Close to 200 parents packed a public school board meeting Tuesday night to hear more about the possible closure of three schools in Highlands.

Highlands is one of three mature neighbourhoods the board is considering for school closures after the province announced $20 million for a new kindergarten to Grade 9 school to replace three older buildings.

Highlands meeting

About 200 parents packed a meeting Tuesday night about possible school closures in the Highlands neighbourhood. (CBC)

This was the first parent meeting since the announcement. Highlands, Montrose and Mount Royal schools are potential candidates for the chopping block.

Some parents worry closing Highlands would mean the loss of a new program. The junior high started focusing on the arts core when a new principal took over last September.

“The arts core is really one of the key issues for people in this community,” said Elizabeth Johannson, whose two children attend Virginia Park School. They are expected to go to Highlands Junior High in a few years. .

“It's very important that we have some guarantees on keeping that, whatever happens.”

Some parents are concerned that the board won’t listen to their concerns.

Donita Couto wants her 4-year-old daughter to go to one of the schools being considered for closure. She said she doesn’t trust the decision process.

Donita Couto

Donita Couto is worried that the board won't listen to parents. (CBC)

“I kind of feel that they're blowing sunshine up our butts again. I don't feel that we're going to get, as communities, what we want,” she said.

The Lawton and Westmount neighbourhoods are also being considered as possible sites for the new school.  

The board will hold several public meetings over the next three months. Two more are scheduled this week, including one at Lawton School Wednesday night.

The province wants trustees to make a decision by June.