Thursday, April 24, 2014

School merger vote put off

The Rainy River District School Board agreed last night to delay making a decision regarding the possible consolidation of Donald Young, Sturgeon Creek, and Crossroads schools until at least February.
The future of these schools has been up for review since June, 2011, when concerns about declining enrolment and surplus capacity, facility condition, and loss of funding for small schools was brought forward.

At a committee meeting of the whole last month, senior administration provided trustees with an analysis of the recent pupil accommodation reviews—with the recommendation to consolidate the three schools.
“A couple of the trustees felt they required more information,” explained Fort Frances trustee Dan Belluz.
“They wanted to have a chance to have all the trustees together to discuss it amongst ourselves.”
“They need another meeting to talk about it,” noted Director of Education Heather Campbell.
The final vote had expected to be made at the board’s regular board meeting Jan. 7, but Campbell said that likely will be pushed back a month now.
“We’ve always said it would be January, if not February, so it looks like February now, with an additional committee of the whole in January,” she remarked.
While the meeting will be for trustees to discuss the issue, Campbell noted people will be able to observe the proceedings.
Jackie McCormick, who chaired the accommodation review for Sturgeon Creek School, made a presentation at last night’s regular board meeting, bringing up several questions—many of which were answered.
Campbell indicated that information will be posted as an addendum to the agenda.
“We’ve got a mountain of information already,” Belluz said.
“Trustees don’t want to make a quick decision on the school closures or changes,” he added.
“It’s a big impact on the district.”
A date for the committee of the whole meeting in January has not been set yet.
Campbell indicated it will depend on when all the trustees are available.

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