Par­ents want stu­dents to stay at Mill­brook school

The Peterborough Examiner - - LOCAL / OPINION -

As res­i­dents of Ca­van Mon­aghan Town­ship and par­ents of stu­dents at our Mill­brook South Ca­van Pub­lic School, we are strongly op­posed to the cur­rent pro­posal of mov­ing our Grade 7 and 8 chil­dren to Crest­wood High School. Hav­ing at­tended the meet­ing on Nov. 4 where Supt. Chris Arnew and trustee An­gela Lloyd out­lined the pro­posal, we found sev­eral as­pects trou­bling.

Para­mount of these is how this pro­posal was pre­sented as ben­e­fit­ing Mill­brook stu­dents and the Town­ship of Ca­van Mon­aghan. The crux of the pro­posal is mov­ing our chil­dren into an in­ter­me­di­ate school at Crest­wood Sec­ondary School. As ex­plained in the meet­ing, the Board needs to fill the space avail­able at Crest­wood in or­der to show a need for a new school any­where in the area.

Once Crest­wood is over ca­pac­ity, (pro­jected date: 2024) fund­ing could be re­quested for a new school. The lo­ca­tion of this new school would be in the west end of Peter­bor­ough where land is al­ready set aside.

This pro­posal does not sup­port build­ing a new school in Ca­van Mon­aghan Town­ship. It also dis­rupts chil­dren who are at­tend­ing North Ca­van, Kawartha Heights and West­mount (French stu­dents at­tend­ing West­mount and will be sent to Adam Scott).

Cur­rently there are six porta­bles at Mill­brook with room for six more ac­cord­ing to the board. There is space for the Mill­brook Grade 7 and Grade 8 stu­dents to stay at their home school. Pro­jected en­rol­ment for 2020 is only 32 stu­dents more than are cur­rently en­rolled at Mill­brook.

We be­lieve a bet­ter so­lu­tion for Mill­brook stu­dents and fam­i­lies would be to stay and con­tinue their ed­u­ca­tion in their com­mu­nity. The Crest­wood pro­posal cre­ates a huge tran­si­tion for young chil­dren who may not be so­cially or emo­tion­ally equipped to han­dle rid­ing the bus with high school­ers. An ex­tra two years of be­ing ed­u­cated in Mill­brook will en­hance their self-es­teem, op­por­tu­nity for af­ter-school ac­tiv­i­ties and men­tal well-be­ing. This will en­able them to have a more pos­i­tive tran­si­tion to high school.

Fur­ther, keep­ing our stu­dents in Mill­brook al­lows them to visit lo­cal busi­nesses for lunch and af­ter school, keep­ing dol­lars lo­cal. Par­ents will have a re­duced car­bon foot­print by not driv­ing 45-kilo­me­tre round trip to Peter­bor­ough for snow days, etc.

At the very least, the board needs to de­lay mak­ing a de­ci­sion on the move­ment of stu­dents from Mill­brook un­til de­vel­op­ment is com­pleted in the area. This will al­low for more ac­cu­rate en­rol­ment pro­jec­tions. We all pay school board taxes and don’t sup­port our funds be­ing used to solve Crest­wood’s en­rol­ment prob­lems by up­root­ing our chil­dren.

The trus­tees will vote in Jan­u­ary on the pro­posal. We en­cour­age ev­ery par­ent, com­mu­nity mem­ber, and busi­ness owner to take the time to make their voices heard be­fore Christ­mas by email­ing the school board at crest­wood_ac­com­mo­da­[email protected], and copy­ing trustee An­gela Lloyd an­ge­la_l­[email protected], the di­rec­tor of ed­u­ca­tion Jen­nifer Le­clerc, Direc­tor_E­d­u­ca­[email protected] and Mayor Scott McFad­den, [email protected]­fad­ Fol­low the con­ver­sa­tion on Face­book: Stay­ing To­gether, Grow­ing To­gether.

There is a pub­lic meet­ing for all schools in­volved on Nov. 28, 6:30 p.m. at Crest­wood.

Suzanne and James Mills, Cheri and Paul David­son, Amanda Mar­shall

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