Citing dwindling enrollment and weighing cost considerations, Blessed Marie Rivier Catholic School will cease operations at their facility at the end of this academic year.
“In order to address the programming needs of the students and provide educational opportunities…for all the students within the school division…it has become too cost prohibitive to continue operating Blessed Marie Rivier in the same manner,” Lorel Trumier, director of education for Prince Albert Catholic School said.
The current student population is roughly 100 students. This number was expected to be much lower entering the 2017-18 academic year, as enrollment has been declining for the past number of years.
The eight teachers and two support staff at the school will continue to be employed through the Prince Albert Catholic School Division (PACSD).
Grade 9 to 12 students impacted will have the opportunity to transition to programming at St. Mary High School. Families will have an opportunity to attend an open house this week to meet with staff at the school and assess available programs. Grade 7 and 8 students already enrolled for next year will be moved to a classroom inside St. Mary and operate as Blessed Marie Rivier within the school.
This class will be put under review by the board. Their progress will be assessed throughout the next year. This information will be used to determine what future programming for Blessed Marie Rivier will look like.
“That could mean a closure of Blessed Marie Rivier in one year from now. It could mean a continuation, but those would be decisions the board would make through a process throughout the year,” Trumier said.
Families will continue to have the option of accessing elementary programming at the other schools within the system.
“[The board] certainly acknowledges the complexity of this with our families. We want to do the best we can to support them.”
Trumier added how the “unrest in the province” surrounding Catholic education in particular, “may not have helped this particular situation.”
As the facilities on the grounds, such as the pool, are owned by the Sisters of the Presentation of Mary, the only impact to their operations will be the loss of the school in their centre.
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