Despite some resistance from the community, the Regina Public School Board voted to close Athabasca School this week, along with the English program at Ecole Massey School. Children from Athabasca can choose to go to Connaught, Argyle or Lakeview. My guess is that most kids living in the neighbourhood will probably go to Lakeview, as it will now be the closest school within walking distance. The Regina Public School Board has made it clear over the past few years with the closing of other schools that had small populations; such as Herchemer and Robert Usher Collegiate that they prefer large educational institutions compared to small community ones. I went to Athabasca (Class of 2005) and loved it. The small population definitely made Athabasca a great school. Teachers, regardless of what grade they taught, knew you by name and took an interest in you. The classes were not overpopulated and extra time and attention was given to you by the teacher because of this. Many parents volunteered their time at Athabasca and as a result of this, you got to know everyone’s parents as well. Small elementary schools strengthen community ties and generate amazing students. The days of the small community school are gone, as school boards across Canada prefer large schools with high populations and a student-to-teacher ratio so high that the teachers aid knows the students better then the teacher does. I am glad that I was able to grow up in a small school, it’s unfortunate to think that the children of the future will never be able to have that experience.