With Thames Valley District School Board doing a Pupil Accommodation Review, the
planned solutions offered in the "PAR" bring out the objections of many in the affected
areas. Signage is going up to bring public awareness of the changes proposed under
the current Pupil Accommodation Review that has the following proposed recommendations
to resolve the accommodation issues:
- The closure of 5 Elementary schools: New Sarum, South Dorchester, Sparta, Springfield
and Westminster Central Public Schools.
- School improvements (addition/or renovations/or program enhancements) for Davenport,
McGregor, Northdale Central, Port Stanley and Summers' Corners Public Schools.
- The construction of 2 new elementary schools, located in Belmont and Southeast St.
One issue that becomes a major problem in Southern Central Elgin is that a solution
proposed for the TVDSB Southern Region would shift the attendance area from Sparta
Public School, a school that will be closing, to the Port Stanley Public School,
a school that will get $1,506,000 in renovations to classrooms and educational material.
With costs per student being a major concern, the results of this solution would
lower the costs at the Port Stanley Public School from $3,614.16 currently per student,
to a projected cost of $1,159.73 per student. For comparisons, the Sparta Public
School currently has a cost per student of $1,483.57, with the TVDSB average cost
per student of $1,416.06.
The reasons for these changes, are area growth projections that indicate that Port
Stanley has the potential for growth due to all the new housing developments, while
Sparta shows no signs of growth in that area. Last time there was a Pupil Accommodation
Review, Port Stanley Public School faced many challenges to keep open, and only
through a move of some 91 students from Pierre Elliott Trudeau French Immersion
school to Port Stanley Public School kept it open. If this solution to shift the
Sparta Public School attendance area to Port Stanley goes ahead, it would give Port
Stanley that advantage of having enough student attendance to keep it's school open
for years. Re-purposing of the Sparta Public School could follow once the closure
of the regular track program is finalized, to create a second elementary French
Immersion school in Elgin County. Support from Central Elgin Council will be split,
as some wards gain from the proposed changes, while other wards lose from the closings.