Policies and Procedures Handbook


Last Updated: 6/15/2005
Garrett County Public Schools
40 South Second Street
Oakland, MD 21550
(301)334-8900

CLOSING OF SCHOOLS

Board Policy

In accordance with 13A.02.09 of the Regulations of the State Public Schools, the Garrett County Public Schools hereby adopts the following policy/procedures to be used in making decisions on school closings.

1. Review by Advisory Group

Whenever a school is being considered for closing, the Superintendent shall form an Advisory Group made up of staff members and members of the public selected by the Superintendent to investigate and report to the Superintendent the advantages and disadvantages of closing the school.

2. Items to Be Considered

The investigation shall, at a minimum, consider and report on the impact of the proposed closing on the following factors:

        A. Student enrollment trends.
        B. Age or condition of school buildings.
        C. Transportation.
        D. Educational programs.
        E. Racial composition of the student body.
        F. Financial considerations.
        G. Student relocations.
        H. Impact on the community in the geographic attendance area of the schools proposed to be closed and school or schools to which students will be relocated.

         I. Such other factors enumerated by the Superintendent or which the Advisory Group finds to be relevant.

3. Public Hearing

A public hearing shall be conducted prior to any final decision by the Board to close a school. This hearing shall give concerned citizens an opportunity to submit their views orally or to submit written testimony or data on the proposed school closing.

4. Notice

Adequate notice shall be given to parents and guardians of students in attendance at all schools that are being considered for closure and at the school or schools to which the students will be relocating. This notice shall consist of the following:

    A. Letters shall be mailed or otherwise sent to such parents and/or guardian advising them that such school is being considered for closure; the date, time, and place
        of the public hearing; and the time limit on the submission of oral or written testimony.
    B. Written notice of the public hearing containing the information described in 4A shall be advertised in at least two (2) newspapers having general circulation in the
        geographic attendance area of the school or schools to be considered for closure and the school or schools to which students would be relocating if closure, occurs.
    C. The newspaper advertisement shall appear at least two (2) weeks in advance of the public hearing to be held on the proposed school closing.
    D. The newspaper advertisement shall include the procedure to be followed by the Public Schools in making its final decision.

5. Decision by the Board

  1. The Board shall make and announce its final decision in a public session and such decision shall be in writing.
  2. The final decision of the Public Schools to close a school shall be based upon a consideration of such factors as the Public Schools finds to be relevant in arriving in its decision including, but not limited to, those factors set forth in Section 2A through H above. The Board shall consider the recommendations of the Superintendent and the Advisory Group.
  3. The final decision shall include the rationale for the school closing and shall address the impact of the closing on the factors the Board believes relevant to its decision. Such factors shall include, but shall not be limited to, those factors set forth in Section 2A through H above.
  4. Except in cases of an emergency where the decision to close a school must be made due to unforeseen circumstances, the decision of the Board to close a school shall be made at least ninety (90) days before the date the school is scheduled to close but not later than April 30th of any school year.
  5. Letters shall be mailed or otherwise promptly sent concerning the final decision of the Board to the community in the geographic attendance area of the school proposed to be closed and the school or schools to which the students will be relocated.
  6. The final decision of the Board shall include a notification that the decision of the Board may be appealed to the State Public Schools by filing a written appeal with the State Board within thirty (30) days of the announcement of the Board's decision.

 


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School-Community Relations 940 JJR
Adopted 9/10/81
Revised 9/11/86