Trustees vote to close Lytton Elementary School

By Greg Fry
June 14, 2018 - 4:22pm

LYTTON — School trustees in the Gold Trail School District have voted in favour of closing Lytton Elementary School.

The 4-3 vote occurred June 5 and wasn't an easy decision, says School Board Vice-Chair Vicky Trill.

"Yes, totally. Anytime we do a school closure it's very emotional for the community, for the board members... It's never an easy decision."

She says declining enrolment was a major factor, with the school at below 30 per cent capacity.

"And the Ministry of Education asks us to be sustainable in what we do and prudent with the dollars that taxpayers give," Trill says. "So, it's our job to ensure that we use our financials properly so some of those tough decisions we make are to find ways we can still offer education in buildings that are sustainable."

She says the plan is to combine the students at Lytton Elementary with the local high school, Kumsheen Secondary School. She says it means the secondary school still won't be to capacity but is a building that will have more students in it and will now be eligible for more funding possibilities.

Trill says combining the schools will still mean the student population will be below 100.

She says the community has taken the closure hard.

"Yeah, the community as expected is disappointed and they're grieving the upcoming loss of an elementary school."

Trill says it will take approximately one year for the current high school to be retrofitted into a K-12 school so it won't be until the 2019-2020 school year that the elementary students will move into the one building.

Trustees Trill, Nancy Rempel, Carmen Ranta and Valeri Adrian voted in favour of the closure while Orra Storkan, Larry Casper and Mavourneen Varcoe-Ryan were opposed.

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