May 12 will be D-Day of sorts for the students, parents and teachers of Silver Creek Elementary.
That will be when North Okanagan Shuswap trustees will make a final decision on the Silver Creek school closure bylaw, which received first reading at Tuesday night’s regular meeting.
The first reading of the closure bylaw was added Monday as a late item to the regular school board agenda, after it was determined that in order to avoid stretching the decision into June, proper procedure required readings to be done at two separate meetings.
“We do not want to drag this out for Silver Creek parents or staff any longer,” stated board chair Bobbi Johnson.
Trustee Debbie Evans said the assembled parents deserved an apology, noting the process should have been laid out at a recent public meeting.
“There should have been some forewarning, so people could understand that this is about the process and a decision is not being made tonight. ”
Trustees reiterated to the assembled parents from Silver Creek that they still have questions to be answered, especially about bus transportation plans. They also were emphatic that no decisions have been made.
“I know I have not made up my mind,” said Johnson.
“That bus ride is a killer for me.”
Trustees also complimented parents and teachers who have rallied in support of converting the school into a Montessori model.
“Instead of just asking to keep the doors open, they have come with plans and suggestions in hopes of finding an option other than closure,” said trustee Kelly Rowe. “I know I am in a state of uncertainty.”
All trustees except Bob Fowler voted in favour of moving the bylaw forward to final reading.
The May 12 meeting is set for 7 p.m. at the North Okanagan-Shuswap School District’s education centre in Salmon Arm.