Kamloops-Thompson School District’s trustees are expected to decide on Monday whether to go ahead with a plan to open a school at Sun Peaks.
During the last school year, more than 30 kindergarten to Grade 7 students were enrolled in a combined online and hands-on education system run by the Sun Peaks Education Society in partnership with the Kamloops-Thompson School District in the resort's Discovery Centre.
During the school board’s last meeting on July 6, several trustees expressed reservations over Sun Peaks Mayor Al Raine’s proposal to create a full-fledged school for 60 students from Kindergarten through to Grade 7 anticipated in the 2012-2013 school year.
The issue went ahead nonetheless and district staff was asked to draft a formal agreement that board members would review Aug. 27.
That draft agreement is now complete. It limits the district’s capital cost responsibilities, and details a transportation plan and the school’s catchment area, which encompasses the village of Sun Peaks from Industrial Way to Lookout Ridge Drive.
It also allows for a unique schedule: four days a week for the duration of the school year.
School Supt. Terry Sullivan’s report stopped short of making a recommendation to approve the agreement, but rather stated that if trustees want a school at Sun Peaks, they should vote to accept the agreement.
The chances of that happening are far from a sure thing.
During the last board meeting, the timing caused some of the politicians to balk.
“It’s too rushed,” said trustee Meghan Wade.
Trustee Kathleen Karpuk was dubious.
“I have concerns that in two years they’ll be demanding we build them a school and a gym and a library,” she said.
Trustees also worried for Heffley Creek elementary school, saying its enrolment has dropped. Sun Peaks parents who sent their kids to the Heffley Creek school made strong presentations during reconfiguration two years ago, said trustee Joan Cowden, and this swayed her decision to keep it open.
She said on the heels of winning this fight, the parents switched to wanting a Sun Peaks school.