Consultation on school reconfiguration finished

The Red Deer Public School District has finished public consultations on a grade reconfiguration at three northside schools.

The Red Deer Public School District has finished public consultations on a grade reconfiguration at three northside schools.

Under the proposal, Glendale, Normandeau and G.H. Dawe schools could turn into kindergarten to Grade 8 facilities. Before moving forward the proposal would need to be approved by the Red Deer Public School District board.

The kindergarten to Grade 8 model would be well-suited to programs of choice and could enable the district to have a science and technology, sports, arts, Spanish or year-round focused school.

“The district has had four community meetings. We’ve gathered input and feedback that will all be consolidated into a report that will be going to the board of trustees, with a recommendation, and a decision will be made in June or September,” said Bruce Buruma, director of community relations with the Red Deer Public School District.

The soonest the switch to the kindergarten to Grade 8 model could take place would be the fall of 2010, with a cost of around $350,000 for renovations at the three schools.

The district began looking at the change after provincial achievement tests showed that overall Glendale Middle School students had “very low achievement.”

Research has suggested eliminating one transition from elementary to middle school could help improve achievement by creating caring relationships among students, their teachers and classmates that would last over more years.