Wed, 19 Feb, 2014
If you’ve been to one of the newer areas of the city, you’ll know there are more families and more communities than ever before. Over the last few years, many of our schools in newer neighbourhoods have become very full because these areas of the city are growing so quickly. Since 2005, 46 new neighbourhoods are being served by Edmonton Public Schools. More than 11,000 district students live in these newer areas.
Many schools have even had to take unusual measures, including increasing class sizes and using gyms, stages and libraries as learning spaces. Unfortunately, these measures are not realistic long-term solutions for healthy and quality learning. To address the issue, we looked at the limitations and opportunities at these schools, including current and future pressures, and prepared a plan.
On February 18, 2014, Superintendent Robertson shared his decisions about managing space for students with the Board of Trustees. His presentation described the decisions outlined in an Information Report called Managing Student Growth in New and Developing Neighbourhoods.
The decisions presented in Managing Student Growth in New and Developing Neighbourhoods were developed over several months with your input. We started by outlining a few options on a website dedicated to keeping you informed about the process. These options were presented as conversation starters for your feedback. We heard from:
Your thoughts about the options, and ideas for new solutions, helped to inform the decisions and deepened our understanding of what was most important to you. After reviewing all the feedback, district staff and principals developed solutions for each school that met a set of key criteria. The solutions had to:
We recognize not everyone will be happy with the decisions, and that some families will be impacted more than others. But, please know, they were made with thoughtful consideration and with the best interest of your children in mind.
As parents and as a District, we’re united in our hope for more new schools – that’s the best solution to this challenge. The recent announcements for additional modular and portable classrooms and two new schools for the southwest and west end are encouraging and point to the important work our Board has done to advocate for new schools. We take pride in the fact that, regardless of which school your child attends in our District, they’ll receive an excellent education that will help them experience success and reach their fullest potential.