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Provincial Modernization of School Boundaries


School Divisions

Currently there are 54 school divisions and districts in Manitoba

  • nine school divisions in Winnipeg
  • 36 school divisions/districts in rural Manitoba
  • eight school divisions/districts in Northern Manitoba
  • one school division, the Division scolaire franco-manitobaine, has a provincewide mandate


The divisions that will be merging, including those merging voluntarily, are:

Northern Manitoba

Churchill, Lynn Lake, Leaf Rapids and Snow Lake with Frontier.

Rural Manitoba
  • Boundary, Sprague, with Rhineland
  • Mountain with Prairie Spirit
  • Red River and Morris-Macdonald
  • Pine Falls, Whiteshell, and Transcona–Springfield (rural) with Agassiz
  • Pelly Trail with Birdtail River
  • Souris Valley with Antler River
  • White Horse Plain with Midland
  • Duck Mountain with Frontier, Swan Valley, Dauphin-Ochre
  • Transcona-Springfield (urban) with River East
  • St.Boniface/ St.Vital
  • Ft. Garry with Assiniboine South

With respect to the Pine Falls and Whiteshell School divisions, the amalgamation process will require more time to complete than with the other divisions. Both divisions have special funding arrangements that must be preserved while amalgamation is discussed.

Administration cost reduction targets

  • Average administrative cost in comparison to overall budgets is 4.7% provincewide.
  • There are a few divisions that are below 4% already.
  • The costs included under this definition include costs of the administration component for transportation, operations and maintenance, curriculum development and divisional administration.
  • The administrative reduction targets do not include any required reductions in the administrative costs for programming for special needs students.

A Brief History of School Boards and Amalgamation in Manitoba

1871 – 24 school districts created throughout province

1924 – 2,094 districts

1946 – Public Schools Act amended to encourage amalgamation

1959 – Royal Commission on Education led to creation of 46 school divisions, but leaving elementary schools in independent schools districts

1966 – Province again encourages amalgamation, all independent school districts soon merged with the 46 school division authorities. In addition, approximately 10 school districts, often in remote areas, continued to exist. This provided the foundation for most of the current divisions.

Late 1960s – Boundaries Review Commission recommended creation of regional boards, but the commission’s recommendations were not acted on.

1994 – Manitoba School Divisions/Districts Boundaries Review Commission (Norrie Commission) concluded that there are numerous educational and economic benefits from reducing divisions. Norrie recommended cutting the number of divisions to 21 – four in Winnipeg, 13 in rural Manitoba, and two in the North, leaving the Division scolaire franco-manitobaine and the Frontier School Division as is. The recommended number of divisions was later revised to 22. Norrie recommended a complete redrawing of the school division map, not simply division mergers. This report was not acted on.

Late 1990s – Two voluntary school division amalgamations proceeded – Norwood has merged with St. Boniface, and Tiger Hills and Pembina Valley became the Prairie Spirit School Division.

2000 – Education, Training and Youth Minister Drew Caldwell wrote to divisions informing them of the province’s intent to reduce the number of school divisions and asked divisions to consider the benefits of voluntary mergers. Since then a number of divisions have moved forward on voluntary amalgamation plans. These include:

  • Rhineland and Boundary School divisions
  • Frontier and Churchill School divisions
  • Mountain and Prairie Spirit School divisions
  • Red River and Morris-MacDonald School divisions

Other divisions have indicated interest in voluntary amalgamation but have been unable to find a partner.

November 8, 2001 - The minister announces the provincial amalgamation plan.