As you have read already in the pages of this paper, and likely in other media, or on social media, there was a record turnout at the January 31st meeting at Seaway District High School for the Accommodation Review Committee’s final public meeting.
The estimate used by The Leader was almost 1,000 people, too many for the gymnasium, which was filled to standing room only. The masses managed to also pack the cafeteria, where they watched an online feed, while those who couldn’t squeeze in overflowed into two classrooms.
The presentations were all we could have asked for and more. Program ideas, such as the high-skills technology major, are a great way of innovating rural schools, a great way of showing that South Dundas’ schools can be leaders and innovators too.
Alternatives presented, like converting Seaway to a K-12 school, or a new secondary school merging Seaway and Rothwell-Osnabruck, were just as valid as the status quo because it showed that our community will not take the gutting of our public education lightly.
Support for Morrisburg Public was especially appreciated at the meeting. From the loud cheers in the crowd when no less than three presentations stated that MPS should finally get the Early French Immersion program it has been long promised, to the mayor and council’s support to keep ALL of our schools open.
South Dundas had the largest public crowd of any of the ARC public meetings, which includes the Cornwall and Highlands ARC, where three secondary and four elementary schools are proposed for closure. Well done South Dundas.
There are many to thank in this: the ARC members who met on many evenings and who shouldered the concerns we all had in this process; the presenters at both meetings; and, the community at large. Anyone who put up a sign, filled out a survey, wrote a letter to the editor, attended a meeting or contacted Dundas’ trustee: thank you.
South Dundas residents should be proud of the effort made to save all three of our schools. Everything that could be done by us, has been done. The process is now in the hands of senior administration at the UCDSB, and, ultimately, the trustees. Let’s hope they make the right decision for South Dundas and our future.