Fight to save school faces challenges

Armstrong-Spallumcheen residents urged to rally behind all four schools

Armstrong-Spallumcheen residents are being urged to unify around the future of schools and not create divisions.

The committee trying to save Armstrong Elementary School from potential closure says the campaign has experienced some challenges.

“It’s putting the community against each other, which is sad,” said Kim Weston, spokesperson.

“Some parents at the other schools are afraid that if they back us to stay open, their school will lose programs. But from what we’ve discovered, it will be both.”

If the North Okanagan-Shuswap School District closes AES, there would be kindergarten to Grade 7 at Len Wood (currently a middle school) and Highland Park Elementary.

“If Len Wood is not a middle school, programs will be lost and the Strong Start program will be lost at Highland Park because of a lack of space.”

Pleasant Valley Secondary would be from Grade 8 to 12.

“We want all of the four schools open,” said Weston.

The committee is currently gathering information on the implications to all of the schools if closures and service cuts occur, and it will be provided to parent advisory committees and residents.

Letters are also being written to MLA Greg Kyllo, the Ministry of Education and municipal councils.

“Spallumcheen council has been a great supporter and wants the four schools open because of growth in Spallumcheen,” said Weston.

“In Armstrong, we’re not getting the same vocal support. They haven’t come forward.”