Theme 10: Fear of School Closure

The following discussion paper is posted online using a new technology that allows for citizens to comment on a document on a paragraph by paragraph basis. Comments can be added by clicking on the bubble next to each paragraph. Each comment will be moderated so your comment will not appear immediately. Please read the B.C. government moderation policy prior to posting.

Worry about school closures was pervasive throughout the online discussion. There were some who expressed concern about their children and the quality of their lives if they had to travel long distances to go to a school instead of a short distance to a small rural school in their community. Some felt long hours on a bus would cut into homework and family time.

There was also concern about what would happen to the well-being of the community if a rural school closed. The connection was made between school closures and the impact that would have on jobs and the economy.

Some told us that the thought of school closures produced a lot of anxiety for children and families. Others shared stories about moving due to the potential of a school closure, or having to move because secondary school programs weren’t available in the community.

Question: Is there anything else you would like to tell us about school closures?

5 responses to “Theme 10: Fear of School Closure

  1. Wayne

    School closures should be an absolute last resort and should be decided by the Ministry of Education, not by Trustees alone. All cost saving measures should be explored and exhausted before a school closure should be considered. Trustees need to elected by every taxpayer in the district, not just by the people in the community they represent. This would help to stop a repeat of trustees acting in their own interest by voting to close a school in another community to save a school in their own community,

  2. Rhonda

    Speaking as a grandmother – with 8 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren – and as a grandmother that lives in a small, rural community where the school closed almost 15 years ago now – all your fears about what it would be like if your small school closed will come true. Closing a small, rural school will tear a hole in your heart that never heals… of course life goes on – and your build what you can for your grandchildren… but the change is never quite right compared to before…

  3. Alexander

    I fail to see how the closing of a rural school could ever be regarded as a good thing. The fact that they are smaller means that they should receive a greater per capita share of financial support. Operating expenses do not scale with size in a linear fashion. Numerous comments on this document have emphasised the strengths and unique potential of small, rural schools. They are worth their cost! And with a responsible economic policy in place, BC could afford them.

  4. Marissa

    We live in an area where children have to bus close to an hour to the nearest elementary school. There used to be a school which was closed only 10 years ago. I feel our children do not have access to a community school. They are bussed into another community's school and the journey is too much for young children.

  5. Heather

    The culture of closing schools as a means to solve budgeting issues is pervasive in our community. We have district staff who see this as an easy solution, in a system that makes it easy. We don't have any measures for reduction of administration or staff equal to the loss of school buildings. Being in a district with one of the highest ratios of administration to students, I think we need measures in place that tie those figures (and salaries) to numbers of students, and also to number of buildings to administer. That is) If you close a school, you must have a drop in number of staff and/or salary.
    Without stable funding, our school will continue to suffer from a lingering concern that it will be closed in the future. We aren't in drastic enrollment decline — with only one empty classroom, but we are an easy target because we are small. We need to place value on having elementary age students stay in their community wherever possible, and to value schools both large and small.

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