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Land of Lakes student Madeline Gray, 13, speaks to the NNDSB at public deputation. (Photo By: Melissa Candelaria)

The Near North District School Board has a dig decision to make. Do they go with their recommendation to close M.A. Wittick and Magnetawan Central and send the Grades 7 and 8 students to high school? Or do they go with the Burk’s Falls ARC recommendation to only close M.A. Wittick and send all the Grades 7 and 8s back to their feeder schools.

Trustees heard from the public at a deputation meeting and Land of Lakes Public School in Burk’s Falls last night. Board Chair David Thompson says this is going to be a tough decision.

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Magnetawan’s mayor is offering a partnership with the Near North. Sam Dunnett spoke at the deputation asking trustees not to close MagnetawanCentralSchool. Dunnett says, the town’s various service clubs want to help.

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Grade school students in Almaguin don’t like the idea of possibly moving to the high school either. Land of Lakes student Madeline Gray told the board she was uneasy about having students her age deal with much older students. The 13-year-old outlined her experience going from her elementary school to a middle school last year and how it would have been much worse if she had to do her 7/8 year in high school.

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Trustees heard from over 20 people pleading their case against the board’s recommendation. The board is expected to meet on June 24th.