Trustees decision on portables questionable
As many of you are aware, Rocky View School Division (RVSD) was awarded three new schools in 2011.
Two were allocated to Airdrie and one to Chestermere. The school sites are ready, however, the sod has not been turned.
In the meantime our student population is still growing. To help offset the crunch of students that Airdrie schools are facing, the RVSD has built Herons Crossing in Williamstown.
Despite this undertaking, the vast majority of schools in RVSD are operating beyond capacity. Needless to say, these schools are under immense pressure for space right now and the administration is quickly trying to figure out ways to use any space that is available.
Libraries are being shrunk, gyms are being divided and hallways utilized. Please keep in mind that these are short-term problems because in 2014 our new schools will finally be open. So how does RVSD solve this problem?
Portables have proven to be the best solution. RVSD made an application to Alberta Education for new portables and this was denied. However, trustees were granted the right to move eight portables around in the division.
In May 2012 trustees made a request to move two portables to Prince of Peace School.
The Airdrie School Council of Councils has an issue with this motion based on the fact that 60 per cent of its students come from out of bounds. This appears to conflict with one of RVSD policies as well as the Alberta School Act.
The policy states that students can be accepted from out of bounds providing there is sufficient space, personnel and resources in the school in which parents wish to enrol their children.
As previously mentioned, this does not seem to be the case in the vast majority of schools in RVSD.
Prince of Peace is no exception because they are running at 99 per cent utilization. The moving of these portables is the result of concerning behaviour.
The main concern that parents feel is a lack of confidence and trust with the RVSD’s board of trustees.
The RVSD board may be within its right to move students and resources around as they see fit, however by moving portables to Prince of Peace, it may be fair to ask if they are truly aware of the accommodation issues within the division and how their decisions are impacting the learning of their students.
Stephen Goodall, Airdrie Council of School Councils