Wade Settle says that if the District Education Council decides to close Dorchester Consolidated School, Dorchester students will lose access to the school breakfast program.

Dorchester resident, parent, and long-term volunteer with Dorchester Consolidated School’s breakfast program, Settle is a member of the ad-hoc committee that formed last week to try to save Dorchester Consolidated School, a K-8 facility in the village of Dorchester, New Brunswick. The school is currently subject to a sustainability study that will evaluate whether or not the school will remain open. Anglophone East District Education Council chair Tamara Nichol said in an interview last week that the sustainability study came about when the Minister of Education encouraged districts to “look for efficiencies” and reduce spending.

Settle says he’s concerned that the logistics of bringing students who live in Dorchester to neighbouring Sackville for school would prohibit them from being involved in the before-school breakfast program, or after-school extracurriculars. “As it stands,” says Settle, “my high schooler’s bus arrives at Tantramar High after the bell rings.” He’s also concerned that the above-average rate of parental involvement in enrichment activities, which enables art activities, concerts, and a survival skills class, is jeopardized by the potential transfer of Dorchester Consolidated’s 66 students to Sackville-area schools.

“I believe that this is an attack on rural New Brunswick,” says Settle. “It’s not for the good of the students, its about the province’s bottom line.”