After nearly 14 years on the job, Anne Cooper read out her last report as superintendent of the Revelstoke School District.
“It has been a supreme privilege to be this board’s superintendent,” she said at the meeting of the Board of Education on Dec. 5. “I am one of the few superintendents in this province that say honestly and caterogically that I enjoy my board meetings.”
She thanked everyone – the board, teachers, support staff, and parents – for their support during her time, and received thanks in return.
“I can’t imagine anyone performing at a higher level than you have,” said Alan Chell, the chair of the Board of Education. “Achievements we achieved in this district under your leadership are outstanding and I think you should really reflect on your career, particularly the time you spent in Revelstoke, with a real sense of pride and accomplishment.”
Cooper is not riding off into retirement quite yet. She is staying on until the end of the school year to ease the transition of Mike Hooker as her replacement and take over as district viceprincipal of student services from Trish Smillie, who recently left for a job in the Yukon.
Cooper’s biggest remaining task will be to close out the new school’s project – it is in the final stages – and begin the process of disposing of three of the district’s empty schools.
The school board voted last Wednesday to officially begin the process of selling Big Eddy, Mount Begbie and Mountain View Elementary schools.
The sale will fulfill part of the district’s commitment to contribute $2.4 million to the new schools project through sale of surplus property.
There will be a series of public consultations as the district moves forward with the sales.
The school district has decided to hang on to the Farwell school site, which is currently being used by Okanagan College and as a day care. Cooper said the district recoups its costs by renting out the site and that it could be used as an elementary school should numbers ever dictate.
In other school district news, a new traffic plan has been set out for the roads around Begbie View Elementary. The road directly in front of the school will be for drop off only, the west side of the stretch of Mackenzie Avenue leading to the school will be for 10 minute parking, and the areas directly adjacent to Queen Elizabeth park will be available for long-term visitor parking.
The Parent Advisory Committee is also asking the city to implement a new set of school zones around the two new schools to make it safer for kids walking to and from school.
The school board will start looking at a possible new school calendar. New legislation means school districts no longer need to adhere to a strict calendar, but instead only needs to adhere to a set number of instruction hours. For example, a district could abandon summer holidays and instead go with a system of three months of school followed by one month of holidays.
However, board chair Alan Chell said that it was unlikely Revelstoke would move to a new calendar.
“My guess is most districts will stick with the general calendar with a little tweak because I think the general populace prefers that, they’re used to summer holidays, the Christmas break, the spring break,” he said.