Report reveals damaging effects of school closures

A new report concludes that many relocated students still face a “crisis of adjustment” more than a year after school closures.

The Ontario Alliance Against School Closures conducted a Post-Consolidation Experience Survey of students and parents affected by school closures under the 2015 Pupil Accommodation Review Guideline.

The survey asked questions concerning how school closures and relocations have affected academics, transportation issues, after-school participation and social adjustment.

“We expected to see many negative responses from disappointed parents and students, however, we have been surprised at how serious and ongoing the adjustment problems have been,” said Judy Keeling, co-founder of the OAASC. “Most disturbing is the extent to which students and parents have spoken of serious emotional damage caused by school relocations; trustees seemed to have missed the most important consideration in their decisions.”

Under the previous Liberal government, school boards voted to close 300 schools. Of those closure decisions made prior to the moratorium, there are still 99 schools scheduled to be closed.

The OAASC has asked Education Minister Lisa Thompson to re-examine all pending school closures, with a focus on what is in the best interest of students and the community.

The full report can be accessed at www.oaasc.ca.

The OAASC formed in 2016 in response to the volume of school closures that were approved across the province as a result of the Wynne government’s 2015 revision to the school closure process.|

The group successfully lobbied for a moratorium on school closures as well as for changes to the 2015 closure review process.