Chinook Board of Education meets with Stewart Valley School community

A community meeting between the Chinook Board of Education and Stewart Valley School families was hosted earlier tonight to provide updated information regarding the decision making process surrounding the future of Stewart Valley School.

“Really we just wanted to catch everyone up to speed on what we’ve learned so far. But I think our board is not ready to share that really publicly yet. We wanted to meet with this group tonight, accept some feedback, and we’re going to accept feedback for another few days from anyone that wasn’t here tonight or from anyone that has additional comments,” Chinook School Division Board Chair Kim Pridmore said following tonight’s meeting hosted at Central School in Swift Current.

“As far as anything tonight, we’re just not ready to share much more until we gather what little bit left of feedback. We’ll be deliberating in the next two weeks, and hopefully have a final answer for the community as soon as possible.”

Stewart Valley School was extensively damaged by an early morning fire on August 26, with the fire sparked by a lightning strike during an early morning storm which rolled over the community.

Pridmore said the Chinook Board of Education will soon begin deliberating the future of the school following a full information collecting process.

“We’ve collected all the information we can. And so we just need to review it as a group. We haven’t sat down all 10 of us with that final last bit of information, because again some of it comes back to feedback we received tonight. We did a survey last week to gather enrolment numbers, potential enrolment numbers for Stewart Valley if there was a rebuild. And so it’s those last couple of pieces that we needed to kind of just get down to it. We’re at that point now where we believe we’ve got everything we need to make a decision.”

She said the survey and Monday’s community meeting provided them with the majority of the feedback they were seeking.

“I believe anyone that was here would have seen it as a, not necessarily getting the answers that they needed, but I think they would see it as a positive way to engage with the trustees.”

Pridmore also shared that during the Board’s January Board meeting held earlier in the day, the board voted to dissolve an ad hoc committee which had been formed at their December 12 meeting. That established ad hoc committee consisted of nine trustees but left out the Division 2 trustee.

“There will be no ad hoc committee. Any conversations regarding Stewart Valley situation at all will involve all 10 trustees,” Pridmore said.

“As was previously mentioned, the 10 trustees would have made the final vote anyway. But the ad hoc committee had intended for a recommendation to go the board of 10. But now with no committee all 10 will be part of all the conversations and well as the final vote.”