S.O.S. Near North District School Board (Save Our Schools)!! #stopthesuperschool
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The Near North District School Board is addressing the excess space and declining enrollment as required by the Ontario Ministry of Education with an Accomodation Review Committee, but is narrowly focusing on the financial aspect and leaving out the best interests of students, teachers, parents, neighbourhoods, and the City of North Bay. The plan is to build a super school of ~2,247 students (which would be the biggest in Ontario and one of the largest in Canada) in our small city with a population of ~51,000. Although the Board cites funding cuts, projected funding will increase by over 3 million dollars for the 2017/2018 school year. Their Preferred Option is to:
"Build a new grade 7-12 school (including child care facilities) to accommodate students from W.J. Fricker (7 and 8), Chippewa Intermediate Secondary School (7-12), West Ferris Intermediate Secondary School (7-12) and Widdifield Secondary School (9-12) on the Chippewa site.
New Construction – 2,247 (681 grade 7 and 8, 1,566 grade 9 to 12) pupil place school at Chippewa o W.J.Fricker grade 7 and 8 students directed to new school
o Chippewa students directed to new school
o West Ferris students directed to new school o Widdifield students directed to the new school"
Presenters at the Public Meetings have made it resoundingly clear that they are not in favour of the Board Preferred Option, which is to close its three public high schools - none of which are in any state of disrepair - and build one school for all grade 7-12 students in the City of North Bay. Members of the public and ARC members have come up with thoughtful alternative proposals, supported by many members of the community, that sees one school in each end of the city remaining open.
Teachers have not been given the opportunity to anonymously state their preferences and fear that speaking publicly will jeopardize their employment with the NNDSB.
Many parents and community members are unaware of Public Meetings, or are unable to attend and therefore do not have the opportunity to voice their opinions. The final meeting - at which public presentations are welcome - will be held at West Ferris Internediate and Secondary School on June 12, 2017 at 6:30pm.
The West Ferris area has lost a number of employers, as businesses have either moved from the area or closed, and the neighbourhood cannot sustain any further loss.
Update: The ARC's recommendation is a 3:2 proposal, leaving West Ferris open in the South End and one of two schools open at North End (to be determined). The Final Staff Report is in favour of same.
Please sign this petition to state your opposition and share it widely and often.
S.O.S.!! Save Our Schools!!
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