Public Meeting Regarding the Possible Closure of Leslieville School K-7 Program
The Wild Rose School Division Board of Trustees would like to announce a public meeting at 7:00 p.m. on March 31, 2020 at Leslieville School. The purpose of this meeting is to receive community feedback on the possible closure of the Leslieville School grades K-7 program effective June 30, 2020. The Board will be voting on this matter at their April 28, 2020 board meeting. However, prior to making this decision, the Board would like to receive community input.
Below are some questions and answers that provide additional background information:
- Why is the Board considering the closure of the Leslieville grade K-7 program effective June 30, 2020?
In November 2019, Alberta Education announced support and funding for the building of a new grade 7-12 high school in Leslieville and a modernization of Condor School into an elementary K-6 program. The current Leslieville School will need to be demolished prior to the building of the new high school. The current Condor School will need to be vacated in order to ensure the safest and most efficient modernization possible. Both of these projects are projected to begin during the 2020-21 school year. As such, effective the start of the 2020-21 school year, the Board has decided to transfer the students from Leslieville and Condor to David Thompson High School (DTHS) where they will share space with our high school students. This transition period will be temporary until the new construction in Leslieville and the modernization of Condor is complete.
The Board also believes that the most efficient way to make use of the DTHS site during this time of transition is to operate 2 schools within one building rather than operating 3 schools within one building. The 2 schools they are proposing are Condor (K-6) and DTHS (7-12). In order for this to happen, the Board would need to close the current Leslieville K-7 program effective June 30, 2020.
- How would closure of the Leslieville K-7 program affect the attendance area defined for that school and how would it affect the enrollment at other schools in the Corridor?
All students in the Leslieville School attendance boundary would be bused to DTHS starting the 2020-21 school year. Leslieville students in grades K-6 would be enrolled in the Condor School K-6 program temporarily located in DTHS and Leslieville students in grade 7 would be enrolled in the DTHS grade 7-12 program.
Once the two projects are complete, all K-6 students that would have previously attended Leslieville School will be transferred to the modernized Condor Elementary School and all grade 7 students that would have previously attended Leslieville School will be transferred to the new high school located in Leslieville. At that time, DTHS will be closed.
- How many students would need to be relocated as a result of closing the Leslieville K-7 program?
Leslieville School currently has 128 students from grades K-7.
- How would busing be impacted?
We are not anticipating any significant changes in busing. All routes are reviewed on an annual basis to ensure that they are being operated as efficiently as possible.
- Are there any program implications for other schools and their students?
There will be no programming changes at other schools as a result of this closure. Even during the transition period when all K-12 students are together in DTHS, students will continue to have access to a full educational program including specialty classrooms like the gym, shop and foods. Once the new high school in Leslieville and modernization of Condor School is complete, there may even be additional or enhanced program opportunities due to the upgraded facilities and the increased enrollment within both schools. DTHS will be closed once the construction projects at Leslieville and Condor are complete.
- What are the educational and financial impacts of this decision?
Going from 3 schools to 2 schools in the Corridor will provide efficiencies and financial savings in terms of maintenance, utilities, technology and transportation. Furthermore, having a new high school in Leslieville and a modernized elementary school in Condor will provide students and staff with safe and modern school facilities in their community that are more able to support 21st century programs and learning outcomes.
- Will there be any capital expenses to DTHS due to its increased enrollment as a result of closing the Leslieville K-7 program?
DTHS is currently rated at less than 50% utilized. As such, we do have room to add several more students to the school. However, we will be going from its current 177 students to approximately 500 starting September 2020. As such, during the summer months, we will need to add 4 modular classrooms to support the increase in students, modifications to two interior spaces for more efficient use of space, as well as office space for the Condor School administration. A few additional items that will also be added including fences to enclose the school field to the north of the school building and lagoon, a play structure and possible other temporary playground improvements. We will also be taking measures to increase the student, staff and visitor parking on site.
- What is the proposed use of the school building if the Leslieville K-7 program is closed?
The current Leslieville K-7 School building will be demolished and a new high school will be built in its place on the same property. Government cost consultants determined it is more cost effective to build a new high school than to modernize the current Leslieville school building into one that could support the increased physical and program demands of high school students and high school programming.
- The time, date, and place of the public meeting.
The meeting will be held in the gymnasium at Leslieville School on March 31, 2020 starting at 7:00 p.m. We look forward to discussing this matter in greater detail with the community and receiving community input regarding this important decision.
In addition to the Leslieville School K-7 program closure, we will also be discussing in greater detail our plan for moving and managing all of the Corridor K-12 students at DTHS during the transition period. We look forward to your input at this meeting.