Superintendent Glenn Borthistle speaks to parents and residents about the future of Armstrong schools Thursday at Pleasant Valley Secondary School.

Superintendent Glenn Borthistle speaks to parents and residents about the future of Armstrong schools Thursday at Pleasant Valley Secondary School.

Options for Armstrong schools put before public

North Okanagan-Shuswap School District contending with enrolment and budget issues

North Okanagan-Shuswap School District officials insist there is no guarantee Armstrong schools will close.

A town hall meeting at Pleasant Valley Secondary School Thursday drew about 200 people and the school district presented information on enrolment and finances as well as options to address those situations, including possible school closures.

“There’s nothing for certain on the table,” said trustee Kelly Rowe.

“We have to do something and we’re getting feedback from the community.”

Possible options include closing Len Wood Middle School in Armstrong and one of the two elementary schools, and reconfiguring PVSS to Grades 6 to 12 between 2017 and 2019.

Jamie Schrauwen, with the Armstrong Elementary parents advisory committee, believes school closures could impact future enrolment growth.

“We need to look at the long-term and not the short-term just for money-saving,” she said.

According to district figures, it anticipates a shortfall of $3.6 million over the next three years, including $1.3 million in 2016/17.

There was strong opposition among parents to combing Grade 6 students with those in Grade 12.

There will be a town hall meeting Jan. 21 at 6:30 p.m. at A.L. Fortune Secondary School in Enderby.

For 2016, there is the option of closing Grindrod Elementary, converting Enderby’s M.V. Beattie Elementary to kindergarten to Grade 5 and reconfiguring A.L. Fortune Secondary to Grades 6 to 12.

Look for more in Sunday’s Morning Star.