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Killarney's St. Joseph school may face accommodation review

By: Heidi Ulrichsen - Sudbury Northern Life

 | Feb 19, 2014 - 4:40 PM |
Killarney's St. Joseph Catholic Elementary School, which has less than 20 students, may be the next Sudbury Catholic District School Board school put under an accommodation review. File photo.

Killarney's St. Joseph Catholic Elementary School, which has less than 20 students, may be the next Sudbury Catholic District School Board school put under an accommodation review. File photo.

No school probes for now, however: Sudbury Catholic

The Sudbury Catholic District School Board won't do any accommodation reviews of its schools — at least for now. Trustees passed the motion Feb. 18.

However, Jody Cameron, the board's chair, said an accommodation review of St. Joseph Catholic Elementary School in the village of Killarney could be launched in the coming months.

He said the school's roof needs to be replaced, which could cost $500,000. St. Joseph has less than 20 students, and is used as the board's outdoor education centre.

“Should we be investing half a million dollars into a school that has less than 20 students, or should we be looking at alternate ways to provide education to those students?” Cameron said.

Accommodation reviews involve an often-controversial process where school boards seek public input on reducing surplus space in schools.

They sometimes result in school closures, as was the case for several of Sudbury Catholic's elementary schools over the past five years. The same is true of Sudbury Catholic's English public counterpart, the Rainbow District School Board.

Under its policies, the Sudbury Catholic board must pass a motion each year, stating its intentions regarding accommodation reviews.

Even though the board decided not to launch any accommodation reviews right now, that doesn't mean it can't do so at a future meeting.

For now, though, Cameron said the board is still busy implementing outcomes of past accommodation reviews.

This includes the upcoming construction of a new St. David Catholic Elementary School, a new elementary school next to St. Charles College, and an addition to St. Charles to accommodate Grade 7 and 8 students.

Sudbury Catholic director of education Catherine McCullough said it would also be unwise to launch any accommodation reviews now because the province has promised to change the process.

“It would be great for us to undertake our next review under the new process,” she said.

Did you know?

Sudbury Catholic District School Board's enrolment is projected to drop by 281 students by the 2016-17 school year.
Heidi Ulrichsen

Heidi Ulrichsen

Staff Writer

@heidi_ulrichsen

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