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Board to hold first public meeting about school closures in Prince Edward County

By Megan Pounder [1] 

BELLEVILLE – Concerned parents will have the opportunity to voice their questions about proposed school closures in Prince Edward County [2] this week.

The Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board [3] is holding its first public accommodation review [4] meeting about the future of 11 County schools on Wednesday evening at Prince Edward Collegiate Institute [5] in Picton.

The meeting is to allow board representatives to listen to the concerns and questions of parents and community members about the planned school closures.

The board’s plans for county schools are:

No changes are proposed for Athol-South Marysburgh [10] or Massassaga Rednersville [11] schools.

Wednesday’s meeting comes after Prince Edward County council voted last week to ask the Ontario government to pause the review process [12] and allow for more time to make a decision. Other areas within the school board’s district facing school closures and consolidations include the Centre Hastings [13] area and Belleville [14].

Hastings and Prince Edward is just one of many areas in Ontario facing the province’s accommodation review procedure for schools. There have been widespread complaints provincewide about school closures leading to long busing times for students. As well, critics say the process does not allow enough time for good decisions to be made.

Locally, the school board says the reasons for the closure and consolidation process are declining enrolment and the cost of upkeep for the aging buildings.

Wednesday’s public meeting begins at 6 p.m. in the cafeteria at PECI.