Committee to urge school stay open
Following its final meeting Feb. 12, it was determined the Sturgeon Creek School Accommodation Review Committee will recommend to the Rainy River District School Board that the school remain open and continue to be maintained.
“The decision was reached based on all of the public input we received,” said committee chair Jackie McCormick, adding their recommendation will be presented at the board’s next regular meeting, which will be held Tuesday, March 5 at 7 p.m. at Sturgeon Creek School.
“The community has spoken loud and clear about what their thoughts are and their opinion on the whole thing,” she remarked, indicating all the input highlighted the value Sturgeon Creek offers to its students and the community.
“No one wants to school the close,” she stressed. “So we are going to present what the community wants to the school board.”
The three options that were considered by the Sturgeon Creek Accommodation Review Committee included:
•continued maintenance of the school;
•school closure and a redrawing of boundary lines; or
•consolidation with a new Donald Young School in Emo.
Four public consultations were held Oct. 23, Nov. 20, Dec. 20, and Jan. 15, with many students, former students, former employees, parents, and community members making a case to save the school.
Over the course of the four meetings, the committee received more than 26 letters and heard 14 presentations in support of keeping the school open.
And a total of 300 people attended the four public consultations.
In addition, since there had been a miscalculation of the dates and the deadline to submit written feedback had been extended, another 11 letters were received.
“We had a good response to the extra time given,”
McCormick noted. “Everything positive in support of the school. . . .
“I think the community did an excellent job making their voices heard,” she added. “And I’d like to thank everyone who submitted letters, did presentations, asked questions, and attended the meetings.”
The committee now must write up a report and plan the presentation to make to the board.
“The March 5 meeting is open to the public and those who would like to come and show their support are welcome,” McCormick urged.
The accommodation review process was enacted by resolution by board trustees back in June, 2011 in order to conduct an open and transparent review regarding the future of three schools: Donald Young in Emo, Sturgeon Creek in Barwick, and Crossroads in Devlin.
Donald Young School’s accommodation review was completed last year and recommended the board “build a new school on the current site of Donald Young School, with consideration given to future enrolment due to the mining industry and to consolidation with other schools.”
But the review also suggested postponing the building of the school for three years to allow time for consideration of community partnerships, as well as to be open for a consolidation with another school, such as Sturgeon Creek and/or Crossroads.
The first public consultation for Crossroads School’s accommodation review was held last night.
The possibilities for Crossroads School include:
•keep it open and continue to maintain the school;
•close it and redraw the boundary lines, with students going to Donald Young School or J.W. Walker School;
•consolidate with a new Donald Young School in Emo.
The reviews consider the value of the school to the student, the community, the board, and the local economy, with the quality of the learning experience of the students being weighted to have the most impact on the decision-making.
The next public meeting for Crossroads School’s accommodation review will be held there March 26 at 6:30 p.m.
Information regarding the accommodation reviews can be found on the school board’s website at www.rrdsb.com