South Dundas residents mobilize to save schools

Two weeks after Seaway District High School saw record attendance at its first parent council meeting, its cafeteria was filled once again with those concerned for the welfare of South Dundas’ public schools.
More than 160 people gathered at the local high school in Iroquois Wednesday, October 12, including students, parents, grandparents, teachers, bus drivers, concerned residents, business owners, and politicians. Leading the meeting was South Dundas councillor Marc St. Pierre, whose daughter attends Seaway, along with other representatives from all three of the municipality’s public schools, including Cassandra Barry (Morrisburg Public), Lisa Casselman (Iroquois Public), Carol Collard (Seaway), Joyce Latulippe (IPS), and Julie Mitchell (MPS).
“The main goal for us is to keep the kids in South Dundas,” St. Pierre said. “That’s it.”
The Upper Canada District School Board’s current proposal sees MPS students joining IPS students at the Iroquois high school, while preparations are made to alter IPS to accommodate the larger number of students. Meanwhile, the proposal sees Seaway’s students being divided between South Grenville High School in Prescott for those living south of Highway 401 and North Dundas District High School in Maple Ridge for those living north of Highway 401.
Although the gathering was intended to be a working meeting, it devolved into more of a question-answer and sharing session. Stormont, Dundas, and South Glengarry MPP Jim McDonell stopped by to listen and to share his thoughts on the current situation facing several schools throughout SD&G.
McDonell said he believes this is an SD&G issue, rather than an individual school issue. Working together, he said, would send a powerful message to the board and to the Ministry of Education.
“It’s going to take public pressure,” he said.

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