Sunday, June 7, 2009

Six-student school closes

The Pembroke Observer reported Friday about the decision at the Renfrew County District School Board to close Calabogie Public School effective Sept. 1.
At first I was struggling to find the schools enrolment, then came across these graphs:
This as enrolment continues to plunge, from 24 students in 2005 to six students enrolled last year. Only two students have been registered for the school this fall.
The grade levels offered at the school have been whittled away as well, from junior kindergarten to Grade 6 to JK to Grade 3, as the board tried to reduce costs as much as possible to keep it operating.
I think this may be the last remaining school south of, say, North Bay, that has a student population so tiny. Later in the article, there is mention the board met with the two families who intended to send children to the school this fall before making the decision.
The small-school lobby has told us much about the value of smaller schools where the intimate setting reaps rewards in student achievement and the atmosphere within the school. But the 'how small is too small?' question always comes up in discussion of such schools, even though none has been as tiny as this.


Anonymous said...

the Ministry of Education's own report on declining enrollment now has new averages on school size
with the average elementary school being 318 and the average secondary being 819.

Using those new numbers means most elementary schools in my district are under-enrolled.

Would it make sense to close an elementary school of 288? or 260?

I wish the gov't would come clean about where it's headed in all of this unless it's closing schools at such a rapid rate so it can pay for those promises it still has to keep from their first list?

The fact that a school of 6 has stayed open for this long is interesting. The enrollment had to be small for a long time.