The board of trustees for School District 58 was joined by two new members at its regular meeting on Jan. 14 in Merritt.

The new trustees weren’t voted into their seats, but rather hand-picked by SD58 staff, including superintendent Steve McNiven.

Merritt Secondary students Cohen McCormack and Alison McElveen were chosen in November by the district to be this year’s student trustees.

As student trustees, McCormack and McElveen will attend the board’s meetings in Merritt.

They’ll bring news from their school forward to the board.

McElveen is in Grade 12 this year and plans to pursue a criminal justice degree upon expected graduation in June.

McCormack, who’s in Grade 11, will have a two-year term on the board. Next year, when he moves to Grade 12, a new Grade 11 student will be selected for his current role.

Their Princeton counterparts from Princeton Secondary School will attend the board meetings that take place there every second month.

SD58 is one of only three school districts in British Columbia that runs a student trustee program.

Special education audit coming

The school district’s 131 special education files will be audited by the Ministry of Education this school year.

From Feb. 2 to 6, a team of four people will come into the school district to audit various categories of special education, including physical disability, autism, intellectual disability and intensive behavioural issues.

“Not only do we want to be compliant, but we want to learn through this experience and that’s been the message that’s been sent. If there are things that we can improve on, we want to take advantage of that,” McNiven said.

McNiven said auditors will look for systems that work in order to share them with other districts.

ArtStarts in Schools contributes $7,200

School District 58 received a $7,200 grant from the provincial non-profit ArtStarts in Schools.

The funding, which is provided to support professional art activities in schools throughout the 2014-15 school year, is supported by the British Columbia Arts Council and Ministry of Education.

The school district will complete a final report on how it used the grant over the year.

“We try to get two performances at minimum at the schools each year, and sometimes bump that up to three based on community partnerships,” SD58 superintendent Steve McNiven said.