Do you remember what your first day of school was like? Cracking open your new textbook... Greeting the friends you haven’t seen over the summer... Using that fresh box of crayons or pencil crayons... Finding your locker and wondering how you would squeeze your backpack into it...
Nearly 100,000 Edmonton Public School students experienced at least one of those firsts this month.
For the students of our 11 new schools, that joy and experience was amplified. Not only were they armed with all of the tools needed to succeed in school, but they were also greeted with fresh, bright, new spaces. This has been a milestone year for our District; not since 1913 have we opened this many schools in one year.
Our new schools help fill some of the growth pressures that we’ve been feeling across our city.
But in one area of Edmonton, it’s the result of a different kind of conversation we’re having with communities.
On September 5, we welcomed students to Ivor Dent School, a new Kindergarten to Grade 9 school in the Rundle community. This school is a first-of-its-kind for Edmonton Public Schools. It consolidates the school communities and students from Rundle, Lawton and R.J. Scott schools into one brand-new, state-of-the-art facility.
The doors to Ivor Dent School couldn’t and wouldn’t have opened without support from a number of partners: our Board of Trustees, support from the Province of Alberta and the community; they were all instrumental in making it happen.
A few years ago, we worked with the community to develop options for three of their mature schools. The idea that best fit their needs and vision was to consolidate three schools into one new build.
Their vision, and our vision as a District, is to give students access to 21st century learning spaces, regardless of where they live. Our District is using this model of partnering with community in other mature communities across the city, as we talk with them about their hopes and desires for school spaces.
The people in the Beverly Heights East, Beverly Heights West, Lawton and Rundle areas should be so proud of the result. They aren’t just making something for today’s students – they’re helping build a legacy of great infrastructure that will benefit children in their community for decades.