Cynthia Fleet

English Language School Board superintendent Cynthia Fleet says a new policy for community consultation will be established before decisions are made on changes to the school system. (CBC)

Significant changes to the P.E.I. school system should be considered, including school closures, consolidation and rezoning, the superintendent of the English Language School Board says.

Cynthia Fleet says with pressures to maintain staffing and programming in smaller schools, the board needs to consider more efficient ways to deliver those programs.

But before any discussions begin, the board is developing a new process to consult with communities.

The board needs to avoid the pitfalls that occurred in the last round of school closures on P.E.I., Fleet says.

"One example is the timeline that is there in the current process is unrealistic and there would be, I believe, errors made in at least the process," said Fleet.

"It's important for board trustees to come to a decision based on appropriate information and appropriate consultation."

The Department of Education paid $17,000 for a consultant's report on how other jurisdictions deal with school closures.

Board members will be provided with that information in the fall and they will then develop a policy of their own, says Fleet.

Only after that policy is in place will the board start to consider where closures or rezoning might take place on P.E.I., she says.

For mobile device users: Would a new community consultation policy help avoid pitfalls related to school system changes?