The Thames Valley District School board delivered sobering news for many families in Elgin and Middlesex Counties.

The board has voted in favour of closing five rural elementary schools.

Springfield, Sparta, New Sarum, Westminster and South Dorchester are all set to close after Tuesday night’s vote.

Sparta will now be converted to a French immersion school, with most students going to Port Stanley Public School.

The plan also calls for two new schools, one in Belmont and another in south-east St. Thomas.

Staff recommended closing the schools after a major review.