School closures are back on the table for School District 70—in Port Alberni, anyway.
“The factors driving school closures or reconfiguration persist,” SD70 superintendent Greg Smyth told school trustees during a Jan. 13 meeting, “in spite of a ‘do nothing’ scenario” adopted by the school district last year.
Enrolment, finances, capacity, facility rankings, educational programs and services, human resource deployment and student achievement results are just some of the factors that will come into play when deciding which schools to close and why.
Smyth said that while he’s not committing the district to going through the school closure process again, “we have to have some way of addressing this long term.”
Should the district choose to re-engage in the school closure process, Smyth said that the newly amended and adopted school closure policy “will help provide some procedural clarity.”
That would be a welcome relief for the school district and concerned parents alike.
In March of last year, trustees first voted to close Gill Elementary, repurpose Eighth Avenue to house VAST and have all other schools remain in their current state before rescinding that motion just weeks later and choosing to not close any schools in 2014 based on legal advice.