Opinions sought on shuffling grade offerings at local schools

Shift would take place at Silverthorne, Twain Sullivan

A rejigging of what grades are taught at Twain Sullivan and Silverthorne could be in the offing following a School District 54 board decision made at its November meeting.

Being proposed is converting Silverthorne to a primary school of kindergarten to Grade 3 and Twain Sullivan to an intermediate school of Grade 4 to 7. Both now are kindergarten to Grade 7 schools.

The concept is now to go out for review and comment by members of the public and by stakeholders.

The board decision, for now, removes what had been discussed previously — closing Silverthorne, partially in recognition of its age but also to better balance Houston’s public school enrolment with the number of facilities it maintains.

Compared to other school district schools, all three of the Houston schools are operating at well below capacity.

But based on population information in the district’s 2019-2020 facilities review, enrolment in Houston is forecast to increase slightly after years of a decline.

“Reconfiguration of three schools into schools is always an option depending on future enrolment and District finances,” noted school district secretary treasurer Dave Margerm of discussions swirling around Houston’s public schools.

”It is not a recommendation this year as enrolment seems to be on the increase in Houston ….” he said.

A key consideration behind the possibility of changing the grading configuration at Silverthorne is adding a public daycare as well as before and after school care at the facility.

The addition of these services would then increase the utilization of the Silverthorne building.

Both services would be run by a provider other than the district and the possibility follows a provincial government policy of increasing daycare spaces around the province, including the financing to provide the service.

“The change to a primary and intermediate schools will be determined by public consultation and the decision of the superintendent and board,” noted Margerm.

“A change to integrate public daycare and before/after school care into Silverthorne will be determined by funding from the [education] ministry and decision of [the school district] superintendent,” he said.

The facilities review did point out that adding daycare services at Silverthorne would provide the opportunity to integrate the school district’s offerings with pre-kindergarten care.

And it did note that continuing to operate Silverthorne would involve applying to the education ministry for money to upgrade its mechanical systems and roof.

With reference to Houston Secondary, the facilities review offered up an approximate cost of $640,000 to solve leaks at the school as well as upgrading the gym space.

The potential changes to Silverthorne and Twain Sullivan would not affect Houston Secondary which would remain a Grade 8 to 12 school.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

B.C. premier talks forestry, service needs with handful of northern mayors in Prince George

Prince George meeting completes premier’s tour of Kitimat, Terrace, Fort St. James and Quesnel

Indigenous LNG supporters chide human rights advocates over pipeline comments

Coastal GasLink has signed agreements with 20 elected First Nation councils along the pipeline’s 670-kilometre path

Houston heads to Burns Lake for hockey

Burns Lake hosted a initiation one day hockey tournament on Jan. 18.… Continue reading

Home sales increase in Houston

Sale prices also increase in the communities

Council to push for high school driver education

Says it will aid in finding employment

Officials reaching out to those in contact with Canada’s first coronavirus patient

The illness has sickened at least 1,975 people and killed 56 in China

Canada’s basketball community mourns Kobe Bryant after helicopter crash

Bryant was an 18-time NBA all-star who won five championships

‘Devastated’: Fans, celebrities remember Kobe Bryant after his death

Bryant played all of his 20-year career with the NBA with the Los Angeles Lakers

Kobe Bryant, daughter killed in California helicopter crash

Bryant entered the NBA draft straight out of high school in 1996

Investigation launched after six dead puppies dumped in Richmond hotel parking lot

RAPS reminds people they can always give up puppies they can’t take care of

Canadian Lunar New Year celebrations dampened by coronavirus worries

But Health Minister Patty Hajdu said today that the risk of infection is low

B.C. VIEWS: New coronavirus outbreak an important reminder

Walking the line between cautious and alarmist

Risk of coronavirus low in B.C. as first case emerges in Toronto: officials

There have been no confirmed cases of the virus in B.C.

Most Read