It would be hard to argue the Red Deer Public School District didn’t do their homework.
For more than a year, they have consulted, developed scenarios, consulted, engaged online and consulted some more in the redististricting of a number of schools starting in September 2017.
That’s the year the new Inglewood School opens and the need for new boundaries there opened up the door for the district to make a larger effort to get its school areas right, said superintendent Stu Henry.
“We wanted to look at the whole picture,” said Henry. “You don’t get many chances to get it right and there was a sense that some of the neighbourhoods weren’t going to the closest schools and we had a chance to fix things.”
For example Vanier Woods and Vanier Woods East students were previously attending Barrie Wilson, which is located in Timberlands. Their potential new school in Inglewood will be much closer to home.
The public school board will vote on Wednesday on the redistricting proposed by the board’s administration.
Henry said the best feedback came from online with the meetings and open houses being poorly attended. The online process had 1,000 participants with 3,000 comments. That feedback led to the proposed solution.
One of the larger adjustments is the relocation of the Spanish Bilingual program.
The Pines School will be closed and the program will be moved to the Grandview School. The district is closing the Pines School, but retaining it to accommodate future growth in Northeast Red Deer. The Pines School has about 120 students and is exclusively a Spanish Bilingual program school from kindergarten to Grade 3.
The long-term plan is to make the Spanish Bilingual program go up until Grade 8. When the program switches to Grandview, it will be a kindergarten to Grade 5 program.
Making Grandview School Spanish bilingual means the English Language students will be moved to other schools. Most will go to Mountivew School while those from Rosedale will move into the Barrie Wilson School, which was just opened in the fall of 2014.
Mountview will also take on French Immersion students from downtown neighbourhoods who currently go to school in Oriole Park and those in Vanier and Lancaster who go to Barrie Wilson.
Laredo area students will go to Mattie McCullough School.
The new school in south Red Deer will serve kindergarten to Grade 5 students in Inglewood, Vanier Woods and Vanier Woods East. It can hold up to 500 students. The school cost about $12.3 million to build.