Holy Rosary School has approximately 96 students. Board chairperson Vicky Bonnell said if partners aren’t found, the school will be closed by June 2022.
The board discussed their options at a meeting on Monday night where 4-2 trustees voted in favour in an unrecorded vote to extend the operations of school, in order to allow time to find sustainable partners to help keep the school open.
Bonnell said the board wants to provide an opportunity for the school to keeps its doors open.
“Nobody likes to close a school,” Bonnell told Global News.
“We did put Holy Rosary School under review because of low enrolments and the projected enrollments were not significant for the next five to 10 years,” Bonnell said.
After hearing from the Catholic School Community Council (CSCC) presentation, the board decided there may be an opportunity to find “viable partnerships that could possibly go into that school, to sustain the school.”
The board has struck a committee that will be looking into potential partnerships.
As for what that partnership will look like, Bonnell said the board is leaving its options open.
“We can’t say what kind of partnership yet, because if we say what kind, we might be limiting our options and we want to keep it open,” she explained.
“We’re looking for someone or a partner that would respect and embrace our Catholic values and our Catholic education,” Bonnell added.
The new committee will discuss how to reach out to potential partners and invite those who may be interested in helping.
Cristina Ruiu, chair of the Holy Rosary CSCC was part of Monday night’s presentation.
Ruiu said although the council was hoping the board would outright vote to keep the school open regardless, she’s optimistic about their plan going forward.
Ruiu said she understands that a new committee has been created that will have representation from administration and the board, as well as a representative from the community council.
“That one representative is really going to be the voice of many behind it,” she added.
Ruiu has lived in the community for more than 15 years and said she notices a younger demographic residing in the area.
“It’s an eclectic, diverse, inclusive community and Holy Rosary is just one of the schools here that models that uniqueness in the Cathedral community,” Ruiu said.
She added that the school closure would be detrimental to the community. Ruiu hopes that the new committee will take the time to review partnership proposals.
— With files from Allison Bamford