Chinook’s Edge approves sale of Benalto School

Red Deer County will soon be the proud owner of Benalto School.

Red Deer County will soon be the proud owner of Benalto School.

Chinook’s Edge School Division board formally approved the sale of the school building to Red Deer County last week.

The school board has closed the school because of low enrolment and high per-student costs.

However, parents and other community members have banded together to try to keep a school in the community and have applied to Alberta Education to operate a charter school.

In the same meeting, Chinook’s Edge board turned down an application by Benalto school parents to create an alternate school program at the site.

That application has already been overtaken by events and school supporters wanted the board to make the decision it did. Parents have already applied to the province for a charter school and the alternative school proposal needed to be taken off the table.

Carol Rambaut, who has been campaigning to save the school, said on Monday the board’s decision was needed to keep the process moving forward. When Alberta Education will make a decision on the charter request isn’t clear.

Charter schools are run by non-profit groups and are funded by the province and follow the Alberta curriculum.

The county has supported the community’s efforts to save its school. Council approved buying the school site, including a well-used playground, to ensure it remained available for residents.