Archived Letter – 326

Concern for All Rockwood Students, NOT just the French Immersion Children Dear Editor I am very upset over the current decision made by the Upper Grand District School board over the boundary review for French Immersion students from Rockwood now being shipped off to Brisbane. Our families decision to move to Rockwood two years ago was based on our daughter attending school in Guelph for the FI program. We NEVER would have moved here if we had known that she would be send to Brisbane and eventually Erin schools. The distance is far too great for a 4 year old to travel on the bus 2 hours a day, every day. I know that they say it will only be a 25 minute bus ride but they have not indicated or accounted for extra pickups along the route, which I am assuming there will be. Never mind the fact that the kids will be forced to attend grade 7-8 at Erin and high school as well, which is an even greater distance. She will not get home until well after 4 pm and then is expected to have down time and to do homework as well. Currently the children that go to Edward Johnson arrive in Rockwood at approximately 3:40pm. As a parent to two children under 4, 20 minutes is a world of difference. I also own a small business in Rockwood. If I choose to drive my daughter (even though my tax dollars go to her bussing) I would have to close my store every day for 1.5 hours to get her. We live in a small town and most people would be understanding but that is no way for anyone to run a business. As it has been said before by many parents, Rockwood is tied to the community of Guelph, not Erin. We have no issues with the community of Erin and the schools in their area. But we are strongly tied to Guelph. It is a matter of distance; a matter of afterschool activities; it is a matter of the environment (increased emissions based on extra driving to her school and then to Guelph for everything else). As a parent I have to look to her future education. How is she to get a part time job when she wont get home until after 4 on the bus and then I will have to drive her to a job she will have in Guelph. I see no job growth in Erin in 10-15 years. In being realistic she will have to get a job in Guelph. We moved here to further our daughters education but I cannot rationalize forcing her to be on a bus for so long and travel so far to school. To say I am disappointed to not enrol her in the FI program is a gross understatement. I am disappointed that other options were not truly investigated. I am disappointed that this decision was rushed through in two months over the holiday season. I am disappointed that Erins lack of student enrolment is affecting Rockwoods children. I do not believe that they will stop at the FI kids and eventually all children from Rockwood Centennial will be sent to Erin as well, so this is not just a FI issue. It is an issue for all parents of Rockwood.

Lisa Clarke