By Gord Bowes, News staff
The door is open for Linden Park and Queensdale to survive a central Mountain public elementary school closure review.
A committee of parents and school board staff has narrowed down the options it will put before trustees — neither of which include shuttering Queensdale, while only one suggests Linden Park close.
At the outset of the closure review in October, staff recommended both be closed along with Eastmount. The committee itself came up with three options in December, all of which included closing Linden Park and two which shut down Queensdale.
But after more than four months of meetings and a plethora of suggestions from the public, the committee came up with drastically different ideas.
Barring any last-minute change when it meets one final time next Tuesday, these are the two options the committee will submit to the board:
- Close G.L. Armstrong in 2015 and move JK-Grade 6 students to Queensdale or Eastmount Park and grades 7 and 8 students to Franklin Road and renovated Linden Park, which would become a JK-8 school.
- Ridgemount would close in 2015, with students moving to Linden Park or Pauline Johnson/Cardinal Heights.
- Pauline Johnson and Cardinal Heights would close if new school funding is granted; the new school would be built on that site or possibly south of the Linc.
- Close Eastmount Park in 2015 and move students to G.L. armstrong.
- Close Linden Park in 2015, with students moving to either Franklin Road or Queensdale (JK-6) and G.L. Armstrong (7-8).
- Ridgemount and Pauline Johnson would remain JK-5 schools and Cardinal Heights 6-8.
(Details about the options can be viewed in this document on the board website)
The committee’s options are to be submitted to the board by Feb. 20. In March, their report will be presented to trustees along with the final staff recommendation. School superintendent Michael Prendergast, non-voting chair of the committee, said it’s a safe bet the staff recommendation will be different than the one it laid out in October.
At the April or May board meetings, the public will be able to make appeals directly to trustees. A final decision on closures is expected to be made in May.