Five Edmonton public schools are set to close following a vote by school trustees Tuesday night.
Eastwood, McCauley, Parkdale, Capilano and Fulton Place Schools are expected to close their doors at the end of the school year due to declining enrollments. The board may also end the elementary school program at Spruce Avenue school.
The five schools were among 11 identified for potential closure in a report given to trustees last month. Tuesday's decision started the closure process for the five schools. A final vote will be held on their fate in April.
About one hundred people packed the board meeting Tuesday hoping to change trustees' minds. Many carried small, pink signs urging them to keep McCauley School open.
"With all the revitalization and everything else that you guys are trying to do to bring people back into this area, no one is going to move here if there's no place for the kids to go to school," said Angela Hyrcan whose two daughters attend McCauley.
"This school is not just a school. This school is family," said April Sullivan, whose son is a Grade 6 student at McCauley.
Trustees who support the plan believe closing the schools will improve the quality of education at the remaining schools. However, three trustees voted against the proposal.
"I do not believe that it is in the best interest of students, of families, of communities and the reputation and the long term viability of Edmonton Public Schools to proceed with this drastic clear cut of schools," Trustee Sue Huff said.
Letters will now be sent to parents notifying them about upcoming public meetings on the closures.