For months, parents of students at the Rockets school have been mobilizing to save the establishment. The city of Cherbourg wants to turn it into a leisure center. A petition has gathered enough signatures to open a debate in the city council on Thursday.
†A rural school in the city“. This is how parents describe the establishment near the green area of Vallon des Roquettes, in Octeville. The school itself is lined with trees. “The town hall of Cherbourg communicates a lot about its desire to make its schools greener. Look how overgrown it is here: no work is planned“, the father of three launches before starting the lesson. The city has other plans in its boxes for the settlement. This lush vegetation, she believes, would make an ideal setting for the Children’s Village (now located in rue Victor Hugo ), a leisure center dedicated to extracurricular time.
This project is part of the master plan for public schools. The city, owner of 41 school buildings, is launching a renovation and refurbishment plan for this park over several mandates. It is also promised that other schools on Cherbourg territory will close. Without provoking as much resistance as at Rockets’ school. †For months we multiplied the steps to inform the citizens” explains Kiliane Ledanois, who represents the parents of students, ”Systematically the people we met thought it was a staffing problem and that the National Education was responsible for the closure when indeed it was a choice of the town hall.†
This Monday morning, at the entrance of the school, the towing work is in full swing. A decisive week is approaching for the future of the establishment. After a first petition collected 1,400 signatures but was rejected by the municipality, the parents launched a second on the city’s citizen participation platform. And have exceeded the 800 signatures needed to open a new debate in the city council next Thursday. Kiliane Ledanois will be present to present the arguments for the preservation of the school of Les Roquettes.
A school in the countryside, but also with a human touch, the parents begged, this Monday morning our team met on the edge of the establishment, which today has 90 pupils, divided into double classes. †We have a teaching team that has been around for many years, who knows the children by heart, especially children with disabilities, for whom being in a small structure where everyone knows each other facilitates exchange and inclusion.“, Kiliane Ledanois points out, “The school works well, the results prove it for the kids going to university.“A father confirms:”The size of the school creates an interesting dynamic that must adapt to the children, at the pace of each. This is our third child to attend school here. We have been very satisfied with this school for ten years now.†
Ten-year-old Mael will be attending primary school for the last time next year before heading off to university. †Because we are not many, there is not much effort and it suddenly creates a good atmosphere.“explains the boy, “There are good comrades, good friends, I like it here. Separating the children is also what the parents of students want to avoid.Here are many children of abnormalities because they are with childminders. It’s called babysitting school. When the school closes, the children will be separated and divided between schools around Cherbourg. We want them to continue their education together“, emphasizes Kiliane Ledanois.
These children are taking part in the rally organized this Thursday at 4.30 pm in front of the town hall where the city council is held. †The children are very affected. We had construction sites down the street and they thought it was to demolish the school. It was violent for them to learn that (the closing) through the press. It is necessary that they be there to hear the verdict and perhaps there is an awareness of elected officials“, estimates the representative of the parents of students.