School closures not necessarily negative

Probably the largest number of school closures in this school district occurred in the early ’50s.

School closings or consolidations are not new phenomena.

Probably the largest number of school closures in this school district occurred in the early ’50s when all the schools in the South Shuswap were closed an consolidated into one school at Carlin in one year.

Schools at Sorrento, Blind Bay, Eagle Bay, Balmoral, White Lake, Tappen and Sunnybrae were all closed and the students were then bussed to a central location at Carlin Consolidated School. Notch Hill followed a few years later.

As a student at the time, we all enjoyed a new experience and the bus ride. Sometimes the bus ride was up to an hour long.

In those days, all the roads were dirt with very little gravel and quite often a lot of mud. Since then, the infrastructure has improved immensely creating a safer, shorter time and more comfortable ride for students.

As a student, our learning experience was vastly improved.

Instead of having 30 students from Grade 1 to Grade 8 in one classroom with one teacher, we now had one grade of students in each of eight separate classrooms. This allowed a dedicated teacher for each grade, which allowed for an improved learning experience.

The consolidation allowed us to mingle with a larger number of students in our own age group.

Not one of these small communities declined or suffered from this transition.

In fact, all of these communities have grown and are thriving.

Times change and communities evolve with change.

 

Doug Hlina

Salmon Arm Observer