PARRY SOUND - The community wants more.
Accommodation Review Committee facilitator Paul Addie explains the scope and organization of the upcoming meetings to approximately 80 parents who came out to the meeting Thursday.
Roland Cilliers/Beacon Star
At the first Accommodation Review Committee (ARC) meeting held Thursday night, the event was dominated by community and committee-member requests. Those assembled wanted more information, additional committee members and the potential for extra meetings.
The ARC’s mandate is to come up with recommendation on both the relocation of students from Nobel School to McDougall School and the controversial plan to relocate Grade 7 and 8 students from area schools to Parry Sound High School (PSHS).
Paul Addie, facilitator for the committee, introduced the ARC’s mandate, spoke to the roughly 80 attendees and responded to questions and requests.
“I can assure you by the end of the process everyone will have their say, including those of you who aren’t members of the ARC,” said Addie. “We’ve already seen some submissions from a couple of people tonight for the ARC.”
Thursday’s ARC meeting, held inside the PSHS cafeteria, did not contain deputations. The second and third meetings will allow deputations from the public.
Board members used the first meeting to request expanded capacity information on local elementary schools, see projections for future Parry Sound High School enrollment, have access to the transportation costs associated with moving students to different schools and that an invitation be made to school board trustee Jim Beatty to sit on the committee.
“Is the board going to move ahead with this in spite of community opinion?” said Addie. “The answer is, we have a board decision. They’ve asked for a full year, and they’ve asked for community input. If the community opposes the movement of the Grade 7 and 8s, that’s consensus at this table with the input you hear. We will need to recommend to the board an alternative solution. It’s on the table.”
The second ARC meeting is scheduled for March 20 at McDougall Public School. The third meeting is set for April 18 at Nobel Public School and the fourth will be on May 16 at Parry Sound High School. All meetings start at 6:30 p.m. and run until 8:30 p.m.
Read next Wednesday’s North Star for the full story.