Current Initiatives  

Letter Campaign - Templates - Save R-O Secondary School

Email templates for the community to promote a letter campaign to Minister Hunter, MPP Crack, etc.

Template # 1

Our children have the right to be educated in their home community. South Stormont is the fastest growing municipality in Stormont Dundas & Glengarry (SD&G) and will soon be the largest. South Stormont also has the most children in SD&G. The Upper Canada District School Board’s (UCDSB) insistence to bus our children 28 kilometres out of their community which is not centered in a thriving community is frustrating and wrong for so many reasons. Furthermore, Rothwell-Osnabruck (R-O) has over 30% of students walking to school and now they will all have to be bussed up to approximately two hours per day.

Our children's well-being is being completely overlooked. How is this acceptable? Why are South Stormont children being treated this way; forced to give up time for family, sleep, homework, social life, part-time jobs, athletics, extra-curricular activities, etc.?

The students' emotional and psychological well-being has already been largely affected by such a tumultuous year and face more changes ahead. We already know that the UCDSB does not have enough resources to support the students who currently are identified as needing support, let alone others that will struggle next year.

Students who have been friends for 13 years are being torn apart, teams that had high aspirations of provincial success are being separated, families are being separated with siblings who will not only attend different schools but different schools in different communities. Ingleside will be left with no adolescents to walk the elementary students to school and babysit after school.  

All of this is being done to save little dollars and will cost the Board $430K to close R-O secondary with $160K of that for additional bussing costs. This must be stopped; our community has spoken time and time again.

Minister Hunter, we understand your faith that the UCDSB is making the right decisions, however we are of the opinion that they are making wrong decisions, based on false information. The UCDSB has been tasked with ensuring they are keeping the right schools in the right places and in this case, they most definitely are not. The UCDSB did not consult with the local municipality, they did not listen to the community, the Trustees didn't even visit the schools and communities prior to making their decisions. This will have such a significant impact on our children and our community.

None of this is in the best interest of our children's physical, mental or emotional health.

When will education be about children instead of money? Who will make the UCDSB accountable?

Please do not close Rothwell-Osnabruck Secondary School in Ingleside, Ontario. It is not the right or smart decision and must be stopped. We are asking you, Minister Hunter, to please stop this decision and keep our school open.

 

Template # 2

On March 23, 2017 the Upper Canada District School Board (UCDSB) Trustees voted 6-5 to close Rothwell-Osnabruck Secondary School, grades 7 to 12. This school is in the village of Ingleside, Ontario which is in the Township of South Stormont. South Stormont is the fastest growing municipality in the area with a recent growth rate of 3.9%. South Stormont has a population of 13,110 and growing. It is also home to a region with the most children under the age of 19.

Rothwell-Osnabruck is a JK to 12 school which is a model promoted by school boards. This allows for seamless education from grades JK to 12. The school is surrounded by a thriving and growing community which includes residents, families and numerous successful businesses. These businesses support the school in various ways from the breakfast programs to co-op placements to after school employment. Because R-O is the hub of the village, students can walk to these businesses for co-op and after school employment opportunities.

With the closure of grades 7 to 12 at Rothwell-Osnabruck students will now be bused 28 kilometres to a school in a remote location. This transportation will add an additional cost of $160,000 per year and require some children to be on a bus almost 2 hours per day. In addition, children can no longer walk to and from school, stay after school for sports and activities and will lose after school employment opportunities as they will be on a bus.

School Information Profiles (SIP) were created for the Pupil Accommodation Review Process however the SIP and data represented in Rothwell-Osnabruck’s School Information Profile was inaccurate and wrong. The board showed R-O Secondary as a grade 9-12 school with an enrollment of 128 students and a capacity of 363, and a utilization rate of 35% (enrollment/capacity) and vacant pupil spaces of 235. The correct numbers should be R-O Secondary is a grade 7-12 school with an enrollment of 183 students and a capacity of 231. The correct utilization rate is 79.22% with vacant pupil spaces of 48. There is a significant difference between the incorrect and correct data. Further to the above, please understand that grades 7-12 physically reside in the secondary end of Rothwell-Osnabruck School.

It has been made very clear to the Upper Canada District School Board for 15 years now that our school needs French programming. Unfortunately, French programming was only given to select schools and the result of this decision hurt the school’s (enrollment) that did not have French. This is the case for R-O. Longue Sault Public School is our feeder school, however it has French immersion from grades Jk to 6 and Rothwell-Osnabruck Secondary does not currently offer the same French programming in grade 7. Therefore students can’t continue their French programming at R-O and are forced to go to Tagwi. This is not what Longue Sault parents want. In fact, 183 students from the R-O Secondary boundary attend Tagwi instead of R-O (all but 14 attend for French). This clearly demonstrates that with French programming at R-O, the school would be full.  

Due to the incorrect SIP data provided, it is our belief that R-O Secondary should never have been included on the school closure list. Please right this wrong and keep the school open!

We respectfully request that reconsideration be given and that Rothwell-Osnabruck Secondary School in Ingleside, Ontario not be closed. It is not the right or smart decision and must be stopped! We are asking you, Minister Hunter, to please stop this decision and keep R-O Secondary School open.

 

 Template #3

We, the residents of South Stormont, strongly disagree with the closure of R-O Secondary in Ingleside, Ontario. This school was promised to us by Premier Frost when the Seaway went through in 1957. South Stormont is the fastest growing municipality in Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry with a growth rate of 3.9%.

The Upper Canada District School Board’s (UCDSB) mission is to have the right number of schools in the right places. This is not the case with regards to R-O. South Stormont is the right place for a school!

We have 13,110 people in our community and also have the most children under 19 within the region. We have numerous successful businesses surrounding our school and a vibrant community. Rothwell-Osnabruck school is the “hub” of our community. Please don’t let the UCDSB destroy that.

This community feels that the UCDSB did not properly consult and work with community partners to develop a strategy and/or plan to address the vacant spaces at Rothwell-Osnabruck Secondary (which is only 48 spaces), look at programming, shops, etc. This community raised $400,000 to build the Lancer Centre, a beautiful facility located at RO. The UCDSB promised us shops for that effort and that has never happened.

To quote the Ministry, “The Ministry of Education expects school boards to work with their community partners when undertaking capital planning, including when a school board is beginning to develop options to address underutilized spaces in schools.”

We can confirm with confidence that this was not done. There was brief meeting between our Township and the UCDSB at which most of the information brought to the table was ignored by the school board or dismissed. It is also important to mention that you, Minister Hunter, met with Mayor Jim Bancroft and Councillor Donna Primeau on April 11th in Toronto. I know that our Mayor and team confirmed the above and covered this in full detail.

We believe that the UCDSB has an agenda in mind to close all the rural schools within our region to build a super school in the City of Cornwall to the tune of $41 Million dollars. This is not acceptable and not what rural community members want at all. Rural Ontario deserves to have its schools in its communities. More importantly our children have the right to be educated in their own communities.

The funding model is also a failure, as we are of the opinion that you cannot fund rural Ontario schools the same way as city schools and this is what is happening. We ask that this please be stopped.

Please do not close Rothwell-Osnabruck Secondary school in Ingleside, Ontario.

 

Email Addresses:

Mhunter.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org

Kwynne.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org

Gcrack.mpp@liberal.ola.org

Jleal.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org

Irinaldi.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org

Ganderson.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org

 

 

 

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