For many years, high school students in Atikokan have benefited from having a school bus based there.
This bus has had numerous uses, both curricular and extra-curricular. Its use has been an integral part of the education the Rainy River District School Board provides in Atikokan.
It is hardly conceivable this could be taken away without materially affecting the curriculum provided by the high school in Atikokan.
The school board’s policy is that it will not operate buses more than 12 years old. The bus is now 12 years old. But while it seems to be a simple matter of replacing this bus, apparently the Rainy River District School Board is considering not replacing the bus—leaving the students of Atikokan high and dry.
One can only conclude the Rainy River District School Board trustees just don’t understand how important this bus is to Atikokan High School. This bus is vital to so many of the programs offered in Atikokan, including its famous “Outers” program.
The bus also is used in the Natural Resources Technology course, as well as the Careers course, the Tourism course, and the Food and Nutrition course.
This bus allows students to enter music competitions, and it allows Atikokan teams to participate in a variety of sports within Atikokan and to travel to other communities to participate in out-of-town league play.
It has transported students to southern Ontario for OFSAA tournaments. Last year, it even was used to transport students from across the district so they could take part in the Young Women’s Conference in Sioux Narrows.
No one who truly understands what this bus means to the students of Atikokan could conceive of its removal.
The teachers of Atikokan High School, as well as their colleagues throughout Rainy River District, strongly urge the board to maintain the bus service at Atikokan High School. No one who cares about education could contemplate anything else.
Rudolf K.F. Zeitlhofer
Political Action Officer