Report outlines options, not threats

By Penny Coles, Niagara Advance

While those who want to protect their interests were being urged to speak against the report on NDSS presented at this week's special council meeting, the real message of the report was being lost in the frenzy. Of course the Catholic board doesn't want to lose its students-and their funding-to a brand new facility in NOTL. Ditto for Eden representatives.

But nobody is trying to close Holy Cross, or Eden for that matter. A high school with religious education would actually offer more choice for NOTL students who might wish that alternative close to home, and would also allow our NDSS students to retain a choice that others have, that is now being taken away from them.

In the hysteria of reaction to the report and the threat some of the options are perceived to present, the fact that none of it is particularly new or radical also seems to have been forgotten. A Mennonite pastor has already offered to come on board, and Eden students for years studied their Grade 13 courses at NDSS. There are other schools in our board and across the province, highly lauded, combining Catholic and public education on one site. And there are schools within our board also drawing praise for combining elementary and high school education. The strategy committee is presenting possible solutions to boost NDSS enrolment with various programming options hoping for an extension. The difference is it now wants to take those options to the province.

It all seems so simple, so obvious. Let's hope the ministry of education sees the report and gets that.

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