June 11, 2013                                                                                       

 Trustees Continue Long Term Planning: Decide Outcome of Lake Erie Review

For the first time in nearly 40 years, the District School Board of Niagara will seek to build a new high school in the region. At their meeting on June 11, Trustees of the Board approved a motion that will see a new 750 student high school constructed in the Fort Erie area. The new school will unite the Fort Erie Secondary School (FESS) and Ridgeway-Crystal Beach High School (RCBHS) communities. In their decision, Trustees also determined there would be no changes to Port Colborne High School, leaving the historic school to continue its tradition of supporting students.

“Although declining enrolment creates significant challenges for our Board, it also provides us with an opportunity to renew and reenergize our system for the next fifty years,” said Kevin Maves, DSBN Chair. “By bringing together the populations of FESS and RCBHS, students will have more opportunity to experience success both inside and outside of the classroom.”

Trustee for Fort Erie and Port Colborne, Dave Schaubel was similarly pleased with the outcome of the Accommodation Review. “In this case, the ARC report and the report of Senior Administration arrived at very similar recommendations. I think that speaks to a process that engaged the community, valued feedback and was focused on creating a positive outcome for students.”

Combining the populations of FESS and RCBHS will help to counteract the effects of declining enrolment. A school with over 700 students will be able to offer a wider range of academic and extracurricular programs that students have expressed a strong desire for. Additionally, a new school will incorporate the latest educational technologies.

The decision to build the new school is contingent on receiving Ministry approval and funding.  Assuming approval is granted in a timely fashion, the Board will endeavor to open the new school in September, 2017. Students will continue to attend their current schools in the interim.

DSBN Director of Education Warren Hoshizaki offered his thanks to all participants for the time and effort they dedicated to this process. “By working in concert with students, parents and the community, the DSBN’s vision of ‘Achieving Success Together’ is truly realized,” said Hoshizaki.