some flexibility and concessions made for rural schools, as they are each unique in their community.  Why couldn’t there be two teachers and no administration or a satellite principal or some other resolution to keep the students here?

I have five children, all of which attended Westwold, and Valleyview.  My youngest was a 5th generation student of Westwold, and unfortunately, fell into the first year of the reconfiguration.  I was crestfallen.  How can busing students, especially primary, that distance, be in the best interest of the children? Falkland is only 10-15 minutes away but because it is a different school district, no compromises could be made to facilitate the students going in that direction…how ludicrous!

I feel that by taking the older students out of Westwold and bussing them to R.L. Clemitson, was the beginning of the end of Westwold Elementary. As parents, we were not given a choice; the process was very calculated and deliberate.  A huge dis-connect was created not only in the school, but within families and the community.  While my son attended R.L. Clemitson, never once did I see a newsletter or poster promoting any Westwold community events or happenings.  Why couldn’t students from the outer Barnhartvale, Monte Creek and Pritchard areas be bussed to Westwold?  It’s a great facility that has everything…except students.

In the past, currently, and for a myriad of reasons like home schooling, French Immersion and private schooling, parents have not taken advantage of their local school.  Then there are those that have to commute to work, so they drive their children to town, and then there are those that think because there are more students, and it’s bigger, it is better; sometimes there is no rationale.  The time spent travelling on the highway, especially in this day and age, is an enormous concern.  It is difficult enough for rural teenagers travelling into town for high school, never mind elementary school students.  It makes for a long day, is such a waste of time, and is certainly not conducive to learning! 

 

 

A public meeting was held November 22, 2018 to discuss the proposed closure and consolidation, and to receive petitions and/or presentations from interested parties and members of the community. During the meeting there was an opportunity for people to express their concerns.  Comments from the meeting can be found here. 

 

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