Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

The little public school in Prawda that just couldn't

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Manitoba's smallest public school will almost certainly close its doors for the final time June 27.

There are no children planning to enrol in Reynolds Community School in Prawda in September, Sunrise School Division superintendent Wayne Leckie said Tuesday.

"Reynolds is down to three or four students. The expectation is we may not have any students next year," Leckie said from Beausejour.

There is a community meeting Monday at 7 p.m. at the school, following which Leckie expects trustees will ask Education Minister James Allum to close the school.

That meeting will primarily look at what can be done to keep a large and valuable building open to forms of community use, Leckie said. "What are the options around the building that may serve the community well?"

While the province imposed a moratorium on closing schools in 2008, it does close schools when the community agrees to do so, usually because parents have moved their kids to larger schools elsewhere.

The province allowed Pine Dock School in Frontier School Division to close when it dropped to three students.

Both Kenton School and Graysville School closed when the handful of remaining parents decided the schools had become too small, and all chose to transfer their kids to larger schools in bigger towns.

Reynolds Community School just north of the Trans-Canada Highway in Prawda had 84 students in the late 1990s.

In recent years, area foster families have helped maintain enrolment.

The school has four classrooms, a gym and a library, as well as a large playing field and green area. It was built to accommodate more than 100 students.

The dwindling enrolment has come about from a combination of empty-nesters, parents opting for the much-larger Whitemouth School, or choosing private schools.

Frontier School Division has also provided a bus to the nearby division boundary for parents to send their kids to Falcon Beach School.

 

nick.martin@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 18, 2014 A5

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