SD5 concerned with rural education review

Board wishes to hold meeting in Cranbrook, concerned rural schools aren't getting heard as part of review process.

SD5 Board of Education wants a meeting on Rural Education Strategy held in Cranbrook.

SD5 Board of Education wants a meeting on Rural Education Strategy held in Cranbrook.

The Southeast Kootenay board of education is taking a provincial government representative to task over the process for a rural education review.

The SD5 board of education is requesting that a meeting be held in Cranbrook as part of the review. Provincially, there are nine places across the province in which to attend a meeting with the review, the closest being in Trail or Revelstoke.

The board addressed their concerns in a letter to Linda Larson, the parliamentary secretary conducting the review.

“Our board finds it ironic that given the obvious challenge travel poses to staff and Trustees of rural communities to engage in learning and sharing opportunities, the Rural Education Review Process would not include morel locations from which Trustees representing rural communities could attend and participate,” wrote SD5 board chair Frank Lento.

In an earlier letter seeking further clarification about the review process, the SD5 board included definitions of rural education within the context of the district.

Lento says the board was concerned that Larson provided a canned response instead of reviewing the original letter. He also took issue with some assumptions on the Rural Education Review website that districts are expressly concerned about definitions.

“Having reviewed all comments posted on the site prior to our Jan. 5 submission, our board was struck by the consistency of your comments, in that none of them appeared to relate to the feedback previously provided,” Lento wrote. “Our board was left with the distinct impression that the Rural Education Review process, rather than seeking feedback on rural education, is being guided to justify a specific outcome.”

Lento concluded his letter by calling for a meeting on Rural Education review to be held in Cranbrook.