There are many reasons why the citizens of Albert County, NB, fought to keep Riverside Consolidated School open. A school closure would result in fewer young people in the region, a smaller pool of workers, a drop in property values. The most significant impact, however, would be felt by the elementary students in our region. Read more below.
When people visit the Fundy shore for the first time, they’re often overwhelmed by the tide. The water comes in stronger and faster than they expect.
I suspect the District Education Council had a similar feeling last night as a wave of people swept into the Riverside-Albert Recreation Centre. Nearly 400 adults (along with many babies and young children) attended the public meeting about the future of Riverside Consolidated School. With an enrollment of fewer than fifty students, the K-5 school is on the list of schools that might be closed as early as June 2015...but not if the people of Albert County can help it.
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Last week, members of the Anglophone East School District (AESD) and the District Education Council (DEC), passed a motion to commence with a sustainability study on two rural schools – Riverside Consolidated School and Dorchester Consolidated School.
Tasked with finding greater efficiencies within the education system, they chose to examine infrastructure cuts instead of programming.
Riverside Consolidated School, located in Riverside-Albert, serves the communities of Riverside-Albert, Alma and surrounding areas. The results of the study could lead to the permanent closure of the school as early as June 2015.
**Note: the public meetings are posted on the Connecting Albert County Calendar.**
The detailed time line of meetings and decisions can be found here.
Within hours of receiving news that Riverside Consolidated School was one of two rural schools being considered for closure as early as this September, a Save Riverside School Facebook page had over 1250 members. Social media provided a gathering place for comments and information-sharing. Parents and former students posted photos and chimed in on their concerns, their memories, their special teachers and their worries about what this would mean to the community.
But they also chimed in with their ideas.
Culture & Heritage
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