Parents have stepped up their efforts in a fight to stop a proposed closure of Ladysmith's Ecole Davis Road School.
An online petition started recently by Ladysmith resident Graeme Rouse asks the Town of Ladysmith to work with the trustees to keep open the elementary school, targeted for closure by the Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district. As of Monday, the petition needed 25 signatures to reach its goal of 200.
Dozens of people listed their reasons for signing the petition, most of whom were parents or grandparents from Ladysmith.
Many listed the school's French immersion program and location as assets.
One parent, Charlotte Blean, wrote: "My son attends EDR and we purchased our home solely to be within walking distance to this great school. Why are we forcing people into vehicles and centralizing a growing town?!" Another signer, Jessica Lowry, wrote: "This school is the hub and centre of the south end of Ladysmith where we purchased our home and where our three children will eventually go to school. Should this school close we will look to SD79 or alternatives for education and may consider a move from Ladysmith." Council reviewed the petition at a meeting Monday night, along with a separate letter from a parent on the same topic.
In the letter, Erin Marshall writes that if the school is closed, she will have to drive to town and back every day, which makes things difficult for her as a single mother.
Ecole Davis Road School was targeted for closure along with South Wellington School and North Oyster Elementary School earlier this year in the district's 10-year facilities plan.The proposed closures were intended to deal with decreasing enrolment, ongoing financial problems and the academic performance of students. Council is looking at referring the petition and letter to the board to consider in its ongoing consultations.
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