May 27, 2022 May 27, 2022

Building towards a different infrastructure model for Prairie Rose School Division

Posted on 28 April 2022 by Anna Smith

Alberta Newspaper Group

The Prairie Rose Public Schools Board of Trustees is studying infrastructure to better utilize the school with the number of students.

As part of the 2023–2026 Capital plan, which identifies and prioritizies the current infrastructure needs of the division’s schools. One of these schools in need of a solution was Burdett School, which presently has “significant need for infrastructure replacement and upgrades” as stated in the accompanying files.

“We looked at four different solutions. We worked; we looked at building a replacement school, and renovating the existing school for Burdett. We also looked at two different options for moving the alternative programming to Bow Island,” said Secretary Treasurer Ryan Boser. “One of those options was to build permanent space and then at VIP and the other option was to have a portable.”

The current suggestion in the report is to add additions to the recently-modernized Bow Island Elementary School and Senator Gershaw School, to facilitate the transition in grade configuration to Senator Gershaw to K-12, and the creation of an Alternative Mennonite Program School at Bow Island Elementary.

The current Burdett School would be closed and made surplus. Other proposed solutions included expanding I.F. Cox to K–5, modernizing Parkside School, the merging of Oyen Public School and South Central School to fix low utilization rate, and modernizing Foremost School.

All of these projects would be proposed to the provincial government.

• School calendar revised

The board has decided to revise the school calendar for the coming year. Neighbouring school divisions did not go with their own expected calendars, which caused some concern among parents and staff alike.

The revised calendar features a later Christmas break, now December 24th – January 8th, as well as the movement of one SI day from November 14th to November 9th.

•  Renaming Rural Futures

Superintendent Reagan Weeks proposed the renaming of the Rural Futures programming, to better encapsulate the population that is served through the work being done.

“When we first crafted Rural Futures, there was a set of programming that we had in mind […] but as it has evolved, we have grown from what we predicted this year to be just over 100 students too close to at this point, 750. So a massive, massive increase in enrollments. It is now technically the largest school in Prairie Rose and part of that growth is to rebrand,” said Weeks.

The board approved the renaming of Rural Futures to South Alberta High School, to better reflect what the programming has become.

•     Traveling back

The Prairie Rose School board also approved a field trip to Super T Aviation for Margaret Wooding School, and a camping excursion with Outward Bound for Seven Persons School.

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