Thursday, June 4, 2009

School obituaries

The Simcoe Reformer published this article Wednesday regarding the last few weeks of classes at Windham Central Public School, a Grade 7/8 school in Norfolk County. Reporter Dan Pearce did a great job of covering the bases, speaking to adults and kids affected by the pending closure.
"What's the point of going to a school one year and go back to your other school?" said Grade 7 student Rodney Boodram, 12, who will return to Delhi Public School in September.
Grade 8 student Bailey Henwood said most students are against the closure.
"A lot of us are not happy about it because we've been here and it's been amazing," said Henwood, 14, of Vanessa. "It's so great to come to school with your own group. We have lockers and don't have to do things with little kids.
"I think it's terrible."
As we approach the final few weeks of the school year, there will be several similar articles regarding the last weeks of classes at schools impacted by the first rounds of accommodation reviews across the province.
There are a few more examples (here, and here) from the neighbouring Thames Valley, where school closure ceremonies are being held in these weeks for the handful of schools that won't reopen in September (a few will, but will then close around Christmas).
These are important stories to tell, and it would be a shame if the majority of my colleagues out there simply overlooked these stories. In many cases, the facilities that are closing were either built at the start of the 20th century or when the last large round of consolidations from one- and two-room schoolhouses happened in the 1950s and 1960s.