Future Of Many Area Schools Under Review, Action Taken In Forest

Lambton Kent District School Board meeting.(BlackburnNews.com Photo by Briana Carnegie)

A Pupil Accommodation Review Committee is being established to explore the possible consolidation of schools in the Forest area.

The Lambton Kent District School Board approved the recommendation at its special board meeting Tuesday night.

The committee will examine the merger of Aberarder Central School, Bosanquet Central School, Kinnwood Central School and North Lambton Secondary School into a Kindergarten to Grade 12 school at the Kinnwood Central School site.

The super school would be the first of it’s kind in the Lambton Kent District School Board.

Superintendent Gary Girardi says they wanted to maintain as many schools as possible in the boards rural communities, but funding decisions from the ministry and declining enrollment has not made that possible.

“We are looking to try to find a balance between consolidating students in locations and minimize the impact to communities,” says Girardi. “In the Forest area, we’re looking to consolidate in an area where we think the community has an opportunity to come together and still maintain a strong presence in that North Lambton area.”

The board has proposed building an addition to Kinnwood Central School to accommodate Grades 7 through 12.

A decision on possible consolidation is anticipated in March 2017.

If the Ministry of Education approves funding for an addition, construction could begin in July of next year with students hoped to enter the new site by September 2019.

The board has already outlined a schedule for public consultation.

Details on those dates, locations and times are posted to the boards website.

No further immediate board action was taken in Sarnia-Lambton, but a number of area schools were outlined for possible closure or consolidation in the boards 2016/2017 Pupil Accommodation Report.

In Sarnia, the possible closure of London Rd., Lakeroad, Queen Elizabeth II and Confederation Central elementary schools is still being considered. Students would be sent to other schools or a newly built one proposed on board-owned land in Sherwood Village. Consolidating the French Immersion program at Errol Rd. Public School is another consideration. Start dates for an online community engagement study and proposed pupil accommodation review have yet to be determined.

In St. Clair Township, the board is considering the closure of Mooretown-Courtright Public School and Colonel Cameron Public School. Students would be relocated to Sir John Moore Community School or Riverview Central Public School. Closing Mooretown-Courtright Public School and consolidating students at Colonel Cameron Public School is another option.

In the Dresden area, the possible closure of Dawn-Euphemia School is being considered. Students would be sent to Lambton Central Centennial School, Brooke Central School, Brigden Public School, H.W. Burgess Public School or a new Lambton Kent Composite School (LKCS) for students from Kindergarten to Grade 12.