Wid­di­field to close?

School board com­mit­tee rec­om­mends keep­ing West Fer­ris and Chippewa open

North Bay Nugget - - FRONT PAGE - JEN­NIFER HAMIL­TON-MCCHARLES

A board com­mit­tee with the Near North District School Board is rec­om­mend­ing to keep Chippewa and West Fer­ris sec­ondary schools open.

Wid­di­field Sec­ondary School is slated to close.

The rec­om­men­da­tion came from the com­mit­tee of the whole, which is com­prised of school board trustees, dur­ing Tues­day’s meet­ing.

“At this point, I don’t know what the tim­ing will be or what it will look like,” said school board chair­man David Thomp­son.

“It’s been an open dis­cus­sion and this is what the com­mit­tee is rec­om­mend­ing.”

The board’s ac­com­mo­da­tion review com­mit­tee had rec­om­mended clos­ing Chippewa while re­fur­bish­ing West Fer­ris and Wid­di­field.

Chippewa stu­dents were slated to go to Wid­di­field, stu­dents in the French im­mer­sion, ex­tended French and In­ter­na­tional Bac­calau­re­ate pro­grams were sched­uled to at­tend West Fer­ris.

The ARC also unan­i­mously agreed with the board to close E.W. Nor­man, E.T. Carmichael and W.J. Fricker and build a new school at the Fricker site.

In June, the board ap­proved a rec­om­men­da­tion to close the three el­e­men­tary schools.

Ed­u­ca­tion di­rec­tor Jackie Young sent an email to fam­i­lies Thurs­day evening of stu­dents who at­tend West Fer­ris, Chippewa, Wid­di­field and W.J. Fricker.

She states that a mo­tion will be put for­ward at the Sept. 26 pub­lic board meet­ing ad­dress­ing the rec­om­men­da­tion.

“The mo­tion is not of­fi­cial un­til it goes to the board and a vote is taken on the mo­tion and it is passed,” Young stated in the email.

“We un­der­stand that th­ese are not the same lo­ca­tions sug­gested by the ARC mem­bers. Chippewa is now the north site and West Fer­ris re­mains the south site,” she stated.

“The trustees have spent much time with all of the data and have de­lib­er­ated for both short- and long-term plan­ning.”

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