An update regarding the closure of the Old School Cafe alternate education Program.
A small group of concerned citizens attended the school board meeting in Trail on March 9 to provide copies of a petition containing over 270 signatures requesting public input prior to any closure of this unique program.
During the public question period, I asked the board to consider the benefit to both students and the community of continuing the program and requested that a public forum be held to allow a discussion on issues and solutions rather than just shutting down the program.
Andy Davidoff, president of the Teachers Union indicated he was surprised at the sudden decision and asked the board if they were in breach of their own bylaws and sections of the School Act by closing the program without public consultation as both these statues direct the board to consult with the public and affected parties before permanently closing a school location or alternate education program.
The board chair and superintendent indicated that they were not in conflict but consultation is required and our petition specifically requested a public dialogue.
Petition copies are still trickling in so I estimate that we will have closer to 300 signatures from a wide range of citizens who wanted to seek an alternative to shutting down the cafe and redistributing students. Those signatures were collected in less than two weeks as there was no advance notice of the decision to delete this program from the budget.
Cindy McCallum Miller