School closures up for discussion

Following recommendations to close Alexander MacKenzie and Sixth Street Schools here, and pleas not to shut down Alberton Central, the committee of the whole of the Rainy River District School Board will meet tonight to further discuss the issue.
The board officially received reports from various sub-committees at its Dec. 18 meeting, at which time it was clear there wasn’t a consensus on whether all three schools should be closed in favour of an expanded J.W. Walker.
The committee of the whole tonight is expected to discuss the pros and cons of this possible consolidation, and may make a recommendation based on any decisions resulting from the discussion.
“Since the last meeting, there’s been no outside discussion on the matter. The board has to do this in a formal, open way,” Superintendent of Education Terry Ellwood said this morning.
Any recommendation then would be presented to the board at its next regular meeting Jan. 15, or possbily its February meeting.
If the recommendation is to close all three schools, and the board approved it, the board then would have to make an “intent to close” motion, at which time trustees would pursue more public input.
After that, the board then could make a motion to “approve to close,” likely by June.
But several Alberton residents, representing the Alberton Central School school closure sub-committee, last month refused to recommend their school be closed.
Tonight’s meeting starts at 7 p.m. in the board office at Robert Moore School.