SCUGOG: The recent high school teachers’ strike appears to have saved Epsom P.S. for the time being.
The rural school has again avoided closure, with the Durham District School Board recently announcing that is has disbanded its Accommodation Review Committee (ARC).
The six-week strike by public high school teachers in Durham led to the process being put on hold, and on June 1 at a special board meeting, Trustees voted to disband the ARC since it now lacked sufficient time for the review.
Earlier this year, Trustees voted to approve an accommodation review that may have ultimately closed the school. With enrollment at Epsom not expected to exceed 46 students over the next decade, staff from the board had proposed closing Epsom Public School in September 2016, and relocating its students to Prince Albert and Greenbank. Additionally, Prince Albert would accommodate a portion of Grade 7 and 8 students within Epsom’s boundary currently attending S.A. Cawker in Port Perry.
Enrollment has dwindled at Epsom P.S. in recent years, which currently offers classes for kindergarten and Grade 1, as well as Grades 4 through 6. Among the issues stated in the January report from the board was a lack of a gymnasium at the school, which requires students to be bussed to nearby schools for some classes.
Epsom Public School is the oldest school currently in use in Durham, with the original school built in 1876, followed by construction of the current school in 1964, and an addition in 1995.
The school board has not announced whether a new accommodation review process will be undertaken in the future for the schools.
For more information, please visit www.ddsb.ca.