Parents and Guardians of Saugeen Shores students gathered at the Plex in Port Elgin earlier this week to voice their concerns about the recent Bluewater District School Board decision to move Grade 7 and 8 students from their elementary schools to Saugeen District Secondary School.
Students at Northport Elementary School and École Port Elgin-Saugeen Central School (ÉPESCS) will be occupying empty space at SDSS beginning in September of next year.
Concerned parent Alison Dickson tells us that the school board didn't feel it was necessary to perform an accommodation review because it ''affects less than 50% of the kids.''
Dickson says that once all the attendees at the meeting knew the decision to move the students is set-in-stone, they wanted to voice their concerns and ensure that the transition will go as smoothly as possible.
Dickson says that she is concerned that a high school setting is too mature for Grade 7 and Grade 8 students, and worries they may be exposed to drugs or other illicit behaviour.
She says that she received information at the meeting from Saugeen Shores and Arran-Elderslie Board Trustee David Mason that the Physics Room, the Drama Room and the Art Room would have to be relocated to accommodate the 7's and 8's.
According to information from the Bluewater District School Board, overcrowding is an issue at both Northport Elementary School and École Port Elgin-Saugeen Central School (ÉPESCS), while SDSS sits at around 63% capacity.
No word yet on whether a new school will need to be built to accommodate future growth, but if so its estimated to take at least 6 years.