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Aweres school to close in June

Wednesday, April 09, 2014   by: Darren Taylor

Algoma District School Board (ADSB) trustees have voted to close Aweres public school at the end of the current school year.

The vote was held during the regular board meeting Tuesday.

Jennifer Sarlo, ADSB Chair, said “it was a tough decision.”

“Any school closure is tough for all of us…in the end we do believe that the best interests of the students will be met through this closure even though it’s a very tough decision.”

The ADSB approved placing Aweres and Etienne Brule public school under Accommodation Review in June 2013.

As part of the Accommodation Review process, a series of public meetings was held to gather feedback from school and community members.

The ADSB was concerned over water quality issues at Aweres and the grouping of its 60 students into classes where three, or even four grades, with students of varying ages, were being taught.

Beginning in September, the former Aweres students will be bused to either Mountain View, Greenwood or Tarentorus public schools, depending on where the students live and parental choices.

Some members of the Aweres school community were concerned over the closing of the school, feeling it had been a long-time community hub.

The ADSB review for Etienne Brule public school is looking at the possibility of closing that school and moving its JK-3 students to other schools beginning in September.

Public meetings have been held in regards to Etienne Brule, and comments are still welcome, Board officials said Tuesday.

A final vote on the future of Etienne Brule public school will be held May 27.

Meanwhile, the Board also approved the proposed organization for its elementary and secondary schools for September 2014.

For grades JK-8, there will be 263 full-time equivalent teaching staff, based on a projected enrolment of 6,141 students.

That compares to 277 full-time equivalent teaching staff for 6,337 students in October 2013.

At the secondary level, subject to Ministry of Education funding and any significant changes in enrolment figures, there will be 265 staff for a projected number of 3,243 students.

That compares to 273 full-time equivalent teachers for 3,414 students, meaning a reduction of eight teachers.

The ADSB’s Alternative Education Program, now known as the Algoma Education Connection (AEC) is projected to have 300 students with 15 teachers in September.

The ADSB has stated it hopes lay-offs will be minimal as a result of attrition, additional retirements and other leaves.

Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
toady 4/9/2014 9:09:26 AM Report

they will retire and come back as supply teachers. so there will no new hires for promising new teachers. old boys club. leave town and go south or north to teach.
brittz 4/9/2014 9:12:51 AM Report

This is very sad for the community in Heyden. This is the latest thing to go down the drain in Heyden, and really there's not much left. Next we're going to hear that crime is up in this area, because the kids will no longer have a that safe haven for recreation, nor the mentorship of the teachers that have become a pillar of this community.
Lovethenorth 4/9/2014 9:21:06 AM Report

This is very sad for the community, but I don't envy the school board in having to make these tough choices. When a school is approaching a one-room-school house status, there's no doubt that the quality of education must be suffering, especially for the grade 7s and 8s. Not to mention you have to pay overhead including principal's salary when that might cover a couple of teachers or science equipment at another school. Convenient location is important, but quality of educational programming trumps that in my book.
KMF61MCF 4/9/2014 9:33:09 AM Report

Oh yes close another School. But the numbers of Management never decreases.With less and less schools one would think the numbers of Management to manage would decrease, but no they continue to fill vacant Management positions.
lizzardskills 4/9/2014 9:46:38 AM Report

I'm not sure how Brule had low enrollment. My daughter's class had 30 some students. Those supposed to be enrolled there, enrolled at other schools. The principal and teaching staff are amazing. If anything they should close a smaller school in the area and relocate them at Brule. There is skating in the winter, swimming and locks in the summer. So much potential in that area. It once had a bad reputation but could be a school envied by many parents.
Louis 4/9/2014 9:47:20 AM Report

This will be a very sad day for the students at Aweres! I am very sad that the school will be closing, we have already lost our store, our restaurant, and now our school. The community of Aweres will be a ghost town in no time. I understand the need to consolidate schools, but this will break the community, which really should have been rebuilt rather than torn apart.
Ski-Dude 4/9/2014 9:51:58 AM Report

This saddens me :( I understand how they did the number crunching here and I do not agree with the oversight of the non-monetary variables like safety :( Sad sad days are upon us when childrens safety takes a back seat to school board budget decreases for services to balance for overpaid staff.
Ski-Dude 4/9/2014 9:53:25 AM Report

@ Louis, not to mention the ski hill and motels!
RET 4/9/2014 10:44:14 AM Report

We fought hard for the school but in the end it felt like it was all for nothing...very sad day for those kids... :(
Sam C 4/9/2014 10:44:57 AM Report

toady... there are very few retired teachers who are supplying. A few retirees will help the situation, but mostly just for those more junior teachers who will be getting "pink-slipped."

The fact is that enrollment is declining.

It is sad when a school closes, especially in a community like Heyden, but it also is difficult to justify keeping a school open for a small number of students.
Prrrrrrr 4/9/2014 11:36:25 AM Report

Sam C...I have to ask how you know so much about EVERYTHING????

