A pair of outreach schools in the Lakeland will be closing. The St. Paul Education Regional Division voted to close both the Elk Point Outreach School and New Horizons in St. Paul after this school year.
In their May 20th board of trustees meeting, the school board voted to close the schools on the recommendation of the superintendent due to funding changes.
“We heard from many community stakeholders who viewed [EPOS] as a very worthwhile and vital program. We absolutely agree how amazing the staff are and it’s an important part of the community,” says Superintendant Glen Brodziak. “Students should come first, which I agree with, but where my job also intertwines is meeting the financial needs of our division and looking at the needs of all our students and our families.”
The schools are said to have a student population projected at 20 students total for the next school year, with the Elk Point Outreach having 16 and the New Horizons School at 4.
“This is a very difficult decision. I think every trustee would like to go through their term in office without having to close a school, so this is with heavy hearts. But as was mentioned, it is our responsibility to ensure we are running programs that are viable to an entire school division of almost 4000 children.” said Chair Heather Starosielski
A public meeting was held on May 14th where the viability report on the schools was presented along with a chance for the public to have their say.
Students from EPOS are expected to head to F.G Miller for the next year while New Horizons students will attend any school within St. Paul.