Gateway Gazette

FSD Trustees Approve Plan to Move Kindergarten in Okotoks

 

Trustees approve plan to move kindergarten from Westmount School to Big Rock School to address enrolment pressures in Okotoks

HIGH RIVER, AB – Foothills School Division’s Board of Trustees today approved a recommendation to temporarily relocate Westmount School’s kindergarten program to Big Rock School, effective September 2015. The decision will remain in effect until enrolment at Westmount School declines to a sufficient level below the enrolment cap of 700 students.

The Board’s decision regarding the Westmount kindergarten program relates to one element of the school division’s strategy, announced March 4, 2015, to address mounting enrolment pressures and a lack of new school sites within the Town of Okotoks.

“The decision by our Trustees follows a detailed community consultation process that provided numerous opportunities for stakeholders to offer input, including written submissions, an online survey and face-to-face at a public meeting held in Okotoks in April,” said John Bailey, Superintendent of Schools for Foothills School Division.

“We received a modest amount of feedback, all of which was provided to our Trustees to factor into their decision-making at the June 3rd Board meeting. People understand the challenges we’re facing in Okotoks with a lack of school space. They also appreciate the fact that we honoured widespread feedback asking us not to impact students currently enrolled in Okotoks schools who have already established friendships and relationships at their schools,” Bailey explained.

“As a Board, we carefully reviewed all of the comments received from our stakeholders, which assisted us in making a well-informed decision,” said Christine Pretty, Chair, Foothills School Division Board of Trustees. “On behalf of my Board colleagues, we thank everyone who took the time to provide the school division with their opinions.”

Foothills School Division will communicate the Board’s decision to stakeholders through a variety of channels, including letters to parents in the Westmount and Big Rock attendance boundaries who have already enrolled their children in kindergarten for fall 2015. The school division will also work with school administrators to facilitate relocation of the kindergarten program from Westmount to Big Rock, including staff transfers and physical requirements such as classroom furniture and supplies.

For more information on Foothills School Division’s Okotoks School Plan, please visit http://www.fsd38.ab.ca/okotoks-school-plan/

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