SCUGOG: Immaculate Conception Catholic School is set to close at the end of this school year as the Durham Catholic District School Board approved consolidation with Good Shepherd Catholic School.
The decision was made by the Board of Trustees at a special board meeting on Wednesday, May 4. Students of Immaculate Conception will be directed to Good Shepherd for the 2016/2017 school year.
The board had begun the process of a pupil accommodation review of the schools in late January, after both had been found to have been operating below capacity. Immaculate Conception has been operating with 90 students this year and Good Shepherd has 98. Kathy LeFort, the Trustee of Uxbridge, Scugog and Brock said that there was overwhelming support at the public meetings for consolidation.
“Because of the positive feedback from the community, it made the decision a lot easier,” she said.
Chair of the board Theresa Corless said in a press release that this decision was best for all Catholic school students in Scugog.
“We are blessed to have wonderful Catholic families in the Township of Scugog, who have demonstrated their commitment to Catholic education,” she said. “We believe that the amalgamation of the two school communities will result in a strong and vibrant Catholic school in Port Perry.”
Some of the reasons outlined in the initial staff report to keep Good Shepherd open included that the school has a greater capacity for students, there are operating child care facilities at the site and it is more compliant with accessibility standards.
Ms. LeFort told The Standard that the Board of Trustees will wait for a report to come to them before making a decision on what to do with the vacant building.
She also added that the decision to consolidate did take into account the possibility of future population growth in Port Perry.
“We looked at the long term enrolement projections when this decision was made,” she said.
The local trustee also stressed that this change will have a positive effect for Scugog students.
“We are looking forward to September, when the school community is providing positive programming for students,” Ms. LeFort said. “It is going to be an excellent school.”