Elementary school boundaries changing in ’14

Red Deer Public Schools has accepted recommendations for changing school boundaries in 2014.

Red Deer Public Schools has accepted recommendations for changing school boundaries in 2014.

The board accepted suggestions from the Accommodations Committee for changing the boundaries since a new school is opening in Timberlands in the fall of 2014.

This school would become a dual track program. The English program would serve families from the communities of Clearview Extension, Clearview Ridge, College Park, Garden Heights, Timberlands and Timberstone, as well as Vanier Woods and Vanier East.

Elementary students who are in the French Immersion program and who live east of 30th Avenue would also attend the Timberlands school.

Students within the Gateway Christian School’s alternative program would also go onto River Glen School.

Students of the Spanish bilingual program at G.H. Dawe Community School would be designated to the Gateway Christian School in the Pines neighbourhood.

The changes would take place in September 2014 when the new school opens. The school would have an initial capacity of 500 students with the potential to expand to 600 students.

Students whose attendance boundaries are changing but in the last year of attending their current school will have the option to be grandfathered. However, transportation services will not be provided.

Board chairman Lawrence Lee said the school district wanted to ensure that Grade 4 students would be able to continue into Grade 5 at the same school.

“If you do choose to do that, then you are choosing not to get the funding that would have come if the child were to move,” said Lee. “We don’t have the capacity to do both. We support keeping your child in that school (for longer) but we couldn’t support (the transportation).”

Even when Timberlands opens, the school district still needs another elementary school of 600 spaces, Lee added.

“I would love to think it’s still a possibility, but it’s in a low percentage of probability. The province is going to be facing tough decisions across the board.”