Education Minister Mitzie Hunter meets with students at Beavercrest School in Markdale (Kirk Scott photo)

Education Minister Visits Paisley And Markdale Schools

Students protestors lined the driveway of Paisley Central School as Ontario’s education minister arrived Wednesday afternoon.

The students from Chesley High School travelled to Paisley to get the attention of the minister.  They are angry that their school is closing later this year.

Earlier this week, the Bluewater District School Board finalized a decision to close the Chesley Community School’s Grades 9 to 12 program. As of this September, students will go to other high schools in the Bluewater Board.   Although she was invited to visit Chesley while in the area, the Minister declined due to time constraints.

Education Minister Mitzie Hunter meets students at Paisley Central School (Kirk Scott photo)

Education Minister Mitzie Hunter meets students at Paisley Central School (Kirk Scott photo)

Mitzie Hunter toured Paisley Central and met with school officials and board officials.  She says her government turned down the idea of a school closure moratorium because decisions should be made by school boards at the local level.   She understands the decisions can be difficult.

“Each of the school boards are at different stages and we need to give them the opportunity to make decisions that are right for their local communities,” says Hunter.

After visiting Paisley Central School, Hunter went on to Markdale to tour Beavercrest Community School. That’s where she met the vice president of Chapman’s Ice Cream, Ashley Chapman.

Chapman’s and a developer have promised $2-million each to go towards creating a community hub around a brand new school in Markdale.

Minister Mitzie Hunter says her government is open to the possibility and will consider it once they see more details.

Grey Highlands Mayor Paul McQueen Welcomes Education Minister Mitzie Hunter to Markdale (Kirk Scott photo)

Grey Highlands Mayor Paul McQueen Welcomes Education Minister Mitzie Hunter to Markdale (Kirk Scott photo)

Chapman was pleased with the way the meeting went.

“She seemed impressed and very optimistic about the chances of us doing something truly unique and amazing in this community,” says Chapman.

Chapman says the next step is to provide the Bluewater District School Board with a framework for moving forward with the plan.

They hope to have that in by the end of June. The board wants to see a solid plan by the end of next March; otherwise Beavercrest School could close.