Long Range Facilities Plan & Possible School Closures:
I am writing to provide you with an update on the Long Range Facilities Plan and Potential School Closure Timeline and Process:
Adoption of Updated Long Range Facilities Plan
Trustees have made the decision to move up the date for final adoption of the revised plan to the May board meeting. This means the revised plan will be submitted to Committee II on May 18th (as originally scheduled). Following Committee II the plan will be moved to the May 24th Board Meeting for approval. The original timeline had been for the final plan to come to the June Board Meeting. This revised timing will not impact the content of the plan as the intent had always been to provide an updated plan to trustees for the May 18th Committee II meeting.
Potential School Closure List
At the June 20th Board Meeting staff will present a list of schools which may be considered for possible closure – “Potential Consideration for Closure” list. In keeping with VBE school closure policy this “Potential Consideration for Closure Notice” will be posted on the VBE website 60 days in advance of consultation with the community. In addition a letter will be sent to the school principals and PACs of each school identified on this list. The intent of this notification is to appraise all affected parties of the consultation process that will apply should the Board decide to consider schools identified for possible closure.
It is important that we release this list in time for community consultation to begin in the fall in order to provide the district with the ability to consider the closure or consolidation of schools for the 2017-18 school year.
I would appreciate you sharing some of the following key points with your PAC and staff if questions arise about possible school closures.
o First I want to stress that NO SCHOOLS have yet been placed on potential consideration for closure list.
o Staff are currently conducting an analysis of all school sitesand comparing them to factors for closure in order to develop and then test a list of schools which could be considered for inclusion on a potential consideration for closure list.
o Development of a potential list of schools for consideration for closure is being done within the parameters of both the VSB school closure policy and the interim LRFP. Additionally, staff have taken into consideration feedback received regarding factors for school closure which have been shared by stakeholders and members of the public as part of the LRFP consultation process.
o Board policy clearly outlines a process for consultation regarding any schools considered for closure. Staff, parents, and members of the community should be assured that they will have ample opportunity to share their thoughts, perspectives and concerns with trustees prior to any decision being made to close a school.
o District Management will be working to develop a clear communication plan for school based administrators in schools which are identified for possible closure. We understand that this will be a very challenging and emotional conversation for staff, students, parents, and members of a community. Your support in assisting your parents and community in being part of the consultation process without getting personally or emotionally engaged yourself will not be easy. We recognize you will need support and clear information to help you manage this difficult task at the school level.
More information regarding timelines and process will be shared at the May Area meeting. In the meantime if you have any questions or concerns please contact me directly.
Project Lead, LRFP