DEC Votes To Close Browns Flat Elementary, Keep Norton Elementary Open

Posted on Wednesday, April 29, 2015 22:59 PM

A night of celebration for some and crushing disappointment for others with the Anglophone South District Education council voting to close Browns Flat Elementary and to keep Norton Elementary open.

Browns Flat resident Tracie Kennedy tells us she has a son currently going to the school and she's concerned about the bus commute time to Westfield Elementary. She says the school is what brings the community together and keeps it tightly-knit.

Reverend Donald Dunn, the Baptist Minister in Norton, tells us this was a hard-fought battle. He says that the enrollment in the community is actually going up not going down and that the projection was that 15 kids would be entering kindergarten next year but it's actually 22.

The decisions being made at a special meeting of the DEC which attracted a massive crowd of people many of whom were wearing shirts that said "Norton Elementary SOS Save Our School" and people holding signs that said "Stand up to 409."

The motion to close Browns Flat elementary passed 6-4 while the motion to close Norton elementary was defeated 4-5 with one member of council abstaining from the vote. Chair of the Anglophone South District Education Council Rob Fowler says people around the table were very conflicted and, if nothing else, that shows how much effort the members put into evaluating what they heard and struggling with the decision.

The final decision on whether or not Browns Flat elementary will be closed is now in the hands of the provincial Education Minister Serge Rouselle.