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Board allowing Riverport kids to transfer to Centre

by Stacey Colwell

 RIVERPORT - The South Shore Regional School Board is expecting an exodus of students from Riverport and District Elementary to Centre Consolidated in September.

 "Many families have decided they want their children to move to Centre next year," said superintendent Nancy Pynch-Worthylake during a February 24 meeting at which the board decided to grant transfer requests from Riverport families for the 2010-11 school year made by March 8.

 Students at both schools are eventually expected to attend a new facility in Lunenburg, which is tentatively scheduled to open in December, 2011.

 "We've been working with the school community in terms of what the school would look like and how to respect the wishes of the families between now and when the students go to the new school."

 Riverport currently has 34 students enrolled.

 Until recently, the families of 22 prospective 2010-11 students had told the board they wanted their children to stay at the school until it closes.

 "At this point in time, we have 16," said Ms Pynch-Worthylake.

 All potential Grade Primary, 5 and 6 students have chosen to transfer.

 "We have 13 students in Grades 1 to 3 and three in Grade 4 who would prefer to stay in the school."

 She said the families of all 16 would be contacted to ensure they still plan to stay.

 "We have heard back from four of the 16 and they are undecided."

 According to the board, a March 8 deadline was needed to allow time to implement proper staffing allocations for next school year.

 "Based on our experience this year with a number of transfers throughout the year, we would not allow transfers after March 8 unless there is a significant change in the family's situation which would justify a transfer," said Ms Pynch-Worthylake.

 "That is really just an application of the policy as it exists."

 If nothing changes, staffing is expected to include two teachers in two classrooms.

 The principal and vice-principal at Centre Consolidated would be expected to be the official administration at the school. Meanwhile, there would be a teacher designated as being in charge while the administrators are not on site.

 "So there would be someone on site who could deal with a crisis or any issues that should arise, but technically they would be part of Centre."

 A board member asked the superintendent if the affected families would be satisfied with the plan regarding transfers.

 "Not everyone will be satisfied. When we had our last public meeting, there was a feeling that although there is a high level of discontent that transfers were approved in the past, some of those people - or at least one - didn't want to lose the right to stay now but be able to transfer later, so no, there won't be unanimous support."

posted on 03/02/10
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