School Closures

School Closures

Postby Rosemary1 » Oct 29th, 2015, 9:19 pm

Since enrollment spikes up and down permanent closures are not always be the preferred solution in the mid or long term. But if school enrolment is temporarily down, why not look at some way of repurposing and leasing some of the empty space and even generate some revenue?
Daycare space?
Seniors Activities?
Hobby groups?
Adult education/night school?
etc.
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Re: School Closures

Postby pentona » Oct 29th, 2015, 10:03 pm

The School Board seems to be all over the map with possible closures, changes, etc but since we know that enrollment fluctuates, why not ask Christy for a bit more funding? (just don't send an email - it could be deleted).

Heck, one week's lottery funds could be directed at our district and problem solved for the year, period.

I have bad memories of Nkwala School and I believe that it wasn't just lowering enrollment that made the board decide to lease it out to the French School. Wasn't it in need of serious repairs/upgrades and the district couldn't afford them? I believe that they are still maintaining that very school. Must be the lease money from the Entre Lacs that keeps it afloat?

I wonder if the French Immersion schools are part of the system or are they totally private? I would be in favor of closing off parts of each school (ie: wings) but not entire schools at this point. Are more people sending their kids to Private and French schools? Perhaps this is part of the numbers decline in the public system? Am just asking.
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Re: School Closures

Postby ToddT » Oct 30th, 2015, 11:52 am

I firmly believe the proposal to close 5 schools is merely scare tactics.
In reality, closing Carmi, Westbench and Kaleden seems to make the most sense.
Parkway is above capacity already, there is no way they are closing that school. It makes zero sense.

Kind of funny how Queen's Park was left out of the mix hey? Maybe if we had a hockey dorm it would be on the chopping block too.
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Re: School Closures

Postby rustled » Oct 30th, 2015, 12:39 pm

As I understand it, with that scenario the Parkway kids would be students at what's now Skaha Lake Middle School. It would be used as an elementary school instead.

If they only close some of the elementary schools, they'll just have to go through the whole reconfiguration process in a few more years when all the middle schools and high schools are way too empty.

We're already 25% over capacity and still dropping, with no increase to enrollment in sight. (Interesting the Vernon district's enrollment is going up.)

In practical terms, none of us would be likely to maintain and staff 25% more locations than we needed. It isn't reasonable to expect taxpayers to fund this kind of excess indefinitely. It's tougher to take a strictly businesslike approach when families and neighbourhoods are affected, but at some point we need to acknowledge the current and future realities.

I think most families would welcome a reasonably stable long-range plan.
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Re: School Closures

Postby GordonH » Oct 30th, 2015, 3:19 pm

Enrolment plays a major part in keeping a school open or closing the doors. When enrolment is down condensing schools is the way to go. For cutting overall costs within each School District, yes that means cutting teachers jobs.

Now of course there will be increase in busing expenses that should be percentage of overall savings.


Added later: only time closing a school is not good idea is when the students will be having to on the bus for long time. Younger kids more so
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Re: School Closures

Postby jasond_71 » Nov 4th, 2015, 6:36 pm

Vernon's enrollment is not going up. It is only higher than projected. Schools have closed here and a couple high schools are half full. Kelowna enrollment is going up because they have jobs for young people and it isn't the waiting room of death that Vernon and Penticton are.

Dawnland likes this post.
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Re: School Closures

Postby rustled » Nov 4th, 2015, 11:54 pm

Seems to be up.
“We have 147 more FTE students than we did last September, so it’s a significant increase in students and a significant increase in funding.”
http://www.vernonmorningstar.com/news/338975661.html
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Re: School Closures

Postby Bunnyhop » Nov 6th, 2015, 4:11 pm

ToddT wrote:I firmly believe the proposal to close 5 schools is merely scare tactics.
In reality, closing Carmi, Westbench and Kaleden seems to make the most sense.
Parkway is above capacity already, there is no way they are closing that school. It makes zero sense.

Kind of funny how Queen's Park was left out of the mix hey? Maybe if we had a hockey dorm it would be on the chopping block too.


Closing Kaleden would cost the district $160,000 +/- in additional funding they receive for rural schools. The district receives the same for Naramata school.

And then there's the additional busing costs for Kaleden to get the elementary kids into Penticton.

IMO, closing Kaleden would cost the district more than it would save.
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Re: School Closures

Postby jasond_71 » Nov 13th, 2015, 1:36 pm

Enrollment is up only because of International students in Vernon. Trust me, like the article says enrollment has decreased for the past 10 years in Vernon. We have lost 40% of our students over that time. And 180 students in terms of 8000 is next to nothing. Penticton, Vernon and the Sushwap all have 40% less students that 10 years ago.

These cities will never reach the numbers of early 2000's even in the next 15 years. Unless by some miracle young families start moving to these cities.
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Re: School Closures

Postby XT225 » Nov 13th, 2015, 2:00 pm

What about the possibility that 25,000 refugees might come into Canada and rumors that the Vernon Military camp could be used temporarily to house them. Perhaps some of these families will settle in the Okanagan and UP the numbers for school children. After all, considering the cost of living, who would want to start out life in Vancouver? Of course there has to be jobs here for parents to work at; that's a bit of a concern. I don't think its a good idea to be closing schools just yet.
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Re: School Closures

Postby ToddT » Nov 13th, 2015, 3:47 pm

25,000 new people are not coming to either of the two cities in question, combined.
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Re: School Closures

Postby rustled » Nov 13th, 2015, 4:36 pm

jasond_71 wrote:Enrollment is up only because of International students in Vernon. Trust me, like the article says enrollment has decreased for the past 10 years in Vernon. We have lost 40% of our students over that time. And 180 students in terms of 8000 is next to nothing. Penticton, Vernon and the Sushwap all have 40% less students that 10 years ago.

These cities will never reach the numbers of early 2000's even in the next 15 years. Unless by some miracle young families start moving to these cities.

I see. I expect those international students are in the higher grades, which haven't yet been as badly affected by the declining birth rate over the past decade or so. But with the international student numbers masking the declining enrollment in those grades, there's the potential for economic or social factors to make those numbers plummet quite suddenly from one year to the next. Maybe from one semester to the next.

It's interesting how many people are suggesting we should wait to close schools. Looking at the numbers and the birth rate, we've probably waited long enough. As you say, there's no reason to think this trend will reverse any time soon.

I think if my kids were still in school, I'd want the resources to be properly targeted, and I'd want the closures to happen in a way that ensured as little uncertainty as possible for the decade to come.
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Re: School Closures

Postby twobits » Nov 13th, 2015, 10:01 pm

removed by poster
Last edited by twobits on Nov 14th, 2015, 6:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: School Closures

Postby Midnite » Nov 13th, 2015, 11:13 pm

Bunnyhop wrote:Closing Kaleden would cost the district $160,000 +/- in additional funding they receive for rural schools. The district receives the same for Naramata school.

And then there's the additional busing costs for Kaleden to get the elementary kids into Penticton.

IMO, closing Kaleden would cost the district more than it would save.

$160,000 would be saved just by eliminating a Principal and a custodian and buses are already running this route. Then there is maintenance and heating.
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Re: School Closures

Postby madmudder » Nov 14th, 2015, 7:19 am

Take one of the schools that will be closed and convert it to a hotel and casino with attached waterslide.
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