Policy reflects Minnesota statute and aligns with other District 270 policies.
I. The closing of a school building by a School District may occur under the following conditions:
A. Replaced by a New Building
The school building has been replaced by other school buildings as part of a school construction project approved by the taxpayers within the educational district.
The school building has been condemned and ordered closed by local or state officials for health and safety reasons.
C. Lack of Need
The building has been deemed to be unnecessary or unprofitable to maintain by the School District. Before a building is closed, a report shall be submitted to the Board for approval. The report shall contain, at a minimum, the following:
1. Projection of the number of students in the affected area over the next five years, including a projection of the educational programs they will need.
2. Manner is which the continuation of the educational programs for the affected students will be provided.
3. Proposed date on which the closing will take place.
4. Projection of additional transportation or other related services.
5. Existence of any other outstanding financial commitments, including debt service, related to the school building along with a retirement schedule of payments to meet the commitments.
6. Proposed disposition of the school building.
7. Financial impact of closing the school building.
D. Hopkins School Board is responsible for making a final decision to close a building.
II. In addition, the Hopkins School Board requires all school systems to consider certain factors and follow set procedures in cases where a building closure is contemplated. The procedures described below are in accordance with those requirement(s) and the guidelines as outlined in this Board of Education policy.
A. The following information on each school that may be affected by a proposed closing shall be prepared and analyzed:
1. Student enrollment trends.
2. Number of transfers into school from outside attendance area.
3. Race/ethnic composition of student body.
4. Educational programs at school.
5. Age and condition of building.
6. Review of school’s location and site characteristics.
7. Building characteristics, including any modifications for special programs.
8. Physical condition.
9. Financial considerations including operating costs.
10. Feeder pattern.
11. Percentage of students transported.
12. Potential of the facility for alternative use.
13. Student relocation
14. Impact on community in geographic attendance area for school proposed to be closed and school, or schools, to which students will be relocating.
Copies of the data are also to be sent to affected schools’ principals and community representatives.
B. In conjunction with requirements, the superintendent shall provide an analysis of each school’s current and projected enrollment given the enrollment and facility standards described in this policy and analysis of the impact of closure/consolidation options.
C. Recommendations for closure or consolidation should move schools toward standards for enrollment and facility utilization and should represent fiscally responsible and educationally sound responses to changing enrollment. Recommendations should minimize transportation distances except when transportation or longer distances are required to address racial and ethnic isolation.
D. The community’s role in the process shall be as follows:
1. The superintendent shall request formation of an advisory committee to provide input prior to making any recommendations.
2. The superintendent shall publish recommendations for school closures and consolidations by mid-February.
3. Individuals, schools, and/or community organizations may react to the recommendations for their school within two (2) months after they are distributed. All reactions and community-developed proposals will be shared with the Board.
4. If the Board chooses to request alternatives to the superintendent’s formal recommendations, affected communities will be informed about them promptly.
5. Subsequent to these steps, the Board will hold public hearings. In addition, state requirements for adequate notice to parents and guardians of students in attendance at all schools being considered for closure by the Hopkins School Board will be followed. In addition to any regular means of notification, written notification of all schools that are under consideration for closing shall be advertised in at least two (2) newspapers having general circulation in the geographic attendance area for the school or schools proposed to be closed, and the school or schools to which students will be relocating.
6. The newspaper notification shall include the procedures that will be followed by the Hopkins School Board in making its final decision. Time limits on the submission of oral or written testimony and data shall be clearly defined in the notification of the public meeting. The newspaper notification shall appear at least fourteen (14) days in advance of any public hearings on a proposed school closing. The Board reserves the right to solicit further input or to conduct further hearings if it considers them desirable.
7. In making its decision, the Board shall take into account the superintendent’s recommendations and the criteria outlined in this Policy.
Adopted: May 22, 2003
Reviewed: February 5, 2014, April 18, 2017