Okanagan Skaha School board delays special meeting

Anxious parents are going to have to wait a little longer for the school district to confirm it will apply for new rural schools funding.

Okanagan Skaha School board chair Linda Van Alphen told media and parents Thursday she hoped the trustees could meet Monday to decide on new funding

Okanagan Skaha School board chair Linda Van Alphen told media and parents Thursday she hoped the trustees could meet Monday to decide on new funding

Anxious parents are going to have to wait a little longer for the Okanagan Skaha School District to confirm it will apply for funding to keep two schools open next year.

At a news conference on June 16, board chair Linda Van Alphen said she hoped to call a special, and open to the public, meeting Monday for trustees to vote on whether to apply for funding from the province’s new Rural Education Enhancement Fund.

Read more: Eleventh hour funding to save Summerland school

Van Alphen said she couldn’t see any reason why the district would not apply but according to a press release issued by the school district Friday, that crucial decision-making meeting has been delayed.

The fund, which was announced Wednesday, is aimed at keeping rural schools like Trout Creek Elementary in Summerland operating.

Earlier this year, the school board decided to close Trout Creek and West Bench Elementary, along with McNicoll Park Middle School as a cost-saving measure. The new funding lists Trout Creek Elementary as fitting its criteria, and Van Alphen said the district is hoping to include West Bench Elementary in their funding application as well.

But none of that can happen until the Ministry of Education supplies the school district with more information on the guidelines, criteria and application process.

“The board was optimistic that this information would be released before the end of this week, but has since learned that we should not expect it until sometime early next week,” reads the press release from the school district.

The release did not list any possible date for a meeting. There are less than two weeks left in this school year.

Read more: Three schools chosen for closure