By Megan Pounder 
BELLEVILLE – Concerned parents will have the opportunity to voice their questions about proposed school closures in Prince Edward County  this week.
The Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board  is holding its first public accommodation review  meeting about the future of 11 County schools on Wednesday evening at Prince Edward Collegiate Institute  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:
- Close Queen Elizabeth School  in Picton and Pinecrest Memorial Elementary School  in Bloomfield and move students to PECI for September 2017. Close Sophiasburgh Central School and move students to PECI for September 2018. The board is looking to turn PECI into a kindergarten-to-Grade-12 school with these changes.
- Close C.M.L. Snider School  and Kente Public School  and seek funding from the ministry for a new kindergarten-to-Grade-8 school on the C.M.L. Snider property or in Wellington for September 2020.
Wednesday’s meeting comes after Prince Edward County council voted last week to ask the Ontario government to pause the review process  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  area and Belleville .
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.