DARRYL KNIGHT The Standard
SCUGOG: Doubt has been cast on the future of Epsom Public School following a recent decision by Durham District School Board Trustees to begin investigating possibly closing the school.
Epsom Public School is the oldest school currently in use in Durham, with the original school built in 1876, followed by construction of the current school in 1964, and an addition in 1995.
Citing low enrollment numbers - as of October 2013, just 36 students were attending the school - on Monday, Jan. 19, School Board Trustees voted to approve an accommodation review, which would cover four schools in Scugog Township: Epsom, Greenbank, Prince Albert and S.A. Cawker.
With enrollment at Epsom not expected to exceed 46 students over the next decade, staff from the board has proposed closing Epsom Public School in September 2016, and relocating its students to Prince Albert and Greenbank. Additionally, Prince Albert would accommodate a portion of Grade 7 and 8 students within Epsom’s boundary currently attending S.A. Cawker.
Due to low enrollment numbers at the school, Epsom currently offers classes for kindergarten and Grade 1, as well as Grades 4 through 6. Among the issues stated in the report from the board was a lack of a gymnasium at the school, which requires students to be bussed to nearby schools for some classes.
The review is scheduled to begin in April, which will follow the upcoming creation of an accommodation review committee made up of stakeholders in the school including: community members, trustees, teachers, parents, as well as the principals of the four schools.
The first of four public meetings on the matter to be held at Greenbank P.S., at 7 p.m., on Thursday, May 28. A final decision on consolidation is expected by the board in March 2016.
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