School Year 2002 - 2003 Begins Today
|FTLComm - Tisdale - Monday, August 26, 2002|
|The buses were rolling this morning and as you can see in the
pictures below the parking lots which have stood empty since the end of June are
once again full. Most of Saskatchewan schools opened today while the Northern half
of the province (Northern Lights School Division) opened on the fifteenth.
These first few days of the new year are the most exciting for both student and teacher alike as each teacher gets to know the students they will work with this year and the students get their feel of themselves as older, bigger and everything is once again fresh.
As parent working through each day, your kids grow, but the rate is almost unnoticeable, but for the teacher, those two months from the end of one year to the beginning of the next ,are enough to make each kid seem to have sprouted inches, as the process of maturity marches onward.
The challenges for the new school year varies from place to place as so many communities in Saskatchewan are now well past the crunch time as they see their student population growing smaller each year. Last week the news from Herbert School Division was distressing as the parents there see their almost new school, with only one hundred students and that number will shortly fall to sixty.
It is ironic that Canada and rural United States are considered as part of the "developed world" when in fact we are actually going backward in time, as the process of depopulation is moving the great central plains of North American away from development and rapidly toward wilderness.
Chaplan is an example worth looking at as the community serves
a huge rural countryside that once was home to a lot of people, but the farms continue
to increase in size and the number of families grow smaller each year. Yet Chaplain
is on number one highway with a mining operation and some small local industry.
Students ride to school in Chaplain like most Saskatchewan rural students for about
half an hour each morning and night. One hour of each child's day is spent commuting
and Herbert School Division is seriously considering closing Chaplan. The
nearest communities to Chaplan are a full half hour in distance so it is conceivable
that at some point these children will be looking at two hours of commuting to and
from school a day.