Tech center could save Oxford-on-Rideau: parent

Parent Brent Lekx-Toniolo makes a presentation to the Upper Canada school board in Kemptville, Ont. Thursday March 2, 2017. Lekx-Toniolo is proposing the Oxford-on-Rideau school be a home for a technology center. (UCDSB/Livestream via Newswatch Group)

KEMPTVILLE – A parent, who works in the tech sector, believes making Oxford-on-Rideau Public School a place for hi-tech learning could save the school.

Brent Lekx-Toniolo, who has two daughters Addyson and Taylor, included robots in his presentation to trustees Thursday night in Kemptville, Ont.

“We are not going to rest on our laurels,” Lekx-Toniolo said in his proposal to keep the North Grenville school.

He also cited the growing world of tech devices within the population and the amount of programming needed to run various devices. His presentation cites 7.7 billion devices in a world of 7.24 billion people in 2014. Projections in the presentation estimate it will be 12.16 billion devices and 7.5 billion people in 2018.

And people are needed to program those devices.

Lekx-Toniolo said a commitment from various resources such as, Scratch and SPRK – as well as the company he works for – would help open a rural located tech based learning center.

“A rural environment offers a unique opportunity to teach children the importance of a balanced lifestyle between tech learning screen time and out door interaction,” he said, adding that the rural work ethic is strong.

A number of trustees, including Wendy MacPherson and John McAllister, were warm to the idea.

Oxford-on-Rideau has been identified for closure in the final report to trustees, to be decided on March 23.