We are writing to you today to express our concern regarding the Upper Canada District School Board’s Pupil Accommodation Review (PAR) Process. The UCDSB’s “Building for the Future” document proposes boundary changes for Tagwi Intermediate / Secondary School. If implemented, Tagwi would lose one third of its student population. Tagwi is not closing. So why are its students being redirected to Cornwall schools?
The Tagwi School Council believes that the loss of one third of the school population will lead to, in the near future, the eventual closure of Tagwi. As part of the PAR process, delegations and individuals have been providing alternative solutions to the proposals in “Building for the Future.” While Tagwi is not located in South Stormont, a portion of its population hails from communities such as Bonville, St. Andrews, Newington, Lunenburg, and Long Sault.
The Tagwi Protect Our Boundaries Committee is concerned with alternative proposals that have been espoused and presented to the UCDSB that subscribe to the view that South Stormont students belong in South Stormont schools. The Tagwi: Protect Our Boundaries committee believes that looking at school boundaries based on current municipal boundaries is both flawed and problematic. Tagwi was established in 1974 to offer residents of the former Finch, Roxborough, Cornwall, and Kenyon townships a facility where improved educational programming could be attained. Currently, Tagwi has the highest Grades 7-12 enrollment of all intermediate/high schools in SD&G. As such, academic and extracurricular programming at Tagwi is reflective of the diverse needs of a student population in a rural setting. Specialist High Skills Major programs (SHSM) in both Agriculture and Construction are offered in concert with a thriving and vibrant co-operative education program. Over fifty students take co-op throughout the academic year in diverse range of sectors, throughout SD&G and Eastern Ontario. In fact, Tagwi is in an ideal geographic location; the centre of SD&G and along highway 138 (the main corridor between Cornwall and Ottawa). Tagwi also has a thriving French Immersion program and is part of a thriving bilingual community. SD&G are referred to as the three United Counties. As such, it should not be assumed that all South Stormont residents be restricted to attend schools within South Stormont. Community identities are important and Tagwi has established a distinct community and cultural identity over the last 40 years with residents of both South Stormont and North Stormont having shaped it in equal and important ways. Perhaps then, part of Tagwi’s success is found in the root of its name “The Meeting Place.”
Tagwi: Protect Our Boundaries