Widdifield to close?
School board committee recommends keeping West Ferris and Chippewa open
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.”