"$56"- * 54  r  /&84

Asphalt plant issue still up in the air


revised OP last spring, voted to remove the escarpment area from the plan as an aggregate resource site. The OP was then forwarded to the ministry for final review and approval. MNR won’t give the final sign-off on the OP, including both the changes it and the UCPR have approved, until the beginning of March. Louis Prévost, UCPR planning

director, said there is a 20-day period to file an appeal then. The issue may come up for more dis- cussion during the UCPR council’s regular session on Feb. 17. There may also be dis- cussion about whether to bring the issue up with MNR officials during the Ontario Good Roads Association conference later this month.

Not all the mayors on counties council are in agreement about whether or not to fight the provincial government on its decision, which could allow an asphalt plant project to go ahead in Alfred-Plan- tagenet Township. The United Counties of Prescott-Russell (UCPR) now has written notice from the Ministry of Natural Resources that the Offi- cial Plan (OP) for the counties will include the Jessup’s Falls escarpment area in Al- fred-Plantagenet Township as an approved potential aggregate sources site.The decision could reopen a controversial subject that carried on through the past four years when the UCPR was doing a required review and revision of its OP. But not if amajority of mayors on counties council decide to forget about appealing the decision. Hawkesbury Mayor Jeanne Char- lebois expressed doubt whether the possible expense for an appeal was reasonable. «I don’t knowwhether or not I am ready to spend from $300,000 to $400,000 for ap- peal costs,» Mayor Charlebois said during the Feb. 10 UCPR committee of the whole session. «It’s something I am really going to have to ponder.» Guy Desjardins, mayor for the City of Cla- rence-Rockland and the current UCPRwar-

School district plans for better reading scores

Every year the provincial government does tests on the reading, writing, and arithmetic skills of students in Ontario’s elementary and secondary schools. One school district in EasternOntario is doing very well in the overall results of the provincial tests but wants to see even better results as soon as possible. Trustees for the Catholic District School Board of EasternOntario (CDSBEO) received an assessment report from Brent Boivard, principal of curriculum, and Natalie Came- ron, superintendent of school effectiveness, on the results of the latest Education Qua- lity and Accountability Office assessments (EQAO). The EQAO tests and scores Ontario students at the Grades 3, 6, and 9 levels on their reading, writing, and mathematics skills and creates a provincial average for comparison. The CDSBEO EQAO results for the 2014- 2015 term indicates overall success in excee- ding or at least meeting the provincial stan- dards. But school district officials indicate even better results are possible with some revisions to the curriculum. “As we continue to celebrate the success of our students, we are also purposefully planning to improve student achievement, which is a continuous process,” stated Came-

ron. “The board Numeracy Action Plan has been updated to reflect our continued focus on Catholic professional learning commu- nities (CPLC) to support collaboration and sharing of best practices to improve instruc- tion and identify areas for improvement in school cohorts.” The most recent EQAO results show that in primary reading and writing skills, between 78 and 80 per cent of CDSBEO students scored at either the third or fourth level, above the provincial average of level two. In arithmetic, 66 per cent of CDSBEO students at the primary levels scored either third or fourth level, above the provincial average of level two. At the junior grade, 81 per cent of CDS- BEO students scored level 3 or 4 in reading skills, while 83 per cent scored at those levels in writing. The result for mathematics skills among junior grade students was lower at 51 per cent scoring at either level 3 or 4.The provincial average is level two. For the high school grade EQAO, 85 per cent of CDSBEO succeeded with the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT), compared to the provincial average of 82 per cent. In Grade 9 Applied Math testing, 59 per cent of CDSBEO in AppliedMath and 86 per cent in AcademicMath scored either level 3 or 4, exceeding the provincial average. INVEST FOR SAVING in a central heating and cooling system INVESTIR POUR ÉCONOMISER avec un système central de chauffage et climatisation

Mayor Fernand Dicaire, Alfred-Plantagenet Township

den, also expressed some concern about the potential appeal expenses. Mayor Fernand Dicaire of Alfred-Plantagenet Township indicated disgust at the comments, adding that the environmental concerns of area residents should have some value. «She (Mayor Charlebois) says it might cost too much to defend a policy decision of the mayors (of counties council),» said Mayor Dicaire. «But don’t the quality of life and the protection of the environment have some value too?» Counties council, when it approved the

Regional arts council at crossroads The Conseil des arts Prescott-Russell Arts Council (CAPRAC) is reviewing its role in the Prescott-Russell region and wants feedback. CAPRAC is holding a series of public meetings in Embrun, Bourget, and Vankleek Hill. The Embrun meeting was scheduled for Feb. 16 but cancelled because of winter storm conditions for that day. The Bourget session is Feb. 19 at the community centre while the Vankleek Hill meeting is at the Anglican Church Hall. Both meetings start at 6:30 p.m. and all meetings are bilingual, with interpretation service provided at request. Issues to consider include what should be the focus for CAPRAC, and also whether the organization should charge membership fees or continue to rely on outside support fund sources and maintain free membership. Feedback is also needed for review and revision to CAPRAC’s triennial strategic plan. Those unable to attend any of the meetings can send their comments to – Gregg Chamberlain


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