As a grandparent of six children, I have many concerns about the possible closure of Saar School.
I don't believe that bigger is better.
Teachers become much better acquainted with students in smaller schools. They become much more aware of any problems; whether it be learning, behaviour or physical difficulties.
With Internet and computer technology in all the schools, perhaps the classrooms could interact with classrooms of other schools.
Bussing is a big concern. Bussing to Balgonie involves crossing two highways, and driving on a grid road that has heavy semi truck traffic hauling grain to terminals in Balgonie.
Bussing to White City, could also involve this grid road or other roads that could be a problem during winter and rainy weather, depending on how the routes are designed.
Saar School is like an extended family in the community. Children are accepted by each other; they are friends at school as well as outside the school setting. Seniors are honoured and respected by the children: seniors have been invited to the school to teach crafts, give presentations on life when we were young and also on early pioneer life, showing household items, clothes and tools,. In return the students have a tea for the ladies of the community club, serving lunch and entertaining the ladies with their varied talents. The students serve breakfast to the community at Christmas time.
Seniors also volunteer to read to the students.
This close relationship would be lost if Saar School closed. These activities are also part of education, it teaches many social skills that are necessary in life.
Closing Saar School would be devastating to the community. The town of Kronau has potential for growth, with the subdivisions located on the southeast part of town near the school.
People have purchased lots because we have a school. Closing the school would affect the sale of lots and the growth of our town.
Bussing children to White City or Balgonie could mean children could be on the bus as early as 7:30 or 7:15 a.m. and don't get home until 4:30 p.m. That is a nine hour day which is totally unacceptable for elementary students, especially grades 1-3.
Extra curricular activities would be effected as the students would be on the bus, leaving little time for 4-H, music lessons or just playing.
They could not take part in extra curricular activities at school either as they would be on the bus going home. Parents would have to pick them up; how would this work if the children's activities ended at 4:30 or 5:00 and parents don't get off work till then, what do the children do for that 20-30 minutes it would take to drive from Regina (where 90% of the parents work) to White City or Balgonie (depending on the traffic in Regina it could take and extra half hour to get out of Regina making it 50-60 minutes children would have to wait for pick up)
The school board needs to look at the over all affect on the students and community when making their decisions.
Perhaps, money could be spent more effectively, by looking at the administration expenses, it just may be, that they are too top heavy in that area.
Also, they should lobby the government to spend money on schools and teachers to keep the schools open, instead of heavily funding the bussing of students.
The government used to talk about revitalising rural Saskatchewan. We don't hear that phrase anymore. Does that mean the government is trying to shut down rural Saskatchewan? Closing schools would certainly help to do that.