Wildwood, Lac la Hache restructuring proposed

In a split vote Tuesday evening, the School District 27 board introduced a proposal to downsize both Wildwood and Lac la Hache elementary schools for a total saving of approximately $270,000 per year.

In a split vote Tuesday evening, the School District 27 board introduced a proposal to downsize both Wildwood and Lac la Hache elementary schools for a total saving of approximately $270,000 per year.The proposal is to keep the kindergarten to Grade 3 students at both schools but send the older students in grades 4 to 7 to other elementary schools within a 10 to 15 minute bus ride away.The grades 4 to 7 students at Wildwood would attend Cataline elementary. The grades 4 to 7 students at Lac la Hache elementary would attend 108 Mile elementary.The board will hold public consultation meetings prior to making a final decision on the proposals.There are currently only 38 students attending Lac la Hache elementary and 208 students attending Mile 108 elementary. Trustee Pete Penner said there was only one Grade 4 student at Lac la Hache this year and that student moved to Mile 108 to be with other students in the same grade.This year there are only 31 students at Wildwood and 301 students attending Cataline.  Keeping the younger students at both Wildwood and Lac la Hache schools meets concerns expressed in public consultation sessions held by the board last year about young children having a longer than necessary bus ride to school, while meeting budget challenges resulting from falling enrolment.Trustees Patricia Baker and Will Van Osch opposed the proposal as being premature. They felt the decision should be made in the context of the 10-year plan which the board and staff are currently working to develop.In a press release following the meeting the board states: “In some ways, we look at this as a ‘best of all possible worlds’ solutions. There is significant cost savings, the school presence is maintained in the local community, and there are real advantages for our students as the district can continue to provide the educational supports and programs for our students which we know everyone values.”