The Ottawa-Carleton District School Board is considering closing eight schools by next year, including Rideau High School.

The other seven schools recommended for closure are in the west end:

  • D. Aubrey Moodie Intermediate School
  • Greenbank Middle School
  • Leslie Park Public School
  • Grant Public School
  • Century Public School
  • Regina Street Public School
  • JH Putnam Public School.

Those students would be redistributed among other area schools, with three high schools—Bell, Sir Robert Borden and Merivale—adding Grades 7 and 8.

Students from Rideau, which is on St. Laurent Boulevard south of Montreal Road, would be sent to Gloucester High School starting in September 2017.

An internal OCDSB memo about the Rideau High School review stressed that the recommendations will be discussed with the community and “no final decision has been made.”

“This review is necessary because the school district has excess pupil space in the secondary schools in the Eastern area,” the memo says. “This must be addressed to ensure we offer the best learning environments for all students and that education funding is invested in student learning rather than in empty classroom space.”

A separate report recommends the other seven west-end school closures. That report says the proposed plan will result in staffing reductions, including reduced numbers of school  administrators, school office, technicians and some teaching positions.

The plans will be discussed at the Board’s upcoming Committee of the Whole on Sept. 7.

Final decisions on any changes are expected in March 2017.

The proposed closures partly reflect the city’s changing demographics. The OCDSB is opening three new elementary schools this fall. Summerside Public School in Orleans, Half Moon Bay Public School in Barrhaven and Kanata Highland Public School in Kanata North will serve more than 1,100 students combined.

The report also notes that school districts will continue to see reduced funding from the province if they maintain empty classroom space.

“When funding and enrolment are misaligned, the cost of empty pupil spaces negatively impact all students as resources cannot be maximized to support student learning.”