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Councillor Sloane and District 12 Parents Send Out " SOS" to Community

(Monday, March 25/2002)-- Parents in the Gottingen/Brunswick Street area of Halifax are sending out an S-O-S (Save Our School) to the residents of District 12, urging them to attend a meeting of the Halifax Regional School Board tonight regarding the closure of Joseph Howe School, Councillor Dawn Sloane said today.

Councillor Sloane said "It is imperative that the residents attend this meeting to show the Board their disapproval. Education is a right for all children and closing community schools harms a neighbourhood's ability to attract new families, residents and businesses."

The Councillor said there has been a considerable increase in new development in District 12 during the past few years, so the need to maintain the status quo for schools is even more pressing. Statistics show there were 920 new housing units constructed in District 12 between the years 1998-2000. Figures for 2001 are not yet available.

She said there are nine classrooms being used in Joseph Howe School-the remaining one is used as a multi-purpose room. The teacher/student ratio at the school is between 17-20 students per classroom and Joseph Howe School has the only daycare in the area for disabled children. Annual maintenance costs for the school are approximately $40,000.

The Councillor said "I don't see any sense in closing down this school, just for the sake of the School Board saying it closed schools. The School Board is just going to herd these kids into other schools and cause overcrowding. We all know that overcrowded conditions do not help with the learning process."

The meeting regarding closure of Joseph Howe School will be held at the school this evening, beginning at 7 p.m.


Councillor Dawn Sloane
(902) 488-4812

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