On Jan. 24, Prairie Rose School Division (PRSD) trustees voted in favour of considering the closure of New Brigden School as of June 30 this year. Enrollment for the first half of the school year was two students, but that recently doubled to four. The facility offers grades 1-9 education.
That motion triggered the start of a school feasibility review process which includes hosting a public meeting. That has been scheduled for Monday, March 20 starting at 6:30 p.m. in the New Brigden School gymnasium. All members of the New Brigden and Oyen communities are welcome to attend.
“As part of the consideration for school closure process, boards are required to consult with the school community,” says Board Chair Stuart Angle. “On March 20th, the role of the board will be to listen and consider the views of the community, and all information received.”
Board trustees want to hear feedback from all members of the community and not just those people with students enrolled at the school.
On the agenda for the evening public meeting will be:
• offering an overview of the consideration for school closure process;
• a review of the purpose of the meeting which is to consider the implications of closing the school and keeping it open;
• discussing possible alternatives to school closure;
• and to outline what the plans would for transition to Oyen Public School if the board determines New Brigden School should be closed.
A notice of motion for closure likely wasn’t a surprise to many, considering the school division held meetings with parents of school-aged children, and those parents who have children not yet in school, in the community last year.
“Whenever a board puts forward a motion to consider the closure of a school, it’s never easy — not for the board and not for the community,” adds Angle. “We know that there is a core group of families that are very committed to supporting New Brigden School and we look forward to hearing from them on March 20th.”
The decision about whether to close New Brigden School, or even just part of its programming such as the junior high portion, will be made by the board at the April 11 public board meeting.