Town’s projected five-year outlined to WECDSB


By Karen Fallon

Member of the St. Theresa School Parent Advisory Committee Sarah Beaudoin, asked council to send correspondence to the Windsor Essex County District School Board outlining Amherstburg’s projected growth over the next five years.

Beaudoin’s request comes on the heels of a recommendation by Director of Education Paul Picard, to consolidate students from St. Theresa School, located on County Road 20 in Malden Centre, with those at St. Bernard 320 Richmond Street and consequently close St. Theresa’s.

Picard, says Beaudoin, is of the opinion that although population growth is anticipated for the town the timing of that growth is speculative.

The issue is compounded, she says, by the fact that the final decision of the WECDSB trustees will not be made until June 26. This is only two days before the end of the school year and two months before the school would be closed and students relocated.

This lack of time surrounding the school is a concern says councilor Diane Pouget.

Councilor John Sutton notes that this type of issue is “fraught with a lot of community concern.”

Sutton made a motion to support Beaudoin’s request by sending a letter Picard outlining the town’s plans for future growth and noting that the town is in support of the Accommodation Review Committee’s recommendation to engage in further study before closing any Amherstburg school.

Some parents may opt to keep their children in the Malden community should St. Theresa’s close, says councilor Robert Pillon and as a result send them to the public school.

“It could back-fire on them as they could loose enrollment and not beef up the other school as is the intent,” said Pillon.

Another side to the issue surrounds families who are looking to buy property in the municipality.

“One of the first things a new home buyer considers is the location of the nearest school,” said Beaudoin. “Closure of any school will impact new homes.”

Councillor Carolyn Davies says an option to shutting down a school is possibly sharing administration costs between to or three schools.

Council supported Sutton’s motion.

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