My son attends a tiny, rural elementary school, grades Primary through sixth.
We (B and I) love that he is able to go to school where his father went to school, that he knows all his teachers, that the school is located a house away from his grandfather's house.
We love that he is so loved there, that he's soaking up everything like a sponge, that everyone there is so interested in our boys' future.
Tonight I attended a meeting about a report commissioned by the school board to discuss school utilization. Our tiny little school has less-than-optimal enrollment, and costs the province an over-average amount to keep running.
In the past, studies like this have been the beginning of efforts to close the school - and the beginning of prolonged efforts by the community to keep the school open, to not let the doors close and keep this bit of history alive. How many people can say they went to a country school with individualized attention?
Now, this isn't the last meeting, and no final recommendations have been made. If they close down the village school, the primary students would be on a bus first thing in the morning for a minimum of an hour and fifteen minutes* one way - a bit long to send little ones, think? Especially since they'd have the same ride home. Kindergarten children, on a bus for over two hours?**
The school also has a LOT of community support. The village has (for amenities) a post office, a church, a fire hall and a store - noone wants to see the school close down.
But pocketbooks and assimilation mentalities may rule the day.
This may be a battle. But we'll fight, to keep our kids childhoods' local and complete.
*No, we don't live an hour and change away from the nearest other school. But with circuitous bus routing, that 's the amount of time the Bus Garage came up with.
**And guess who'd be on that bus? Miss Rosey-Posey herself, as any changes would start the year she enters school.