The Bridge Lake Elementary School Parent Advisory Committee is requesting the Minister of Education to defer the decision on if the school should close for a period of one year.
PAC Treasurer, Eric De Vries says they have gotten no where with their complaints with regard to the main issue they’re having with the decline of students.
“We think it was created artificially to facilitate the closure. We do not get anywhere with that issue within the staff of the District or the Board. We also complained about the lack of the consultation process.”
De Vries says the Minister has contacted them by phone to gather some more information and has expressed the intent to contact the District.
School District 27 gave the 1st and 2nd reading to close Bridge Lake Elementary School last night and said during the open meeting they could not comment nor discuss issues regarding personnel, and that they acted with full integrity throughout the consultation process and did not “sabotage” the enrollment numbers.
8 students are currently enrolled at the School, with 13 eligible students in the catchment area.
De Vries says their biggest concern is on the impact of the kids and the longer travelling time for them to attend school at Horse Lake.
“Which cannot be underestimated for kids who are five years old-they have quite a long travel time. In the winters, it’s not easy. They are with the older kids and there are things happening in that bus where the driver has no influences no supervision. We’ve heard quite a few horror stories, so people are quite worried about that.”
There is a distance of 38km between Bridge Lake and Horse Lake Elementary Schools.
A petition distributed throughout the community has garnered more than 300 signatures.
The 90 day public consultation process closes on April 26th with the Board of Education expected to make a decision-3rd reading that evening.