Greenpark School principal Andrea Klassen says the closure of her primary school will be a "massive upheaval" for staff and students.
Education Minister Hekia Parata announced yesterday that seven schools in the greater Christchurch area will close and 12 will merge as part of the Government's education shake-up of the post-earthquake city.
With a roll of 28 pupils, Greenpark School is facing closure.
Burnham School, the other Selwyn school originally earmarked for closure or merger, will now remain open.
Mrs Klassen said she wasn't surprised by the news.
"I was optimistic but I was resigned to the fact that we would probably close. We have 28 pupils and we're close to other local, bigger schools."
But Mrs Klassen said the closure date is 12 months sooner than expected, adding further stress.
"We had a letter earlier on from the ministry saying if we did close it would be the end of next year but now [it will be] the end of this year. January 27, 2014, that's the official date."
Mrs Klassen said: "Everyone here knew we'd probably close but we thought we'd be here a couple of years. The shorter timeframe means that parents will have to start thinking now about what they'll do with their kids next year."
Lincoln Primary School and Tai Tapu School are two options, said Mrs Klassen.
But she said transferring schools will be "an upheaval".
School closure means upheaval for all
"We've got our lovely family atmosphere here and that will completely change at a bigger school."
Schools have until March 28 to provide further information before a final decision is made in late May.
Mrs Klassen said yesterday she didn't know whether Greenpark School would fight the closure.
"We still have that option if we disagree with it and if we have good reasons for not closing.
"It just depends what the board wants to do."
The school's board of trustees is expected to meet within the next week to discuss how they want to go forward, she said.
Mrs Klassen said Ms Parata had handled the education shake-up "really badly".
"It's an added stress that's been put on Christchurch. Certainly there were schools that were badly affected in eastern Christchurch and things probably needed to be looked at, but they way she's gone with this greater Christchurch business has been handled "extremely badly".
Burnham School refused to comment.