Satinwood School might close its doors

Continual low enrollment numbers at Satinwood School have prompted Wolf Creek Public Schools (WCPS) board of trustees to consider closing

Continual low enrollment numbers at Satinwood School have prompted Wolf Creek Public Schools (WCPS) board of trustees to consider closing down the school after a review process.

“The process anticipates that the school would stay open for the remainder of the school year, so even though the board receives the report in late spring or early summer, the school does go until the end of June. That is, of course, if they decide to close the school. This process also allows for grade configuration or other modifications to the site,” said Superintendent Larry Jacobs.

With a population of 137 students and triple grading, the trustees are looking at whether they can justify keeping the school open with the expenses it takes.

The Satinwood School community has campaigned in many different fashions to convince the trustees there were still options to improve enrolment.

“I would just like to commend the Satinwood community for the great job they did trying to think outside the box these last two to three years in trying to keep their school viable,” said trustee Donna Peterson.

Satinwood, which has been around for more than 80 years, generates $180,000 through its students’ enrolment and approximately the same amount was subsidized by WCPS through direct and indirect division funding to keep the school operating.

To educate a student at Satinwood costs twice as much as schools in the rest of the division — where it’s between $4,000 and $5,000 — and trustee Lorrie Jess pointed out in the last four years the school board has funded more than $200,000 to the school.

“How can we justify keeping it open and still spend all that money for that amount of students when other schools could use it as well?” she asked the other trustees.

Jacobs feels the decline in the number of students attending the school will remain consistent for the next several years, equating to four or five students per grade; a trend similar to what he sees happening in the community around the school. “It’s very much a rural farming community, but the farms are not being transferred down to younger families, we’re seeing across the whole province,” said Jacobs.

A proposed development in the Satinwood community was looked at but Peterson said it didn’t provide much hope for the school in the near future and Jacobs believes people wouldn’t be living there for several years. “And then there are no guarantees that there’s students of age,” said Jess.

“I think it’s unfortunate that we’ve arrived at this situation as the school has had such a strong track record of academic success, it’s had a track record of building the skills that these young people need. It’s been a core to the community,” said trustee Bob Huff.

“But I think it’s important the community understands that we as trustees do believe that the school has done some great and wonderful things,” he added.

Satinwood students have usually performed well on Provincial Achievement Tests and there are many extracurricular opportunities available. “So from that perspective Satinwood functions well,” said Jacobs.

If the school closes, the students will be commuting to Lacombe.


Just Posted

Ponoka’s on the CP Holiday Train stop coming in December

The train starts up Nov. 27 featuring performers Terri Clark, Sierra Noble and Kelly Prescott

Ponoka County fire crews handle second baler fire in 12 hours

Fire crews handled a baler fire just west of Gull Lake

Red Deer RCMP ask for assistance to ID suspect in indecent acts

The suspect exposed himself to a woman and made sexual comments to her

WCPS uses cannabis legislation to fully review drug, alcohol and tobacco policies

Cannabis is not permitted in schools; WCPS focused on providing education and support

Puff, puff, pass: Cannabis is officially legal across Canada

Alberta readies itself for cannabis sales with 17 stores (for now) and a new provincial website

Singer k.d. lang receives Alberta’s highest honour

Celebrated singer-songwriter k.d. lang received the Alberta Order of Excellence in Edmonton

‘Mom, I’m in trouble:’ Canadian faces 10 years for alleged graffiti

Brittney Schneider, another tourist caught spraying message on walls of Tha Pae Gate in Thailand

Feds consulting on national anti-racism strategy behind closed doors

Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez says people still face systemic racism in some communities

Pot sales down by nearly 70% on Day 2 of legalization in B.C.

Several products on BC Cannabis Store are still sold out

Colourfully named cannabis products appeal to youth, Tory health critic says

Conservative health critic Marilyn Gladu says the Liberal government needs to do more to ensure cannabis products available online are not enticing to young people

B.C. high school teacher faces sexual assault charges

A Mt. Boucherie teacher has been charged with child luring, sexual exploitation and sexual assault.

Fashion Fridays: You can never have enough shoes

Kim XO, lets you know the best online shopping tips during Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Migrants, police mass in town on Guatemala-Mexico border

Many of the more than 2,000 Hondurans in a migrant caravan trying to wend its way to the United States left spontaneously with little more than the clothes on their backs and what they could quickly throw into backpacks.

Trump: ‘Severe’ consequences if Saudis murdered Khashoggi

Pro-government newspaper Yeni Safak on Wednesday said it had obtained audio recordings of the alleged killing of Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.

Most Read