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ARC report recommends school closures in Upper Canada district


the school catchment area, dealing with the area south of County Road 3, which in- cludes the Village of St-Isidore. The goal is to determine whether in future, any UCDSB students from that area attend elementary and secondary schools in Vankleek Hill or in Rockland. The ARC report includes recommenda- tions dealing with other UCDSB schools in other neighbourhood catchment regions. The UCDSB board will make its final decision on the ARC report and recommendations at its March 23 public meeting. Josée Bourbonnais 613-286-9949 Service à domicile

The future is not looking good for at least one English elementary school in the Pres- cott-Russell region. The Upper Canada District School Board (UCDSB) received the final report on its Student Accommodation ReviewCommittee consultation process (ARC) during the Feb. 15 board session. The ARC process began last year as the UCDSB tried to find ways to reduce its operation costs, in the wake of declining student enrolment numbers. The UCDSB, like other school districts, depends on student subsidy funding from the province for the bulk of its operation costs. But the Education Ministry’s allo- cations to each school district depend on student enrolment. Reductions in total student enrolment for a district means a reduction in the annual student support funding from the ministry. As stated in the UCDSB final report, the essential question for our school district throughout this (ARC) process remains, given the resources available to our school district, “do we have the right number of schools in the right places to support our vision for educational programming?” The ARC review process examined student numbers at all UCDSB elementary and secondary schools, and determined which schools are under-populated, given the cost to maintain both of them in terms

Plantagenet Public School could end up closing down and its students moved to Rockland Public School, if the Upper Canada District School Board decides to accept the recommendations of its ARC report. —photo Gregg Chamberlain

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of staff, students, and services. “The board has significantly more ins- truction space than it receives funding to operate and to maintain our schools,” the final report stated. “The board has signifi- cantlymore space than it can generally use to demonstrate business cases to theministry for capital upgrades to schools.The board’s excess inventory of school buildings conti- nues to age which, in turn, is expanding its need for capital upgrades, and the provincial

funding the board receives for all aspects of schools favours the consolidation of schools to demonstrate optimal levels of enrolment and efficient use of school space.” For the UCDSB’s Prescott-Russell neigh- bourhood of schools, the ARC final report recommended Plantagenet Public School be closed as of September 2017 and its students transferred to Rockland Public School. The report also recommended confirmation by June 30 of this year about the boundary for



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