South Dundas wants to talk about rural schools, meeting slated for October 2nd

SOUTH DUNDAS – The Municipality of South Dundas is serious about its rural schools and the education that students are receiving in those schools. That’s why they are hosting an open discussion meeting about the future of rural schools on October 2nd.

“Our rural schools are important to us. We need to be involved so we need to listen to the thoughts and ideas that people may have,” said South Dundas mayor Steven Byvelds.

“We are all concerned about the future of our rural schools,” said South Dundas deputy mayor Kirsten Gardner. “This is an idea meeting and we leave it open to anyone who wants to share their ideas to attend.”

“During the last process to save our schools we had a lot of very vocal parents, grandparents, community members and business owners, and that’s who we hope to see at this meeting. Especially those who were very informed and involved with the process the last time,” said Gardner.

“A couple of years ago we had a real scare and through conversations we’ve had with the community it’s clear that this needs to stay on our radar and we need to do better. We have to make sure that our schools are healthy,” said Gardner adding that reaching out to the community is a good way to do that. “We need to start the conversation and now is a great time to do it,” she added. “So we as a council decided to invite the community to the table.”

She says that she sees the potential for South Dundas schools to be under the microscope again which means the potential is also there to find local schools once again on a closure list.

It is not yet clear whether council will be looking to form a special local advisory committee.

After attending and meeting with the Community Schools Alliance at the recent Association of Municipalities of Ontario conference in Ottawa, Gardner’s opinion is that South Dundas should have a strong representation on that Alliance.

Gardner would love for the Municipality of South Dundas to work towards hosting a rural school symposium and sees this upcoming public meeting as an excellent opportunity to gauge public interest in that.

South Dundas and its council invite those interested in joining the discussion to attend the October 2nd meeting. It will take place at the South Dundas Municipal Centre in Morrisburg in the third floor council chambers starting at 6 p.m.

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