Holy rosary

Holy Rosary School in Regina remains open after year-long review

“We’re very excited and just very relieved and hopeful and just happy.”

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Hearing that the school that educated her three children will keep its doors open made Cristina Ruiu breathe a sigh of relief and happiness.

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Since the Regina Catholic School Board began a review of Holy Rosary School in October 2020 – which opened up the possibility of the school closing – Ruiu has been advocating for the school’s place in the neighborhood of Cathedral. Her three children have all gone through Holy Rosary, including her youngest who is now in Grade 8, and she knows the special place the school holds in the hearts of her families.

“Holy Rosary has always been kind of special and it’s because it has this unique large multicultural pool of families that it just creates a really supportive and loving environment,” she said.

At a Regina Catholic council meeting on Monday night, Ruiu finally got the answer she was waiting for: the school will stay open.

“Honestly, this is the best Christmas present the school and families in the community could have received. We’re very excited and just very relieved and hopeful and just happy,” she said.

The exam was originally ordered largely due to the school’s small student body. Last fall, when the exam began, Holy Rosary had just 96 students enrolled. After initially saying a decision would be made by February 2021, the board extended the review until the end of the year to take a closer look at potential community partnerships and the viability of the school.

Ruiu, a former president and current member of the parent council of Holy Rosary School, served on the council committee overseeing the exam.

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The council voted to keep the school open on Monday based on the results of the exam. Administrator Bob Kowalchuk was the only one to oppose it, saying long-term projections of school enrollment continue to predict declining student numbers. He said that means the school is not viable in the long term and the board will only continue to have discussions about the future of the school for years to come.

Although Ruiu said she, too, has seen these enrollment projections, she believes there are too many unknowns impacting the school community for these numbers alone to paint an accurate picture. school.

“I’m actually confident. I’ve lived in this neighborhood for 25 years, and I’ve seen this neighborhood change significantly and there are constantly new families arriving,” she said.

Enrollment at the school is up 10% this year, said board chair Vicky Bonnell, and she too is confident the school can remain viable for years to come.

“Right now we feel we can operate with the number of signups it has and that doesn’t worry us too much,” she said, noting that she hopes this review will solidify the status of the school for years to come.

“The majority of us felt that we could continue to make this a viable learning environment and an integral part of this community.”

As part of the review, the committee spoke with a number of potential community partners about leasing space within the school. Ultimately, however, the board decided to keep school operations as they are and Bonnell said there are currently no plans to move forward with a community partner.

  1. Cristina Ruiu, left, and her daughter Victoria Bateman stand outside Holy Rosary School in Regina, Saskatchewan, Feb. 2, 2021. Ruiu is president of the Holy Rosary School Parent Council, which calls on the school division to keep the school open.

    Holy Rosary School in Regina is under review and may be closed

  2. A classroom at Sylvia Fedoruk School in Saskatoon.

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