File photo

David Thompson High School to house K-12 students

The temporary arrangement allows construction of new high school and elementary school

David Thompson High School will be K-12 starting this upcoming school year.

All students attending the three Corridor Schools will be housed in David Thompson High School (DTHS) beginning September 2020.

This is for the purpose of Leslieville Elementary School being closed to become the new Grade 7-12 high school and Condor Elementary School will be replaced to be the new sole K-6 school.

By moving all the students to DTHS it will allow the construction of both projects to be done simultaneously.

“[With] the modernization at Condor we want to just make it safer for students, that there’s no worry with construction going on as well as it’s really disruptive for class having construction,” said Greg Wedman, deputy superintendent at Wild Rose School Division, in a phone interview on Feb.28.

Since then the decision to modernize Condor has been rescinded and a new replacement elementary school has been approved by the Government of Alberta.

He added having the two projects being done at once could, hopefully, have it completed in a more timely manner.

Condor Elementary School and Leslieville Elementary School’s students will be combined with the move to DTHS and remain combined after the replacement schools are built.

During this time class sizes will vary from larger to smaller, but Wedman says, they do not expect the number of teachers to change due to combining the schools.

The set up with all the students at DTHS is anticipated to last for two years if all goes to plan with construction.

Originally DTHS had been given a closing date of December 2021, but the school division has received an extension to December 2023 given the circumstances.

“David Thompson is currently under-utilized for the students that are there and we will also be bringing in four more portables, or relocatables as they are called now… so it gives us four more classrooms,” explained Wedman.

He says it will be tight, but they figure they layout should work without having to use industrial art labs and the gym as classrooms.

The shift will have no impact on students’ bussing fees and the division will continue to not charge students for the service.

“Even ride times given the nature of things really shouldn’t be changing for the students as well,” continued Wedman.

A public meeting to discuss the closure of Leslieville Elementary School as a K-7 establishment is set for March 31 at 7:00 p.m.

Wedman says the meeting is being held to fulfill requirements involved when closing a school as well as to provide information concerning what the next two years will look like and beyond.

In addition to what the division has planned for the construction the Friends of the Corridor Schools Society is fundraising to further enhance the projects.

“One of their primary ones is they would like to get a larger gym than what we’re funded for, which would provide for space for bleachers and creating a better place then to host tournaments and things like that,” said Wedman.

The public meeting will be held at Leslieville Elementary School with the board voting on the matter at the April 28 meeting.

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