Don't close Petite & Pentz Elementary - request the offered renovation funding!
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Petite Rivière Elementary is a vibrant, award-winning school located centrally in the catchment area servicing the southern half of Lunenburg county west of the Lahave River. Pentz Elementary services the communities that border the river from Bridgewater town limits to south of Lahave.
In 2013 the SSRSB voted to close these schools with the caveat that a new school be built in this area, and with the explicit clarification that the schools were to remain open until such a new facility had been built.
The board has requested funding 3 times since then and has been denied all 3 times. However, in 2015 Minister Casey wrote a letter to the board indicating that there would be funding for an A&A (renovation) at one of the schools, estimated at $6 million.
Despite their original intent, the board Chair maintains that their legal opinion states that there is no mechanism for them to reverse the decision, that they cannot request or accept the A&A and so the schools must close and the students transfer to Hebbville Academy.
We, the communities in the Greater Petite Rivière area, call on the board to rescind those original motions (as was attempted by member Jennifer Naugler on Feb 22, 2017 only to be shut down by the Chair Elliot Payzant) and to request the funding to renovate one of Pentz or Petite in order to maintain a school within this growing rural community.
In order to execute their own stated intent to:
1. Maintain a school in this area.
2. Improve educational outcomes for all students in this area (including those at proposed receiving school Hebbville Academy).
3. Uphold their sworn responsibility to their constituents.
...the SSRSB must rescind these motions and request the $6 million A&A funding on offer from the Minister of Education.
The future of this vibrant, growing rural community, the students of these schools, and furthering the economic development of the province is at stake.
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