Plan for K to Grade 8 schools unfolds

Moving lockers, textbooks, library books and teachers will all be part of the implementation plan to turn two north side elementary schools and one middle school into three schools for kindergarten to Grade 8 students for the 2010/2011 school year.

Moving lockers, textbooks, library books and teachers will all be part of the implementation plan to turn two north side elementary schools and one middle school into three schools for kindergarten to Grade 8 students for the 2010/2011 school year.

As part of the $350,000 plan, washrooms will have to be modified and furniture may have to be redistributed or purchased.

An outdoor play structure will be added at Glendale — which is now a middle school — and additional electrical outlets and classroom sinks with fountains will likely be installed at the Glendale Middle School for the new science and technology focus program.

Last June, the Red Deer Public School District board approved the plan to make G.H. Dawe Community School, Normandeau Elementary School and Glendale Middle School into kindergarten to Grade 8 facilities to combat “very low” achievement on provincial achievement tests by Glendale Middle School students.

An implementation committee — made up of district and school administration and parents — decided to make the change all at once, rather than in a phased in process.

“I think we have a very comprehensive, but workable plan,” said Red Deer Public School District Superintendent Don Falk.

“One of the keys is that the plan has been completed well in advance of the implementation. So we now have virtually a full year to work out the details of the implementation and communicate with students and parents.”

In January, parents and students will receive information about the new schools. Teachers will apply for assignments by January, with the final staff lists being made by June.

Glendale Middle School Principal Phil Penner said he expects the biggest challenge will be getting all of the information out to the families so they can make the best informed decisions.

Besides receiving instruction in the core subjects, all Grade 6 students will do a uniquely developed “Exploratory Experiences” program, which will give them 25 hours each in French, music, art, drama, technology studies and home and life skills.

Grade 7 and 8 students will receive 200 hours each year of instruction in option courses they choose, including French, instrumental music, choral music, art, drama, technology studies, fashion studies, food studies, recreation studies or computer studies.

sobrien@bprda.wpengine.com

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