February 9, 2016 7:04 pm
Updated: February 9, 2016 9:05 pm

Osoyoos Secondary community rallies to save school

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OSOYOOS — Parents in Osoyoos have done their homework and hope it will be enough to save the town’s schools. School board #53 is dealing with the impact of low enrollment and growing debt, so it proposed to shut down one of Osoyoos’ two schools to save it $400,000 annually.

READ MORE: PROPOSAL TO CLOSE OSOYOOS SCHOOL HEADING TO CONSULTATION

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Brenda Dorosz has formed a Save Our Schools group and has researched other options that would save the district $1.4 million.

“A four-day school week, cutting administration at the school board level, joining administration for schools — so perhaps, one principal running two schools — there’s so much out there. There’s so many ways of saving our schools and there’s lots of solutions,” says Dorosz.

In the two recommendations presented by the school district, senior students would have to bus to the secondary school in Oliver.

Mayor Sue McKortoff fears this may drive families away from Osoyoos and discourage others from coming.

“Tourism is our biggest economic driver. If we don’t have young people coming here and energetic business owners doing things and providing a good service here, then that is not good for our town,” she says.

Local trustees say they will be listening carefully to the concerns and suggestions.

“None of us became trustees because we want to close a school. We became trustees because we are passionate about education and because we truly care about our community. So this is truly difficult for us,” says school board chair Marieze Tarr.

The meeting takes place tonight (Tuesday) at the secondary school and another public meeting will take place at the Osoyoos Elementary School at 7 p.m. on March 8.

A decision is anticipated on April 6.

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