School closure recommendations to be received at Feb. 15 public meeting in Kemptville

KEMPTVILLE — Presumed winners and losers in the Upper Canada District School Board’s recent review of schools on the tentative chopping block will be publicly unveiled at a Feb. 15 public meeting in Kemptville.

Trustees will host the 6:30 p.m. session to receive the Final Staff Report of the Building for the Future Pupil Accommodation Review that will contain the final closure recommendations expected to go in front of the board for further deliberation in March.

The precursor “Initial Staff Report” shocked the region last September with the proposed closure of 29 Eastern Ontario schools. The UCDSB has been challenged by declining enrolment — equivalent to 10,000 excess student spaces — and the province’s harder line on funding under-capacity rural schools.

The meeting at North Grenville District High School — 2605 Concession Rd. — is open to the public. 

Once the final recommendations are rolled out that evening, attention will then turn to the board’s special March 2 meeting, where school group delegations may press their arguments directly to the decision-making elected trustees for the first time in the accommodation review process. To date, school supporters could only present to ‘ARC’ committees largely composed of sympathetic parents acting as surrogate sounding boards for the trustees — or “conduits of information,” as they’ve been described.

The reports produced by the ARC committees — which may or may not jibe with the final staff recommendations  — will be included in the key document being released in Kemptville on Feb. 15. Doors open at 6 p.m. The event will also be streamed online at https://livestream.com/uctv/boardmeeting. An agenda will be released Feb. 13 at https://www.boarddocs.com/can/ucdsb/board.nsf/public, according to the board.

Trustees are slated to make a final decision on school closures March 23.

 


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