Westwold school will reopen, but numbers decide for how long

Westwold elementary will open to start the 2019-2020 school year, but may close come end of September.

Shuttered last year when no students enrolled at the rural school 45 minutes east of Kamloops, school trustees voted unanimously in January to keep it open as a K-7 school this year as long as at least six students enrolled by the end of September.

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That, according to School District 73 staff, has not happened, as so far only four of the required six students are registered at Westwold elementary.

SD73 superintendnet Alison Sidow said the board’s motion makes it mandatory the school be closed without six students in attendance come Sept. 30.

If the six-student quota isn’t met, Westwold will be closed and the students committed to the school will be transferred to Robert L. Clemitson elementary in Barnhartvale.

Sidow said six students is the minimum amount needed to make the school viable both financially and from an educational point of view.

The school district receives a grant of $166,800 from the Ministry of Education in to operate Westwold elementary, which costs in the neighbourhood of approximately $209,000 to run. With provincial funding for six students on top of that, the district is able to break even on cost.

If the school is shuttered again come October, another community consultation process will need to be held in order to open it again.

© Kamloops This Week


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