At a special board meeting in the Lake Kathlyn Elementary gymnasium Tuesday night, the Bulkley Valley School District 54 board of trustees voted 6-0 to close the school at the end of June.
Trustees took turns explaining their decision to the 80-plus in attendance, saying the difficult choice to close the school north of Smithers was made to avoid cutting staff and programs across the district.
Chair Les Kearns also strongly suggested parents who wanted a small school option consider Telkwa, the school with the next-lowest enrolment and student to teacher ratio in the school district. Walnut Park school in Smithers is the likely destination for most of the Lake Kathlyn students.
Kearns said there was still hard work ahead, and asked that parents help make the transition as smooth as possible.
Trustee Dawn Hanson recused herself from the vote due to conflict.
The school board made the decision as part of its effort to balance the budget after losing $680,000 in enrolment protection money, given to districts with declining enrolment. The school district lost the money, and is set to lose more more next year, because declining enrolment has slowed.
– Read the full story in the April 20 edition of The Interior News.