Rothwell-Osnabruck and S.J. MacLeod slated for closure

Rothwell-Osnabruck and S.J. MacLeod slated for closure
There were four delegations from Rothwell-Osnabruck at the last public consultation on March 2 before the UCDSB Trustees vote on the final staff report (Alycia Douglass/ TC Media).

KEMPTVILLE, Ontario – The Upper Canada District School Board held a meeting Thursday evening to decide the fate of eight UCDSB schools. 

On the local docket were Rothwell Osnabruck Secondary School in Ingleside and S.J. MacLeod Public School in South Glengarry, both of which were ultimately slated for closure in Sept. with a landslide 8-3 vote.

Trustee Wendy MacPherson pleaded for fellow trustees to eliminate R.O. from the list.

“R O is a diamond in the rough, and with everyone’s help, Upper Canada District School Board can have a winning JK-12 model we can be proud of,” said MacPherson. “Let’s not let our legacy this term be about closing schools, but about coming together and improving the lives of our students.”

John McAllister also spoke in favour of trustee McPherson’s amendment, encouraging trustees to turn their attention to a better future.

“In my mind, the status quo at Rothwell Osnabruck Secondary School is not an option,” said McAllister. “There are options, and at least part of the solution resides in several key areas. The first of which is programming.”

Discussing the reinstating of French immersion and various digital literacy efforts at R.O., trustee McAllister’s enthusiasm wasn’t enough to convince the board.

Following trustee MacPherson’s amendment, trustee David McDonald urged the board to reconsider, stating that ‘R.O. had its chance.’ In the end, the motion was overruled, with R.O. remaining on the list of schools scheduled for closure.

“It’s nothing against the school, it’s nothing against the community of Ingleside,” said McDonald. “They’ve had an opportunity to see what could happen. And since 2007, the enrollment for secondary continues to go down.”

Subsequent the board’s decision, students from R.O. will be sent to Tagwi in Sept. 2017, while pupils from S.J. MacLeod will attend Williamstown Public School.

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