Rebuilding a Sense of Community through Reconnection: The Impact of a Rural School's Closure on Individuals without School-Aged Children


  • Jacquelyn M Oncescu University of Ottawa
  • Audrey Giles University of Ottawa


Through the use of semi-structured interviews and focus groups with 22 residents of Limerick, Saskatchewan, in this paper I examine the impact of a rural school's closure on the lives of residents without school-aged children. The findings show that the school's closure decreased participants' sense of community and instilled a sense of fear for the community's future. These feelings resulted in residents without school-aged children utilizing existing and new community institutions and organizations to re-connect residents and to motivate them to work towards their community's future. This paper makes a novel contribution to the literature by demonstrating the profound effects a rural school's closure had on a segment of the population that is often marginalized in research pertaining to school closures: residents without school-aged children. Keywords: school closure, rural, sense of community, community organizations, older adults