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May 13th, 2008 - Linda Hunter Hope presentation to the DSBN

DSBN
May 13, 2008

Ms. Hunter Hope addressed the Board, expressing support for a secondary school in Niagara-on-the-Lake, and expressing concern with the proposal to build a new elementary school on the Virgil Public School site. Ms. Hunter Hope indicated that the majority of Virgil school does not agree to have the new school on the Virgil property, and that if it means moving the school to keep Niagara District Secondary School open, Virgil school is in agreement. Ms. Hunter Hope asked the Board to consider the facts:

  • there are 738 high school age students residing in Niagara-on-the-Lake;
  • Niagara-on-the-Lake will grow by an additional 10,000 residents;
  • eight schools across Ontario have been contacted by the Friends of NDSS that have elementary and secondary on the same site, with a 90-100% retention rate from Grade 8 to Grade 9;
  • the enrolment for a viable high school is 400-500;
  • enrolment has declined due to the long term threat of closure;
  • students should be entitled to choose to attend a secular school / religious school.

    Ms. Hunter Hope addressed the issues of safety and bussing with respect to building a new elementary school on the already congested Virgil site. Ms. Hunter Hope concluded by acknowledging there are differing opinions in the community on the proposals to maintain Niagara District Secondary School, however, the Board and community have an opportunity to unite and move forward with a proposal that includes Niagara District Secondary School.

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