(continued)
Declining enrolment indicative of parent and student frustration
by Sandy Lindsay

March 3, 2017
www.saugeentimes.com
www.walketonnews.com

Education

    

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Sara Pedersen is a concerned parent who raised numerous statistics at the recent special ARC meeting held at the Bluewater Board of Education in Chesley on Tuesday, February 28th.

According to Pedersen, the numbers speak for themselves with the Bluewater public board on a continual decline in enrolment while the Cathollic board is on the rise. 

"Why?" said one parent at the meeting, "because parents are fed up with ARCs and closures and we are pulling our children out of the Bluewater system and enrolling them in the Catholic system."

Pedersen's statistics showed that from 2007 to 2016 there was a loss of 493 students going from grade 8 to 9 in Bluewater.  At $11,709 per student, it equals an annual loss of $5,772,537 and that, over the four years of secondary school, the loss in the nine years to Bluewater District School Board (BWDSB) has been over $23Million. 

"Continuing to close schools, without addressing the problems around student retention and public satisfaction with the BWDSB, will not solve financial issues within the board," says Pedersen.  "Many communities have already undergone Accommodation Reviews (ARCs) and many more are coming."

She pointed out that public trust and perception will continue to be damaged unless the Board is able to demonstrate the collaboration and engagement with community partners.  "We encourage Trustees to recognize the economic and population growth that Bruce County and the Municipality of Arran-Elderslie are projecting and planning for.  BWDSB can join them in  making our communities attractive for families moving to this area, ensuring that our public schools are a first choice."

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Many parents have indicated through written statements that if the Paisley and Chesley Schools close, they will move their children into the Grey-Bruce Catholic School District system.  It is also an indication of lack of trust with BWDSB that they do not want their names published  fearing retribution against their children.
 

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Friday, March 03, 2017