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Board approves closure of Yarker Family School
June 5, 2017

At a Special Meeting of the Limestone District School Board of Trustees June 5, 2017, Trustees voted to close Yarker Family School in September 2018 and relocate its students to Odessa Public School. Furthermore, the Board voted to declare Yarker school surplus to the Board in the fall of 2018.

The vote follows a Pupil Accommodation Review Process regarding Yarker Family School and Odessa Public School. The review process began in October 2016 and included consultation with the Pupil Accommodation Review Committee, the public and the broader school community over the past eight months. The intent of the review is to ensure appropriate program opportunities for students while balancing the ongoing challenges of declining enrolment and changes to funding that no longer support under-enrolled rural schools.

Trustees passed the following motions at the School Enrolment/School Capacity Committee of the Whole Board which were then confirmed at a Special Meeting of the Board shortly thereafter.

1. That the School Enrolment/School Capacity Committee of the Whole Board (SE/SCC) receive this Administrative Report and (Booklet 3) containing the Final Staff Report, Minutes from the SE/SCC meetings of April 24, 2017 and May 9, 2017, and May 9, 2017 delegation presentations and written feedback from the community from April 8, 2017 to May 31, 2017.

2. That the SE/SCC recommend that the Board approve the following:
2.1 That the present catchment area of the Yarker Family School be included with the Odessa Public School catchment area and the JK to Grade 3 students consolidated into Odessa Public School;
2.2 That the consolidation of the Yarker Family School students into Odessa Public School commence in September 2018; and
2.3 That the Yarker Family School be closed, and declared surplus to the Board in the fall of 2018.

"We know that Yarker is valued by the community, but we also know that we need to ensure we are making thoughtful and responsible decisions that will best serve all students across the district," said Board Chair Paula Murray. "We need to ensure that all students have the best programs and opportunities while balancing the ongoing challenges of declining enrolment and changes to funding that no longer support under-enrolled rural schools."

The Board will now work to support the movement of students and staff into their new school in a way that is both positive and supportive of both school communities. An integration committee will work over the next school year to support the transition of students and staff.

For more information, please contact:
Karen Smith, Communications Officer
613.544.6925 x 314 | 613.328.0947 mobile
Jane Douglas, Communications officer
Communications Officer
613.544.6925 x 311 | 613.328.0916 mobile