Advertisement

Osoyoos students walk out to save school

Click to play video: 'Osoyoos students walk out to save school' Osoyoos students walk out to save school
Osoyoos students walk out to save school – Mar 29, 2016

OSOYOOS — Students in Osoyoos are taking a stand to save their school. This morning at 11:15 a.m. Osoyoos Secondary students walked out of class to protest against the proposed closure of one of Osoyoos’ schools. Numerous parents of elementary school kids also took their children out of school to take part in the rally.

Upwards of 800 people, including students and concerned residents took part.

Due to declining enrollment and a more than $1-million deficit, the Okanagan Similkameen School Board is looking to close either Osoyoos Secondary or Osoyoos Elementary. According to SD 53, closing one of the schools would translate to a projected savings of $400,000 annually.

Story continues below advertisement

READ MORE: Proposal to close Osoyoos school heading to consultations

The options put forward by the school board include closing the high school or closing the elementary school and having those students take classes in the high school. Both options involve secondary students busing to Oliver to attend class. The decision is expected to be finalized by April 6.

The rally came to fruition for students to have their say.

Save our Schools, a local committee of concerned parents and residents, organized the event after students were silenced at a public meeting on March 8.

“Students went up to the microphone and they were not allowed to speak. We decided to do this rally, protest, to give the students a voice to save our school,” said Save our Schools chair, Brenda Dorosz.

 

Students were joined by concerned residents also fighting to keep local schools open.

Upwards of 16 businesses also closed for one hour to show their solidarity and take part in the rally.

Due to declining enrollment and a more than $1-million deficit, the Okanagan Similkameen School Board is looking to close either Osoyoos Secondary or Osoyoos Elementary. According to SD 53, closing one of the schools would translate to a projected savings of $400,000 annually.

Story continues below advertisement

READ MORE: Proposal to close Osoyoos school heading to consultations

The decision is expected to be finalized by April 6.

The ‘Save our Schools’ committee has been fighting to keep the doors open at both schools.

READ MORE: Osoyoos Secondary community rallies to save school

It’s proposed alternatives to save money including moving to a four-day school week, cutting administration at the school board level and joining administration for schools.

Dorosz says the goal of the protest was to delay the decision on closing either school, giving the school board time to look at alternate options. “We’re confident we will get a one year delay,” says Dorosz. “Truthfully, we don’t know what’s going to happen.”

– With files from Angela Jung

 

 

Sponsored content