A decision on school closures, which had been scheduled for Jan. 20, has been postponed for seven weeks.
The change of date to March 9 follows the Okanagan Skaha School Board’s policy, which requires at least 60 days between presenting a school closure option and making a decision on it.
Of the 10 options under consideration, seven were presented in late October and two more were added in November.
The last option, presented on Jan. 6, was a proposal to close Trout Creek School in Summerland. That option was presented just two weeks before the board was scheduled to make its decision.
Rushed decisions are seldom wise decisions, and when the matter under consideration is as significant as a school closure, it is essential to carefully consider the implications before making a decision.
School closures are not easy on anyone involved and the closure options have resulted in a lot of uncertainty for students, parents, teachers and others in the community.
Closing a school, especially in a small community, has far-reaching effects.
The two Summerland options — closing Giant’s Head School and closing Trout Creek School — would each result in changes to the education model in place in Summerland.
The Giant’s Head School closure would eliminate the middle school while the Trout Creek School closure would keep the middle school, but under a different grade structure.
The two options do not just affect students. Either one would also affect the entire community.
Because of the ramifications of such a decision, it is important for school board trustees to take plenty of time before making a decision.
However, the additional time will also serve to extend the period of uncertainty for those who are affected by the decision.