A new attendance zone for two west-end schools was approved by the Rainy River District School Board at its regular meeting here last night.
Trustees approved the new Riverview/Sturgeon Creek Attendance Zone to be established to match the existing east boundary of the grey zone, which is the Morley Dilke/Forrester Road, and that students on and west of this road would have a home school zone of Riverview School.
Trustee David Kircher explained the School Attendance Zone review was established by trustees by resolution on Jan. 6 to review the option generated by administration, offer suggestions and revisions, and receive community feedback.
A review committee was formed and met on Jan. 12 and March 23, with public consultations being held Feb. 24 and March 9.
Kircher indicated the recommendation was made to eliminate the grey zone to provide transportation without special board consideration to attend Riverview School as the proposed new boundary supports shorter ride times to Riverview School than to Sturgeon Creek School of 30-45 minutes.
He also noted the committee reviewed all information received during the consultation process, and had an in-depth discussion on the feedback in relation to the administration option and what was in the best interest of the students in the area.
“The committee came to the consensus that they support the new attendance zone line to be the Morley Dilke/Forrester Road,” Kircher said in his report.
“The committee also came to the consensus that students on and west of the Morley Dilke/Forrester Road would have a home school zone of Riverview School.”
The finance committee made the aforementioned recommendation, which then was approved by the board.
Board chair Dianne McCormack said the review was the first formal attendance boundary review as outlined in Policy 6.20 (School Attendance Zones).
“I would like to express the board’s appreciation to everyone who participated in the review process,” she remarked.
“We thank administration for identifying the need for the boundary review, which was to provide transportation services within the Joint Transportation Policy without special consideration.
“But more important, to reduce bus ride times for students to support their well-being.”
McCormack thanked everyone who provided input, and noted the committee took all information into consideration in order to “fulfil their responsibility of making a recommendation which was in the best interest of students.”
She acknowledged the difficulty the voting committee members had in weighing the needs of the individual against those of the majority.
“There was no one decision that could make everyone happy,” McCormack conceded.
“But the recommendation made by the committee, and the resolution now passed by the board, will benefit students on both sides of the new attendance zone boundary line with reduced bus ride times,” she noted.