School board looking at efficiency options

With enrolment numbers slowly trending downward as the province’s rural population diminishes, Clearview School Division is looking at a few options to create a more efficient rural division.

With enrolment numbers slowly trending downward as the province’s rural population diminishes, Clearview School Division is looking at a few options to create a more efficient rural division.

Over the next few months, division administration will be studying the idea of the four-day school week for the large, rural division.

The board asked for information on the shorter week school structure as a possible cost-saving option for the division.

There were about 25 schools in the province on a four-day week in 2009, according to an Edmonton Public School Division document.

Reed Ranch School in Olds and Our Lady of the Mount Pleasant School in Camrose are two schools that operate on the schedule.

While schools within the Fort McMurray Catholic division operate on a four-day school week, the city’s public board considered the idea earlier this year before it was rejected.

Another board recommendation was to look at the grade configurations at schools in Stettler. At present, the town’s school administration entities — all in the same building — are pre-kindergarten to Grade 5, Grade 6 to 8, and Grade 9 to 12.

“The purpose of the study is to analyze potential benefits and implications of various pre-K to Grade 12 configurations to best meet the educational needs of Stettler and surrounding communities,” said superintendent John Bailey.

Throughout the year, the division will examine literature around various grade configurations and seek community input.

While Bailey said parents should not notice much difference this year, the board has appointed a single principal to cover both the elementary and middle schools. Bailey said a vacancy came open and rather than fill the position with another principal this year, the board will wait to see if grade configuration will change before deciding on any new hire.

Preliminary enrolment estimates for the division show it totalling 2,446 students, a number which includes pupils at eight colony schools.

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