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Policy 15: School Closure


The Board of Trustees recognizes that due to changes in enrollment, shifts in demographics, or fiscal constraints, it may be necessary to consider the temporary or permanent closure of a school or transfer of students from one school to another in the jurisdiction. It is the intent of the Board to follow a fair and reasonable process in arriving at the decision with respect to either a closure or transfer.

This policy does not apply to Hutterite Colony Schools or Educational Programs in Institutions that are not housed in division owned facilities.

  1. Consideration of School Closure/Transfer Criteria
    1. The process for the closure of schools is outlined in Section 62(1) of the Education Act as amended.
      1. The Superintendent shall review current legislation to ensure that this policy and the process to be followed by the Board comply with provincial legislative requirements.
    2. One (1) or more of the following criteria lead the Superintendent to submit a school closure or transfer proposal to the Board:
      1. the costs incurred by the Board to maintain the school and educational program are high and it is viable to transport students to another school.
      2. the ability to provide an adequate educational program to the students in attendance at the school.
  2. The Board may review school programs and school operations to determine the viability of such schools:
    1. When the Board believes such a review will improve the availability of programs or efficiency of operations;
    2. When the school and/or community determines enrolment and consequent funding threaten the viability of the school program;
    3. When operating/maintenance/transportation costs place excessive demands on the Division's budget; or
    4. As recommended by the Superintendent.
  3. Process
    1. The Board, upon receiving a referral from the Superintendent of Schools regarding the possible closure of a school or the transfer of students from one school building to another school building, temporarily or permanently, shall determine whether or not:
      1. To proceed with further study;
      2. To revise capital plans (long-term and/or short term);
      3. To approve the proposal associated with the closure or transfer of students from one school building to another school building, temporarily or permanently; and/or
      4. To approve a community engagement strategy about the proposal that is made available to the public.
  4. Once the Board has identified a school as a possible candidate for closure, there shall be a meeting of the Superintendent, Secretary-Treasurer, Trustee(s), administrator of the school, executive of school council or parent advisory to engage in discussion.
  5. Prior to consideration of closure, Superintendent of Schools shall provide to the Board the following information in a recommendation report ("viability report"):
    1. The educational and financial impact to the Division, including capital and operational implications (programming, enrollment trends, personnel, plant operations, transportation services, transition, alternative uses, lease agreements, etc.) of;
      1. Closing the school; or
      2. Not closing the school.
    2. Program, operational and safety implications for both the students who may be transferred and the students currently in the school to which a transfer of students could be affected. Implications shall include, but are not limited to, the adequacy of site, location, access, surrounding development, traffic patterns, and environmental conditions;
    3. The current and proposed attendance areas as a result of the proposed change to the affected school(s);
    4. The impact of competing systems;
    5. Non-resident student enrollment and related financial arrangements including transportation services;
    6. The need for and extent of bussing changes and costs;
    7. Possible alternatives, if any, to school closure if that is identified as an option;
    8. Age and physical condition of the Division buildings of the affected schools;
    9. If closure is identified as an option, the proposed alternative educational or community uses or disposition of the closed school; and 
    10. May include consideration of the impact on the community and the region, including economic, social, cultural and recreational.
  6. Once the viability report on a potential school closure is complete, the Board will review the school viability report at a regular Board meeting and will use the information it contains to decide whether to proceed to formally consider the potential closure. 
  7. Where the Board is considering the closure of a school, the Board shall:
    1. Put forward a notice of motion at a regular meeting of the Board;
    2. Strike a committee consisting of the Superintendent, Secretary-Treasurer, the Board Chair or designate, and Trustee(s) to meet with the School Council Executive to review and discuss the viability report;
    3. Notify in writing the parents/guardians of every student enrolled in the school that may be affected; 1.1 and any other person, municipality or community organization, who, in the opinion of the Board, may be significantly affected by the action considered, prior to any decision being made; and
    4. Notify in writing any other person, municipal council, Metis settlement council, and community organization that, in the opinion of the Board, may be significantly affected, prior to any decision being made,
  8. Public Meeting
    1. When the Board has given notice of motion at a regular meeting of the Board that it is considering the closure of a school, the Board shall organize and convene a public meeting for the purpose of discussing:
      1. the closure and implications of the closure for the students, for the community and for the school system;
      2. implementation plans for the closure; and
      3. alternatives to the closure.
    2. Shall appoint the Board Chair or designate and Superintendent to act as the official spokespersons at the public meetingl
    3. May hold other meetings with respect to the closure at times and place as the Board may determinel
    4. The date and place of the public meeting referred to in subsection 8.1 shall be communicated within the area or areas of the school or schools affected by the proposed closure, on at least two occasions;
    5. A majority of the Committee referred to in subsection 7.2 shall attend the public meeting; and
    6. The Committee shall report back to the Board on the public meeting.
  9. Decision on Closure
    1. A Board may only by resolution/motion, permanently or temporarily;
      1. close a school; or
      2. transfer students from one school building to another school building.
    2. A Board shall not make a final decision on the proposed closure until at least three weeks have passed since the date of the public meeting(s) referred to in section 8.1.
    3. Give due consideration to any written submissions on the proposed closure that it receives during or after the public meeting(s) referred to in section 7.1.
      1. by resolution to decide whether or not to close the school; and
      2. if a school closure results to notify the Minister in writing forthwith and include the name of the school and the effective date of the closure.
    4. This section does not apply where the Minister directs a Board to dispose of a school building pursuant to section 192.
    5. The Minister may make regulations with respect to the permanent or temporary closure of schools by a Board.