Grade 7 and 8 students from Robert Moore School will be going to Fort Frances High School this fall.
That’s the decision that came out of the Rainy River District School Board’s monthly meeting last night in Atikokan. The School Attendance Zone Review Committee presented their report to the board with the recommendation that the motion to increase the Fort Frances High School attendance boundary zone to include Robert Moore School be approved.
The school board has been examining the possible extension of the attendance boundary zone for the High School to include Robert Moore for some time now. Students from J.W. Walker were moved to the High School at the beginning of the 2017-18 school year.
The school board had considered moving the Robert Moore students at that time as well, but that decision was postponed.
One of the major factors listed by the committee for re-considering the attendance zone review was recent developments in the Robert Moore School Daycare Project. According to the report prepared by the committee, the plans for a new daycare centre came back overbudget, and with the current climate of funding decreases by the provincial government, the committee wrote that further funding to cover these costs would not be available.
However, the committee also noted that the current Kindergarten wing of Robert Moore school was larger than the proposed daycare centre, and moving the Grade 7/8 students from Robert Moore to the High School would make room for the Kindergarten programs at a much reduced cost compared to a new building.
Other factors listed by the committee include increased support for extracurriculars and sports for intermediate students at the High School, as well as increased availability of programs French as a second language, Ojibwe and Special Education.
The committee held a community consultation on April 9 at the high school library. At the consultation, parents were presented the proposed recommendation, allowed to field questions, and then taken on a tour of the intermediate wing of the high school.
From the public consultation, the committee noted that it received four submissions of feedback. Three of these were opposed to the move, and one was an inquiry on the availability of transportation.
Now that the school boundary attendance zone change has been approved, the board will work with staff, students and parents to begin planning the move and holding transition events.
The board will also begin the planning process of renovating Robert Moore school to accommodate the daycare program.