Enrolment pressures mean a shuttered Kamloops school may reopen

Ralph Bell elementary closed in 2010, but may soon have kids back in classes. Meanwhile, the school district is also looking at possible catchment area changes, including Aberdeen elementary, Pacific Way elementary, Sa-Hali secondary, South Kamloops secondary Dallas elementary, RL Clemitson elementary, Juniper Ridge elementary and Marion Schilling elementary.

A Kamloops school closed in 2010 due to declining enrolment back then may soon reopen, while other schools may have their catchment areas changed as SD73 determines how to deal with increasing enrolment.

Ralph Bell elementary in Valleyview was one of five Kamloops schools that closed in 2010. The district has now begun a consultation process that would reopen that school and change the catchment area of others.

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The schools that may see changes to their catchment areas are Aberdeen elementary, Pacific Way elementary, Sa-Hali secondary, South Kamloops secondary Dallas elementary, RL Clemitson elementary, Juniper Ridge elementary and Marion Schilling elementary.

Board chair Rhonda Kershaw said changes are necessary to relieve pressures on space in those schools, but added the change is only a temporary solution, as new schools are needed in the long term.

Supt. Terry Sullivan said the need for changes was brought to light in the latest long-term facilities report, which was presented to the board on Monday night (April 12).

Two public consultation periods will be held, depending on the schools affected.

For Aberdeen/Pacific Way, Sa-Hali/SKSS and Dallas/RL Clemitson, public meetings will be held via video conference on April 27, April 29 and May 4. The consultation period for these schools is currently open and will remain so until June 4, with a decision to be made on June 14.

For changes to Juniper Ridge/Marion Schilling and the reopening of Ralph Bell, there will be a 60-day period for consultation that is still to be confirmed by the school board, but following that period, a decision is expected by June 28.

Email facilityinput@sd73.bc.ca to register a 10-minute slot at the meetings and/or to ask questions regarding the proposed changes.

 

 

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