School News

NSD Board of Trustees approved the closure of Dr. Mary Jackson School

At the May 24, 2018, Regular Board Meeting, the Board of Trustees of Northland School Division (NSD) approved the closure of the Kindergarten to Grade 12 instructional program at Dr. Mary Jackson School, effective August 31, 2018. The decision was made as per Section 58 of the School Act and NSD’s Policy 15 – School Closure.

“After careful thought, the Board made a decision that is in the best interest of all Northland School Division students,” said Maddy Daniels, Board Chair. “As a Board, we felt the declining enrolment and the cost to run an effective education program at Dr. Mary Jackson School is not sustainable moving forward. We also felt Paddle Prairie School is a viable option for Keg River and Carcajou students.”

On January 26, 2018, the Board of Trustees approved a notice of motion regarding the possible closing of Dr. Mary Jackson School. NSD’s Policy 15 – School Closure, the School Act, and Closure of Schools Regulation outlines a process for possible school closures. This included hosting a public meeting at the school on March 15, 2018. At the public meeting, the Board of Trustees presented the “Dr. Mary Jackson School Viability Report”. The report outlined a rationale for a possible closure, student enrolment, financial analysis, education results and impact of keeping the school open.

In addition to the report, families and staff were given the opportunity to help NSD understand why enrolment is down at the school, what they like about the school and changes they would like to see at the school. Families and staff shared information in person at the meeting, via survey and letters to the NSD.

“We really appreciate the participation from students, staff, parents and community members,” said Daniels. “After reviewing the feedback, we couldn’t come up with a sustainable option for keeping Dr. Mary Jackson School open. As a result of the school closure, the transportation department will be developing a school bus plan for the Keg River and Carajou residents that choose to attend Paddle Prairie School. We follow the same boundary and protocols established in the School Act for school boundaries. If a parent or guardian wishes to send their child to another school that is their choice.”

A decision on the future of the Dr. Mary Jackson School facility has not been made. In the “Dr. Mary Jackson School Viability Report”, two options mentioned include turning the facility to Keg River for their use as they see fit or creating an outdoor education campus for area school and community use.

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