20-9-302. School isolation. (1) Except as provided in 20-6-502(4)(b), the trustees of any district operating an elementary school of less than 10 ANB or a high school of less than 25 ANB for 2 consecutive years shall apply to have the school classified as an isolated school. The application must be submitted by the trustees to the county superintendent by May 1 of the second consecutive year that enrollment falls below the amount specified in this subsection. The application must include:
(a) the name of each pupil who will attend the school during the ensuing school fiscal year with the distance the pupil resides from the nearest county road or highway;
(b) a description of conditions affecting transportation such as poor roads, mountains, rivers, or other obstacles to travel, the distance the school is from the nearest open school having room and facilities for the pupils of the school, or any other condition that would result in an unusual hardship to the pupils of the school if they were transported to another school; and
(c) any other information prescribed by the superintendent of public instruction.
(2) The county superintendent shall submit the applications to the board of county commissioners for their consideration on or before May 15. The board shall approve or disapprove the application on the basis of the criteria established by the superintendent of public instruction. The board may approve an application because of the existence of other conditions which would result in an unusual hardship to the pupils of the school if they were transported to another school.
(3) When an application is approved, the county superintendent shall submit the application to the superintendent of public instruction before June 1. The superintendent of public instruction shall approve or disapprove the application for isolated classification by the fourth Monday of June on the basis of the information supplied by the application or objective information the superintendent of public instruction may collect on the superintendent's own initiative. An elementary or high school may not be considered an isolated school until the approval of the superintendent of public instruction has been received.