Nanaimo school trustees will receive a staff report with recommendations for the school district’s updated facilities plan at a meeting tonight (Nov. 24).
In September, school district staff presented a revised plan recommending closure of Rutherford Elementary School in June 2017, with students relocated to other schools, including Frank Ney Elementary, and relocation of high school French immersion from Nanaimo District Secondary School to John Barsby Secondary.
— Karl Yu (@KarlYuBulletin) November 21, 2015
The district recently concluded a 60-day consultation with stakeholders. Dale Burgos, school district spokesman, said it isn’t likely trustees will vote on recommendations at the meeting. Special board meetings are slated for Dec. 1-3.
“The intent is for [trustees] to take the information, take a week and then have the discussions starting on Dec. 1,” said Burgos. “They can make decisions or motions on the 24th, but it would get pushed to a regular board meeting or special board meeting anyways,” he said.
Tina Bray, spokeswoman for Rutherford Open and Thriving, a group advocating against Rutherford school closure, hopes the board doesn’t close the school without money secured for a new addition at Frank Ney, as it places the Rutherford community in a “horrible position.”
“I think they have a gut feeling about whether or not that funding is likely to be ranked as a priority with the ministry,” said Bray. “They’ve had conversations with the ministry, we’ve had conversations with the ministry and I think they know they need to be concerned about that.
“If they don’t feel that funding’s likely to come forward, voting to close Rutherford [is] a slow-death motion.”