Chinook’s Edge career high schools will relocate to traditional high schools starting in the fall to provide students with more options and support.
The move will also address a $1-million funding short-fall from the province.
Superintendent Kurt Sacher said students with complex needs have experienced tremendous improvements in learning over the years as career staff have blended learning with traditional high schools.
He said as the complexity of students needs increase, more staff need to work together to provide support.
“So we’re going to take the leap in moving our career highs under the umbrella of the traditional high school,” Sacher said.
“We had every intention of moving in this direction, but because of some changes to the new provincial funding model, it caused us to really take a hard look at our practice.”
In September, Sylvan Career High will move to the H.J. Cody High School; Innisfail Career High will move to Innisfail High School; Olds Career High will move to the Community Learning Campus and Olds High School; and Didsbury Career High will move to Didsbury High School and have a physical presence at Hugh Sutherland School.
Gasoline Alley Career High, which is under a longer lease, will move to the Penhold Crossing Secondary School in September 2022.
Sacher said Chinook’s Edge has more career highs than most jurisdictions and the new provincial funding model reduced funding to lease space by about $225,000. Eliminating course credit grants in favour of block funding also decreased funding by about $800,000.
About 500 students attend Chinook’s Edge career high schools which will continue to operate as usual while they wait to relocate.
He said career highs have also attracted highly academic, independent learners, as well as adults. The plan is to fully support fourth and fifth-year adult high school students who are funded by Alberta Education. Chinook’s Edge is looking to partner with post-secondaries to meet the needs of adults the division does not get funding to teach.