Rossland, BC: School / Education – Where There Is a Will, There Is a Way

In early 2013, the local Board of Education decided to bus students in grades 10-12 down to Trail to go to school; students would spend at least 60 minutes on a bus to get to school and home every day. It meant all the sports academies would close and the district would lose the fees from the sports academy students. Click on the links below to learn how Rossland saved K-12 education in their community. The community preferred public education but the board forced them to find another way.  Click here to learn about Rossland.

The funding formula (including a school’s capacity is part of the formula) used in the province is having a negative impact on school districts throughout the province. Rossland students weren’t happy because the decision would close the academies and the community wasn’t happy it wouldn’t support their values and culture or their way of life. The board’s decision would force Rossland students to sit on buses for hours to go to school.

In the fall of 2012, Rossland Secondary (RSS) used Blended Learning for their students and invited administrators from throughout BC to learn more to embrace it for their own districts.

Red Mountain Academy unofficially formed back in 1980/81 when there were approximately 9 RSS students invited onto the National Ski Team. They missed huge amounts of school and many took 3 years to graduate in order to follow their dreams and numerous accomplishments. Click here to learn more about the different academies offered to students. They even had a dance academy.

Red Mountain gets lots of snow historically and for the monthRed Mountain ski hill beckons to the entire community.  Click here to learn about an amazing young lady from Rossland who in 2012 won a national memorial scholarship.

I knew Rossland was up for the challenge to save K-12 education in their community because they had a lot more to lose than just busing grades 10-12 down to Trail. Well….. they did it! Seven Summits Centre for Learning opened in the Fall of 2013 with 25 students. In 2015, they now have 125+ students.

Yay…….. Instead of fighting with the school board to keep K-12 education in Rossland like they had for over 20 years; Seven Summits Centre for Learning allows them to control their own destiny and the possibilties are endless. Over the years the board closed 2 elementary schools and converted the only high school to K-9. I am not a fan of private schools but when the board acts like a bully and it impacts the heart and fabric of the community, I do and will. Thank you to everyone that did their part to make it happen!

In the Fall of 2016, Seven Summits Centre for Learning formed a partnership with Navigate (NIDES — North Island Distance Education School). Navigate operates out of School District 71 in the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island  and supports students in over fifty of sixty public school districts across B.C., and is one of the province’s premier distributed-learning schools. The partnership with the Seven Summits Learning Centre in Rossland means that students who attend the Centre will have direct access to the full range of core and elective courses that are designed using provincial curriculum, and taught by fully certified B.C. teachers located both in Rossland and Courtenay, B.C.

I’m very happy with this new partnership for the reasons stated but most importantly because Rosslandlers still have more control and education options for their children.


SD 20 to drop bus fees, refund monies already paid – 24 Aug 2016



Rossland school closure backfires on school district – 17 Mar 2014

Have your say! Vote for your favourite Rossland school name now – 28 Jan 2014

Rosslanders use Thoughtexchange to vote for a new school name.

School’s Out Forever – 15 June 2013

Back to the future – 7 June 2013

Rossland council votes to keep high school open – 10 April 2013

Canada: British Columbia School Districts, 1865 — 1946, School Act – 29 Mar 2013
Click on the above link to learn about the history of BC’s Municipal School Districts.

B.C. school boards ordered to cover wage increases – 26 Aug 2013
This is why Seven Summits Centre for Learning is starting this September. What programs or services will SD20 cut to cover these wage increases? Will parents of Rossland students have to pay to bus their children down to Trail to attend school just as other parents in other BC school districts do? If you’re concerned, forward your comments to our provincial government who have the power to change things. Thanks.

On site – 25 Aug 2013
Over 25 students registered to start school this September in Rossland. Yahoo!!!!!

Numbers come in for Seven Summits – 8 Jul 2013

In addition to the core academic requirements of language arts, social studies, mathematics and the sciences, students at the SelfDesign High level also have opportunities for study in the full range of SDLC electives, including Spanish, French, technology/life skills, service and outreach, comparative civilizations, contemporary studies, Earth science, geography, jazz studies, philosophy, chemistry, physics and more.
Learners can take up to 10 courses a year at high school. In many cases elective courses can be tailored to learners’ particular fields of interest or extra-curricular activities.
For the full range of SelfDesign courses, see:
More information on the Grade 6-9 program can be found here:
Learners will need to provide their own laptop computer (Mac or PC).

Golden opportunity – 15 May 2013
This is what SD20 is going to be missing out on by busing kids in grades 10-12 down to Trail. There will be more that will want to follow their dreams just as this young lady and family from Romania are doing.

School District No. 20 closes the door on K-12 cooperation, but Rossland pursues new options – 25 Apr 2013
Please talk about this with your local politicians because it doesn’t help keep our rural communities economically feasible and vibrant. Thanks!

SD20 Votes to Not Continue Negotiations With City of Rossland – 15 Apr 2013

Innovative Partnerships Keep Community Schools Alive – 15 Apr 2013

Rossland, BC Council passes motion! – 15 Apr 2013

Council ups ante on keeping K-12 in city – 9 Apr 2013

NOL encourages a tax increase to fund a K-12 deal with SD20 – 27 Mar 2013

Rossland hosting U16 ski provincials this week – 18 Mar 2013

Rossland’s Blended Learning program getting a lot of outside interest – 14 Mar 2013

BC Education / Literacy ‘Mismanaged’ – 8 March 2013

What would you pay to retain K-12 in Rossland? – 6 March 2013

Black Jack hosting Loppet tomorrow in Rossland – 1 March 2013

NOL: Is a tax increase to Rossland for K-12 fair? – 2 March 2013

Public Meeting: THE FUTURE OF K-12 IN ROSSLAND – 28 February 2013

Despite district decision, K-12 hope in Rossland still alive – 27 February 2013

… There are of course other options, including charter and private schools, a municipal school district and just plain homeschooling, if negotiations with the district fall apart. Much of that would still depend on the Ministry of Education’s word, but there is some room for movement, if the countless hours  NOL volunteers have spent researching the topics are to be believed.

So the battle with the school district is finished, but there may be still be some hope in the future of K-12 in Rossland.

Rossland Secondary School closes on CBC Radio – 26 February 2013

RED to host TECK GS event…this weekend 20 February 2013

Taxes and the potential for a Rossland-SD20 partnership 14 February 2013

Letter outlining Rossland school options sent to SD20 – 12 January 2012

EDITORIAL: An immodest proposal for our schools’ future – 4 March 2010

Interesting article above that distinctly explains the problem.

BC Ministry of Education 21st Century Learning

RSS Blended Learning


2 thoughts on “Rossland, BC: School / Education – Where There Is a Will, There Is a Way

  1. Jessica Van der Veen

    You are doing a fine job. The School District should not have to sell schools to make ends meet. The cuts to capital funding by the BC Liberals are at the root of this divisive and difficult passage your community is experiencing.

    Here is a link to the history of capital funding: The history illustrates the deep cuts to capital funding that are at the root of schools being sold off in the K-12 system.

    I am impressed and hopeful that you can keep all Rossland’s children and youth rooted in their home community. The richness of activities a full system is able to offer are vital to producing mentally, physically and socially healthy adults.

    These lands are a sacred trust for the children of tomorrow. Good luck protecting them.

    Jessica Van der Veen, Founder, LANDS! (Let’s Agree Not to Dispose of Schools!)


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