Saskatchewan

Theodore group seeks to save school with new board

School closures are a fact of life in many smaller Saskatchewan communities, but at least one town is refusing to let go of the local elementary school by creating their own school board.

School closures are a fact of life in many smaller Saskatchewan communities, but at least one town is refusing to let go of the local elementary school by creating their own school board.

The town of Theodore sits half-way between Foam Lake and Yorkton. With a population of less than 400 and only 43 students attending the local elementary school it was targeted for closure by the local school district, but resident Dwayne Kitzan says that low enrollment is not a good enough reason to close the school.

"We have some families that are interested in moving into the community of Theodore, which could have brought us more enrollment," he says.

When Kitzan found out about plans to close the school a few months ago he helped form SOS, or Save Our School Committee.

It asked the board for an extra year to look at ways of attracting young families, but the board said no.

Parent Kelly Kunz says that the board's decision has actually prevented young families from moving in.

"With the Yorkdale school division's five-year plan, dated us for closure, and with that in mind, peopledid not want to move into the area because they did not feel we'd have a school," she says.

The idea of not having a school doesn't sit well with Kunz because his 10 year-old autistic son wouldn't be able to handle a 25 km bus ride to Springside every morning.

So Kunz is looking at setting up a Catholic School Division and says that local parents support the idea. They've informed Minister of Learning Judy Junor and plan to present her with a petition next week.

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