Welcome back to school everyone! But don’t get too comfy in those seats, they may not be there much longer. In a callously-timed announcement on the evening of the first day back to school, the Board has put more local schools under “accommodation review.”
As I read the list, my heart sank : Paisley, Port Elgin, Walkerton, Durham, Chatsworth, Markdale all up for review. I thought of all the parents, students and staff in those communities who alongside the typical start-of-school emotions of anticipation, hope and fear, will now also be fraught with anxiety as to whether their school will even exist in the near future. This is starting to feel like a live-or-die school version of The Hunger Games–and Chesley is sector 12.
It was the repeat appearance of Chesley on that list that screamed out blatant disregard–total insensitivity for what the school and community has already gone through quite recently. This seems to drive home that the key component of academics seems to be entirely absent from this decision-making process.
Is it crazy to think that academic performance enter the conversation about shuttering schools?