In the new year, Rocky View Schools (RVS) will undertake consultations with residents of Cochrane and the surrounding area to discuss options for K-8 students in an effort to address the Town's school needs.
"Student growth in the Town of Cochrane has been increasing by about 250 students annually, resulting in Cochrane schools projected to reach 100 per cent utilized within the next five years," said Colette Winter, director of Facilities Planning. "Ideally, RVS would like to build a school to accommodate this anticipated student growth; however, at this time, an interim solution for balancing student enrolments amongst Cochrane schools needs to be considered."
One of the options being examined may see RVS change attendance areas or grade structures.
The community consultations will begin with a public meeting Jan. 16, 2020, and run until April 23. According to Winter, it is important for RVS trustees to hear from families that may be impacted by these decisions before any changes are made.
The public meeting is planned to run from 7 to 9 p.m. at Rancheview School, where the school board will share data on enrolments, school-capacity trends and possible changes. A roundtable discussion will follow, where people will have an opportunity to share their thoughts on the information presented.
A second meeting is planned for Feb. 25, 2020 to share detailed options and gather further feedback. Delegations will also have an opportunity to present at the Board of Trustees' meeting March 19, 2020, and written submissions will be accepted until March 9, 2020.
The board will deliberate the issue April 23, 2020, and a notice will be issued to all stakeholders regarding the decision that is reached.
"Our board understands the uncertainty to be faced by familieis as we move through this process," said Board Chair Fiona Gilbert. "We appreciate your patience and ask that you help promote this consultation to neighbours and frineds in your community to ensure many voices are brought to the table prior to our board making a decision."