SD&G — The number of schools in the Upper Canada District School Board to be closed has been reduced from 29 in total to 12, according to a report, which will be presented to the public in Kemptville tonight, Feb. 15.
Schools, which are no longer listed on the chopping block, are Seaway District High School, Morrisburg Public School, Char-Lan District High School and Longue Sault Public School, all of which put up stiff opposition.
The report follows from the staff report released last September, and a public consultation process, and states that they heard from parents and communities about program delivery, student transportation, attendance boundaries, school transition processes and the importance of schools to communities.
Some areas where many schools were suggested for closure, including in SD&G, there was extensive public feedback, outrage and fears for the survival of some small towns if they lost schools, resulting in one of the largest consultations in the school board’s history. Over 6,000 responses were received and meetings had numerous presentations from parents, municipal councils and businesses, such as Ross Video, which suggested it would leave Iroquois if Seaway District High School closed.
Some other points that the school board noted were the importance of schools to rural communities, students’ time spent on buses, consolidations which could result in overcrowding, and taking time to transition.
Local schools which are still slated for closure include Plantagenet PS and Rothwell-Osnabruck Grades 7-12, North Stormont PS, and the closure of two Cornwall high schools dependent upon the building of a new central high school. Roxmore PS would be added on to, to accommodate students from North Stormont PS Plantagenet students would go to Rockland, and Rothwell-Osnabruck HS would be consolidated with Tagwi HS.