A change.org petition is making its way through social media circles in hopes of standing up against the super school initiative which is a hot topic in the city, which could see all three public high schools Widdifield, Chippewa, and West Ferris all closed and moved into one central super school location.
Local resident Karen Matthews has started the petition which has even gotten the support from former MP and former city councillor Jay Aspin.
“Presenters at the Public Meetings have made it resoundingly clear that they are not in favour of the Board Preferred Option, which is to close its three public high schools - none of which are in any state of disrepair - and build one school for all grade 7-12 students in the City of North Bay. Members of the public and ARC members have come up with thoughtful alternative proposals, supported by many members of the community, that sees one school in each end of the city remaining open,” stated Matthews in her petition statement.
See the entire petition here
More than 100 concerned citizens turned out at the most recent ARC meeting which was held at W.J. Fricker on Tuesday.
See that story: Parents concerned with fate of local schools
“Teachers have not been given the opportunity to anonymously state their preferences and fear that speaking publicly will jeopardize their employment with the NNDSB," added Matthews in the petition.
“Many parents and community members are unaware of Public Meetings, or are unable to attend and therefore do not have the opportunity to voice their opinions.
“The West Ferris area has lost a number of employers, as businesses have either moved from the area or closed, and the neighbourhood cannot sustain any further loss.
“Please sign this petition to state your opposition and share it widely and often,” Matthews continued.
“S.O.S.!! Save Our Schools!!”
On May 8th, the ARC will convene for a working meeting and then vote. Fourteen out of the 17 ARC members need to vote to receive a consensus of 75%. If a tie-breaker is needed, only the student and parent representatives will vote.
However, the final decision is still up to the trustees and that final decision will come at the June Near North School Board meeting.