MARATHON, Ontario – At its Regular Board Meeting on April 24, 2017, the Superior-Greenstone District School Board approved a motion to end the provision of educational programing at Red Rock Public School effective June 30, 2017.
Currently, with an enrollment of 10 students, Red Rock Public School is organized into two classrooms, Kindergarten to Grade One, and Grade Two to Grade Four. The School has experienced an adverse impact on learning opportunities for students due to declining enrolment. Therefore, in the best interest of student achievement and social and emotional learning, the Board has approved closure of the Red Rock Public School and to provide transportation for all current students and all future students to the George O’Neill Public School, beginning in September, 2017.
On December 5, 2016 the Board approved a Modified Pupil Accommodation Review of Red Rock Public School. The process for pupil accommodation is governed by Board Policy 905 Pupil Accommodation, which is a procedure that complies with the Ministry direction on grants for school operation, and new pupil places. The consultation process provided stakeholders with the opportunity to communicate to the School Board their perspective on the education needs of their children and their views on the Board’s specific proposal to close Red Rock Public School and transport students to the George O’Neill Public School. As per the timelines contained in Policy 905, the board convened a public meeting on January 31, 2017 and provided an opportunity for stakeholders to make public delegations to the Board of trustees on March 22, 2017. After considering the information from both Senior Administration’s Final Staff Report and the informal feedback from stakeholders at the public delegations meeting, the Board of Trustees have made their final decision to close the Red Rock Public School.
Director of Education, David Tamblyn stated that, “It was a difficult decision to close Red Rock Public School we know how important the school is to the community but when we consider what is best for the students there really is no other option. They need to be immersed in a vibrant learning environment where they are actively engaged both socially and intellectually. We cannot create those conditions with so few students spread from K-6.” Tamblyn added, “The programming and the class environment we have to offer at George O’Neill is exactly what these students need.”
Tamblyn went on to say, “In our small communities we have two or more school boards competing each year for a handful of students entering the kindergarten program. It is a model that is no longer sustainable. School boards need to work together to serve the learning needs of their students.”
The Board website contains a copy of Policy 905, which further outlines the process that was followed for the review. Please visit www.sgdsb.on.ca to view the communicated material.