The Nipissing-Parry Sound Catholic District School Board approved the recommendation of the Accommodation Review Committee that will see Corpus Christi and John XXIII schools amalgamate.
The board made the decision during thier regular monthly meeting Tuesday night.
The schools, which will be a dual-track Junior Kindergarten to Grade 8 school, will merge this September and be located at the John XXIII School site.
“The ARC Committee has worked diligently at meeting their mandate to study, report and make recommendations on the accommodation options for both schools under review. We congratulate the committee on a job well done resulting in bringing the best of both schools together” said Barbara McCool, Chair of the Board.
Officials say both John XXIII and Corpus Christi schools, which are four kilometres apart from each other, have experienced dramatic decreases in enrolment over the past several years and have been operating at expenditure levels beyond the funding guidelines. John XXIII sits at a 26.9 percent capacity while Corpus Christi sits at 83.5 percent.
With the consolidation the school will offer parents the option of a regular English program or French Immersion.
Officials also say in making the recommendation to the Board, the Accommodation Review Committee and Senior Administration have identified a number of benefits and positive long-term results from the consolidation of the two schools, some of which include:
• Consolidating John XXIII and Corpus Christi Schools at John XXIII into a dual-track school will allow the continuation of both Regular English and Early French Immersion programming, allowing parents to have children in different programs while attending the same school.
• Consolidation will permit more rich opportunities for students, including a full complement of extracurricular activities, fewer itinerant staff, enhanced culture (diversity, increase in student peer relationships); greater team teaching opportunities with a larger staff; more parents for volunteer opportunities and greater program offerings.
• John XXIII would offer an improved physical environment: sidewalks for walking safety; full-sized gymnasium; larger parking area and a more optimal transportation loading and unloading zone.
• A rise in enrolment will increase administrative support at the consolidated school.
• Consolidating into a K to 8 school will eliminate one transition for Grade 6 students at Corpus Christi, and provides greater leadership opportunities for the intermediate students.
• A consolidated school would reduce the overall operating costs for the Board for these two under-utilized schools.
• Other financial benefits of consolidating two schools include bringing resources together from both schools i.e., technology, larger fundraising group, educational resources, sports equipment, and playground equipment; and a reduction to field trip transportation costs.