Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Decision Day beckons for School District 52's trustees

Tonight will be the final opportunity for parents, teachers and interested observers to make their final points on the issue of potential school closures in School District 52.

The  Special Open Board session at Charles Hays Secondary School starts at 7 pm tonight, and brings to an end the consultation phase of the debate. Emotional sessions have already taken place at Port Edward, Westview and Roosevelt schools over the last month or so, taking the debate to the three public schools that are potential subjects on the closure list for 2011-2012.

Still to be heard from in public forum is a study commissioned by Port Edward regarding their school, the results of which could have an impact on plans to close that school should it be one of the ones selected by the School District after tonight's consultation. Perhaps those discussions will be outlined at tonight's meeting and the direction of debate may change from those findings.

As the process has moved forward since the first word came out over potential closures, there seems to have been some fatigue among the parents and advocacy groups for each school. The most recent public consultation of March attracted what the Daily News called a half full auditorium, perhaps indicative of the resignation of many in the community as to the length of the process and the  concern that perhaps minds had already been made up on the  issue.

Following this evenings public session, the trustee's are expected to vote on their recommendation for closure and identify which school or schools they feel should be closed so as to provide the best benefit to the remaining school community.

Two full power point presentation that have been showcased at previous public consultation events are still available on the  School District's website  the original background piece and an updated version from the March 15th consultation session, making for some helpful reading for any last minute research.

Over the last few months, both The Daily News and Northern View outlined some background of the previous presentations at the school's under threat of closure, discussions which set the table for tonight's final act in the long running saga.

March 19-- Last leg of School consultations 
March 4-- Roosevelt parents stand up for their school 
March 2-- Prince Rupert School District continues closure consultations at Roosevelt
March 1-- Third District 52 consultation takes place at Roosevelt tomorrow
February 16-- District talks closure options at meetings 

We also have an archive of our items on the blog from January to March available for review as a resource on the issue.

The final session will provide an interesting look as to how the community has viewed this debate and how much the trustees have absorbed from their public sessions thus far and what impact they have had, if any on the final determination to come.

Update: March 24, 2010 -- School District 52 announced the decision to close Westview school in 2011, the decision regarding Port Edward school will be revisited in three to six months, upon further details of a study from Port Edward.

CFTK-- Prince Rupert's Ecole Westview To Close in 2011

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