Trustee wants school closure plan revisited

BROCKVILLE – Cracks appear to have formed in what was seen as a united message on the Upper Canada District School Board’s decision not to review its school closure plan.

In a message on the Ontario Alliance Against School Closures Facebook page Thursday night, trustee Lisa Swan says she is going to ask for reconsideration about closing Benson Public School in Cardinal and R-O in Ingleside.

“The reason for this request is because of the new information brought forward by the Ministry in June 2017, (after our vote took place} that the PAR process will be overhauled, and thus hopefully improved as per the government document released called Ontario’s Plan to Strengthen Rural and Northern Education,” Swan wrote in the open letter to the board.

The province announced a moratorium on school closures last week as it reviews the accommodation review (ARC) process. The UCDSB was told it didn’t have to review its February decision to close eight Eastern Ontario schools and another four schools under certain conditions.

Swan – who represents Edwardsburg-Cardinal, North Grenville and Prescott – will be asking for a public session either during Tuesday’s private meeting (July 11) or on July 25.

“If you believe it is truly about the children and their education let’s at least give it some more discussion or hopefully stop these 2 moves until we can make better decisions within the improved upon (hopefully) guidelines,” she wrote.

Swan also acknowledges the board’s code of conduct and that she must uphold the board’s collective decision made in February. Trustees were warned last fall about stepping out of line during the beginning of the Pupil Accommodation Review (PAR) process.

Swan also has plans in September to have the board reconsider its decisions on schools in 2018.

In this Thursday, July 6, 2017 screen grab from the Ontario Alliance of School Closures Facebook page, trustee Lisa Swan says she will ask the UCDSB board to reconsider its decision to close Benson Public School in Cardinal and R-O in Ingleside. (Ontario Alliance Against School Closures/Facebook via Newswatch Group)