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School review to be heard next week


A preliminary report recommending which schools should be renovated, closed, or amalgamated will be presented to the Rainy River District School Board during its regular meeting next Tuesday.

The report comes after several meetings of the Fort Frances Elementary Facilities Review Committee since May.

And while the committee is working towards making its recommendations, committee chair Terry Ellwood, who also serves as superintendent of education with the local public school board, said this report is by no means final.

“If you look at the process as a funnel, we’re still dealing with a wide spectrum of ideas, which is gradually narrowing down to some concepts we have some consensus on,” he noted.

But Ellwood said one point so far has been agreed on. “We don’t want to have to plan for any school larger than 400 students,” he remarked.

“So since Robert Moore is that size, we won’t likely be dealing with any accommodations there—it won’t be increased in size,” said Ellwood.

“But as far as other schools go, we’ll have to see what happens—if there’s any new boundaries drawn up and any shifts there.”

Beyond that, though, Ellwood said many other ideas are still up in the air.

“We’re still looking at several options, and we’re not leaning in any particular direction yet,” he noted.

Any such recommendations will be based on data gathered by Murray Quinn, the board’s superintendent of plant maintenance, and Chief Financial Officer Laura Mills, who have worked out possible renovations and their costs.

The review committee consists of school principals and council chairs of Alberton, J.W. Walker, Alexander MacKenzie, Robert Moore, Huffman, and Sixth Street schools, as well as some board administration.

It serves as a sub-committee to the Pupil Accommodation Committee, which consists of board members and trustees, and eventually will make any final decisions on the sub-committee’s recommendations.

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