'Losing a lot of their friends': Rezoning worries Donagh parent
Rezoning put in place to relieve overcrowding at Stonepark Intermediate
A parent from Mermaid, P.E.I., has launched a new group to address concerns about how rezoning will break up groups of children who have spent their elementary school lives together.
Wade Norquay has children in Grades 4 and 6 in early French Immersion at Stratford Elementary.
Those kids that they spent years going to school with in the French immersion class are now going to be split off.- Wade Norquay
Norquay said after re-zoning, English students from their area will be going to Donagh Regional, while French immersion students will continue to go to Glen Stewart Primary and Stratford Elementary.
But most concerning to Norquay is what will happen his children and others once they get to Grade 7.
"What's going to happen is once they go to intermediate, those kids that they spent years going to school within the French immersion class are now going to be split off and the majority are going to Birchwood. But my kids now have to go to Stonepark," he said.
"So at the most critical time, or one of the most critical times in your educational life, they're going to be losing 90 per cent of their peer group and going to a new school. So it's a new school, and essentially losing a lot of their friends."
Parents of Recommendation 12
Norquay estimates around 30 students from the area will end up at Stonepark while the rest of their classmates go to Birchwood.
He and other parents have formed a Facebook group called Parents of Recommendation 12, and have been meeting to talk about their concerns.
Norquay said group members are also meeting individually with Public Schools Branch director Parker Grimmer in hopes of coming up with a solution to keep the students together.
Moratorium on rezoning lifted
A moratorium that applied for rezoning exceptions during the schools review process has now been lifted, and the Public Schools Branch says it is dealing with requests daily.
Some letters to parents who'll have a student moving schools next year arrived home Tuesday, with another batch to go out Thursday.
Parker Grimmer said there will be exceptions granted.
"We make these case by case," said Grimmer.
"I can't speak to a number. I think calling it an exception suggests we're going to do this when it is in the best interest of the student."
Grimmer said the Public Schools Branch is trying to deal with the requests quickly and getting back to parents.
He added the organization is also trying to do this quickly so schools can get accurate numbers on how many will be attending next year.
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With files from Island Morning