A report on rural schools in eastern P.E.I. makes some recommendations that aren't going over well with parents at the local home and school associations.
|Mount Stewart Consolidated||+23.8%|
The report commissioned by the home and school groups in the Morell family of schools suggests at least one school should close.
There are fewer kids coming through these doors every year. Total enrolment over the next 15 years at the two schools feeding Morell High – Morell Consolidated and Mount Stewart Consolidated – is projected to fall more than 10 per cent over the next 15 years. The two schools would be half empty.
"We thought we'd be proactive. Because we felt that when the school closures happened and we made our presentations that it was falling on deaf ears," said Marcella Bradley-Byrne of Morell Consolidated Home and School.
"We thought let's be proactive and find out what's best and let us make the decision."
But Bradley-Byrne, who was active in a failed effort to keep other schools in the area open in 2009, was surprised by the result.
The report recommends closing the smaller Mount Stewart school, and housing all the students in Morell. Students in kindergarten to grade six would travel 10 minutes down the road to Morell Consolidated. Morell High School would take in grade seven and eight students.
The report says a more extreme option would be to close the two consolidated schools and put all the students in the area, k to 12, in one school.
"Knowing what it's like to go through that, I think it's very important to keep the schools in their communities," said Bradley-Byrne.
"I certainly do not want Mount Stewart School to close."
The English Language School Board says the report belongs to the parents. There are no current plans to reorganize P.E.I.'s schools.
The home and school groups are meeting later this month to discuss the recommendations. They'll decide then if they want to shelve the report, or go ahead with public consultations.
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