Editorial: What is the long-term plan?

For residents impacted by the school closure process, it has been a tough road so far.

Should the process end the way the administration has proposed, with the closure of the schools in South Dundas, there is a good chance some parents and students could be stuck in five years time going through the exact same process again.

The Upper Canada District School Board’s own documents show that they project South Grenville District High School will remain at around 65 per cent capacity, with the boundary change moving some South Dundas students to Prescott.

Without anything drastically changing, capacity issues in that high school are likely to continue.

Meanwhile, North Dundas District High School is projected to increase to 85 per cent capacity, with the boundary changes moving Seaway students north.

What will that mean for the future of North Dundas High?

That school is between two villages, on well water and a septic system. The building was opened in 1963 and its infrastructure has over $5.6 million in identified or open renewal needs over the next four years. This includes wall repairs, air systems, septic, and heating overhauls. Placing more students in the school will likely shorten the amount of time that school will last.

Will the UCDSB push to rebuild North Dundas where it is, or move it to somewhere that has municipal services, like Winchester, perhaps?

Justifying a new school build, under current parameters, would only work with more students. Could that be accomplished by offering South Dundas students, who go to Prescott, the ability to move to a Winchester school?

Would either option offer additional programming?

If you live in South Dundas, you need to be upset. Every parent of a kindergartener needs to be involved in this process, because you could be going through it again in five years.
UCDSB Chair Jeff McMillan said at the start of this process that kids are resilient. They have to be.

School board officials may get annoyed with people stating that our children are being sacrificed, but what else would you call this?

Since you’re here…

… Thanks for reading this article. Local news is important. We hope that you continue to support local news by reading The Leader, online and in print. Please consider subscribing to the print edition of the newspaper. Click here to subscribe today.