Home and school considers future closures in Mount Stewart, Morell area

Parents do not advocate closing schools but want report in place for that eventuality

Steve Sharratt comment@theguardian.pe.ca
Published on January 7, 2014
Mount Stewart Consolidated School
Submitted photo

MOUNT STEWART — Three home and school groups have taken steps to compile a report regarding the possible and future closing of another small school in eastern Prince Edward Island.

“We’re not proposing the closure of any school,’’ said home and school president Linda Craig. “But we’re certainly aware that such a thing could happen sometime in the future.”

The report is a joint effort with home and school groups of Mount Stewart Consolidated, Morell Consolidated and the Morell Regional High School where enrolment numbers have dipped to 164, 198 and 226 in that order.

The province took steps to close 10 small schools in 2009 in an effort to reduce expenses and consolidate services. The closures caused major controversy at the time.

“If enrolment continues to drop we all know the government will likely consider another cutback one day and so we wanted to prepare our own report on what to do about it,’’ said Craig, noting the options are now being discussed.

The home and school discussed the issue Monday night and some residents say they fear Mount Stewart school is already earmarked and would get the axe since Morell consolidated is closer to the regional high school.

The recommendation to close the Mount Stewart school is a last resort, says Craig.

“It’s one of many contained in a report that we don’t agree with,’’ she said. “We’re not proposing that our school be closed, but it is suggested as the last resort in this report.”

Craig said there is a community controversy over any school closure and Mount Stewart does not agree with the recommendation.

Craig said the report is simply a discussion paper and there has been no vote or decision made.