At the January 16th Board Meeting, Algoma District School Board (ADSB) Trustees approved Three Rivers JK-12 School as the name for the new, ADSB JK-12 School in Blind River. This came out of the process which was followed by the Naming School Ad Hoc Committee which was established earlier this year. Meanwhile, the Conseil Scolaire du Grand Nord school will be named École publique des Pins Blanc. The schools will be housed jointly in one building, but will each enjoy their own unique identities.
ADSB Trustee Debbie Shamas, a member of ADSB’s Naming School Committee, provided an overview of the process. In 2017, as part of ADSB’s Capital Plan, a submission was made for a new JK-12 school in Blind River, which would be a joint-use project with Conseil Scolaire du Grand Nord. The project was approved in 2018. Delays were encountered due to the pandemic as well as several requests for re-submissions, and as such the project did not go to tender until January 2023. However, the process to
name the school began in the spring of 2023 with, as per Board policy, the establishment of the Naming School Committee. The Committee consisted of a cross section of individuals including representatives from both Blind River Public School (BRPS), WC Eaket (WCE) Secondary and community partners. The Naming School Committee included:
- two Board Appointed Trustees
- one Superintendent of Education
- two school administrators (one each from BRPS and WCE Secondary)
- two staff representatives (one each from BRPS and WCE Secondary)
- parent representative from school council (one each from BRPS and WCE
- two students (one each from BRPS and WCE Secondary)
- one community member
- one indigenous representative
In October 2023, a public campaign was launched. Community members, students and staff were invited to submit name suggestions for the new ADSB school in Blind River through an online form or by submitting a hard copy entry. ADSB’s Naming Schools Policy outlines criteria for naming the school and states that names of any new ADSB school are to be chosen from:
a) the name of the street on which the school will be located
b) a feature of the district which the school serves
c) a historical name that once applied to the area
d) wording that is supportive of ADSB’s mission, vision, and values and meets the best interests of the school’s students.
Forty-three school name entries were received along with the entrants’ rationale for the name and, through a public ranking system, the choices were short listed to 5 names. The short list was also reviewed and ranked by the Naming School Committee. The community and committee rankings were two sources of information which allowed the Naming School Committee to arrive at consensus of names that were forwarded to Director Reece including the recommended name.
Trustee Shamas shared that the Committee was pleased to put forward Three Rivers JK-12 School as the top choice as the name positively represents the three rivers of the area (the Mississauga River, Blind River and Serpent River), the three languages (English, Ojibway and French) and the three communities (Iron Bridge, Blind River and Serpent River) that the school will serve. The school will include 381 JK-12 spaces, 64 childcare spaces and 72 French-language elementary spaces for families in the region