There will be no students enrolled at the school for the deaf in St. John’s this fall, and as a result, the government announced today that it will be closing the facility.
Education Minister Darin King said the move will save the government more than a million dollars per year, and the Department of Education’s projections indicated that no students would enroll in the next five years.
At one time, the school was a major part of the deaf community, with students from out of town living and going to school in the building on Topsail Road.
However, deaf children are increasingly getting cochlear implants, and students would rather stay in their own communities and integrate in normal classrooms.
All 199 deaf or hard of hearing students in the province are currently in the public school system.
King said that teachers at the school will be transferred to the Eastern School District. Some support workers from the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Public and Private Employees will be laid off.
“Laying off employees is not something we take lightly,” King said. “The reality is that we cannot continue to operate a school with no students.”