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

Rio Tinto responds to U.S. aluminum import tariffs

The tariffs were imposed by President Donald Trump Aug. 6

Brucejack mine fatality identified

Patrick Critch was from Newfoundland

SD54 and SD91 figuring out a back to school plan

B.C. government hopes to get students back to in-person classes

Granisle receives $4.3 million funding for Wastewater Treatment plant upgrade

The village will finally get to upgrade the 49 years old plant

Provincial grant boosted District projects

The 2019 annual report released

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Gene editing debate takes root with organic broccoli, new UBC research shows

Broccoli is one of the best-known vegetables with origins in this scientific haze

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

New mothers with COVID-19 should still breastfeed: Canada’s top doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam made the recommendation during World Breastfeeding Awareness Week

Collapse of Nunavut ice shelf ‘like losing a good friend:’ glaciologist

The ice shelf on the northwestern edge of Ellesmere Island has shrunk 43 per cent

B.C. wildfire crews have battled 111 blazes in the last seven days

Twenty-nine fires remain active, as of Friday (Aug 7)

Most Read