Demonstration Schools Report Stresses Their Importance

BELLEVILLE – The Ministry of Education released the long awaited report into the provincial English Language Demonstration Schools today. The report – which covered four institutions across the province including Sagonaska Demonstration School in Belleville, reiterated many of the points made by the parents and former students of the schools who argued in favour of keeping them open.


“A lot of what is in the report is stuff that parents groups have been saying for months.” Prince Edward-Hastings MPP Todd Smith stated. “They’re the same arguments that I made on the floor of the legislature when we debated the future of demonstration schools in April. These schools are giving kids with a severe learning disability hope for a future.”

The report, which is seventy-five pages in length, analyzes the different supports available at demonstration schools that often aren’t available in home school boards. For example, programs that the government has often touted as possible replacements for the schools are often only available in select school boards in major urban centres leaving children in the rest of the province unserved.

“The government has tried to make this an argument about delivering these services closer to home.” Smith continued. “What the government’s experts have said is that that’s just not possible. Often these programs aren’t available, or the school boards are unaware of them, or they don’t have the resources for them. That’s why demonstration schools are essential to fairness in our education system.”

The Ministry of Education has said it will be making a statement about the schools on Monday.

“I want the Ministry to commit to a future for these schools beyond 2017,” Smith concluded. “Anything less is unacceptable because anything less would be denying a future to these kids.”