I say cut the fat from the top!!!
Frio 4/9/2014 11:57:21 AM Report

60 students at the going rate of 24 students per teacher means they have a need for 2 and 1/2 teachers. Are the educational needs of the students being served by downsizing to fitting everyone into 3 classes with multiple grades being taught by 1 teacher? The days of the 1 to 3 room rural schools is long passed.
superior87 4/9/2014 12:27:46 PM Report

There could be 1 student at the school and people would still complain as soon as they read the words 'school closure'.
Gater 4/9/2014 12:29:27 PM Report

Yes it is sad for all .But very predictable.. Just look and the enrollment #'s .The people are not there ..Its happening in Desbarats/Thessalon .All over the North with more to come .
There are no young couples moving up to these areas.there is no work up here.
Slim Shady 4/9/2014 12:49:50 PM Report

The problem is that people are not living in places like Heyden anymore and having kids! It makes no sense to run a school when you have several age groups housed in one or two classrooms.

Quite blaming the Board for these tough decisions! If you feel so strongly about closures - do your part! HAVE MORE KIDS in the area you live!
cdn.chick 4/9/2014 1:17:51 PM Report

Aweres enrollment was too small, cramming three grades into one room was a bit much. I understand the choices the principal has to make but enough is enough. The schools kids are pretty unfriendly also, a lot of bullying that goes on there. :(
hunti 4/9/2014 1:24:30 PM Report

The school board doesn't care about the kids,and by saying they will be better educated by what,putting them in over polluted classrooms.There are alot of children that have a difficult time learning in school,by putting them in classrooms with 30-40 kids,how the heck do u want them to learn.The only people that gain here r the one's who sit on the board.It's pubic knowledge what they make.An individual with the initials KC,who is the main decision maker here in closing schools had an income of $155.000 income in 2013 with an increase to $173.000 in 2014,so lets see how much her income increases in 2015 now that she is responsible for closing 2 more schools.The only ones who suffer are the kids.The money does not go into the schools to better educate our children it goes into the pockets of the individuals responsible for closing our schools...sad sad sad.....
countrylady1989 4/9/2014 1:36:17 PM Report

@ hunti

I would like to know what school has classes with 30-40 students ?
Louis 4/9/2014 2:34:56 PM Report

The CHILDREN at Aweres are unfriendly?? I have had children at this school for over 9 years now, and have NEVER had a problem with a student bullying my children, nor with my children bullying others. My goodness, what a silly comment, they are children! As for declining enrollment, Im not sure I would credit that to a declining population, and I wonder, now with the sale of two of the trailer parks in the community, if the population is about to rise dramatically? I just wonder if the decision to close happened too quickly?
toady 4/9/2014 2:44:59 PM Report

yes for years money for education did not go to classrooms but into the pockets of teachers and others in control of the money. threaten strike and get a big pay raise. benefits are unbelievable. pension fund is out of this world. compare the benefits to the ordinary working person where a company has to turn a profit in order to give benefits the the worker.
saldog 4/9/2014 2:50:42 PM Report

Louis, just out of curiousity, how would population rise dramatically. I am being sincere in asking this question. (I know it's hard to tell sometimes on these posts).
Do you mean people will look to build where the trailer parks used to be?
Louis 4/9/2014 2:56:01 PM Report

We will have to wait and see, however, it makes you wonder when one person or family is buying up property in one community that does not seem to have very much money making potential, and is not highly populated, what the future plan may be? If that makes sense?
derek 4/9/2014 3:08:10 PM Report

JK-8, there will be 263 full-time equivalent teaching staff, based on a projected enrolment of 6,141 students.

secondary level, there will be 265 staff for a projected number of 3,243 students.

Wow that's 24 students to a teacher in elementary

And 12.2 students to teacher ratio for high school.

these numbers don't add up! Seems wasteful at high school level
ROLAND_ROLLY 4/9/2014 3:14:59 PM Report

Let's keep closing schools so the Superintendints can have the hefty raises !

Sad to see but the Trustees have okay'd everything to date. They are the major problem. Time to show them all the road next election.

Poor Poor Sault Ste. Marie citizens !

Bad water, poor management, poor school board. Not much to be positive about.
muf 4/9/2014 8:59:47 PM Report

If the board had it their way they would close all area schools. Build new schools in the city to attract new residents to a one horse town .
frnlak 4/10/2014 11:37:15 AM Report

Wind mills are going up at Heyden Lake. Maybe this has something to do with this or maybe not. If the parents choose to send their children to Mountainview, will they get more days off in the winter due to road closures? The catholics would have built a new school.
stephy17 4/10/2014 4:08:42 PM Report

which trailer parks are being sold?
Prrrrrrr 4/10/2014 8:56:01 PM Report

countrylady1989 4/9/2014 1:36:17 PM Report

@ hunti

I would like to know what school has classes with 30-40 students ?

Apparently there are 32 or more students at White Pines Intermediate Program.
RET 4/11/2014 8:39:00 AM Report


There are rumours that Rupert Acres and Pioneer Park have been sold to the same family. A big East Indian Family.
stephy17 4/11/2014 12:52:33 PM Report

interesting.. that would definitely shake up the neighbourhood out there
. i think if it were true we would know more about it.
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