Edmonton high schools may soon face crowded classrooms

The Edmonton public school board is planning for the day when the district’s high schools will face much higher enrolment.
“We want to be ahead of the conversation,” says Chris Wright, managing director for infrastructure with Edmonton Public Schools. (CBC)

The Edmonton public school board is planning for the day when the district's high schools could face much higher enrolment.

With student populations on the rise in the elementary grades, the board believes classroom space in high schools will become a challenge within five to seven years.

The district tracks enrolment with a number called "utilization rate." Right now, that rate sits at 84 per cent for public high schools across the city. That rate is expected to rise as thousands of elementary students move up through the grades.

The board is hosting a series of public meetings about the issue. The latest was held Wednesday at Jasper Place High School.

"We want to be ahead of the conversation," said Chris Wright, managing director for infrastructure with Edmonton Public Schools.

"The district is being proactive in discussing with our parent community and our stakeholders about high school space over the short-, medium- and long-term. We know that we've had enrolment increases, especially at our younger grades, and we want to be ready for the time at which those kids hit high school."

The next meeting will be held March 17 at Queen Elizabeth High School.

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