5 school closures recommended in P.E.I. report on public schools
Public meetings on recommendations to be held in Feb.
The P.E.I. Public Schools Branch has released its draft recommendations on how to address problems of Island schools that are either underutilized or overcrowded — and they include closing five Island schools: Georgetown Elementary, Belfast Consolidated, St. Jean Elementary in Charlottetown, St. Louis Elementary and Bloomfield Elementary.
Read the full report here.
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The report was released Tuesday night at a meeting of the Public Schools Branch's board of directors.
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- The hard numbers on P.E.I. school enrolment: Some overcrowded, many underutilized
It makes specific recommendations for the six families of schools that underwent a major review.
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The Kinkora family of schools includes Kinkora Regional High School, Amherst Cove Consolidated and
The report states that current utilization in this family of schools is 62 per cent.
The report recommends completing what it calls a Category II study of the schools of Kinkora, Three Oaks, Bluefield and Kensington families "to investigate improving transportation of students and school utilization.
"This study should investigate the merits of rezoning Grade 10-12 students to Three Oaks Senior High, Kensington Intermediate Senior High and/or Bluefield High," it says.
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The Montague family of schools includes Montague Regional High School, Belfast Consolidated, Cardigan Consolidated, Georgetown Elementary, Montague Consolidated, Montague Intermediate, Southern Kings Consolidated and Vernon River Consolidated.
The current utilization across this family of schools is 62 per cent.
The report's most dramatic recommendation is closing Georgetown Elementary and rezoning students to Cardigan Consolidated and Montague Intermediate, and closing Belfast Consolidated and merging the eastern portion of its zone with the Southern Kings zone, and the western portion of the Belfast zone with the Vernon River zone, to improve the utilization in the remaining schools.
It also recommends merging the south portion of Mount Stewart Consolidated catchment with the Cardigan Consolidated zone, Montague Intermediate catchment and the Montague Regional High catchment to reduce students' travel time.
Southern Kings Consolidated should be reconfigured to Grades K to 9, and pending sufficient enrolment, late French immersion should be added to Montague Intermediate, the reports also states.
The Morell family of schools includes Morell Consolidated, Morell Regional High School and Mount Stewart Consolidated.
The report recommends rezoning Savage Harbour students to Mount Stewart Consolidated, merging the south portion of the Mount Stewart catchment with the Cardigan Consolidated catchment, Montague Intermediate catchment and Montague Regional High catchment, reconfiguring Mount Stewart Consolidated and Morell Consolidated to Grades K to 6, reconfiguring Morell Regional to grades 7 to 12.
The report also states: "At a future date, the feasibility of closing Mount Stewart and Morell Consolidated and renovating Morell Regional to accommodate Grades K to 12 should be investigated."
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The Westisle family of schools includes Westisle Composite High, Alberton Elementary, Bloomfield Elementary, Ellerslie Elementary, Hernewood Intermediate, M.E. Callaghan Intermediate, O'Leary Elementary, St. Louis Elementary and Tignish Elementary.
School utilization in this family is 59 per cent, the report notes.
It recommends closing St. Louis Elementary, merging its students with Tignish Elementary, and closing Bloomfield Elementary — sending some of its students to either Alberton or O'Leary.
"All three schools are in similar condition and are well equipped to deliver the K to 6 curriculum," the report states. French immersion would be added at those schools, it added.
The report also recommends "adjusting" the Hernewood and M.E. Callaghan zones.
Charlottetown Rural and Colonel Gray
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The report recommends merging the Charlottetown Rural and Colonel Gray families of schools to create 10 elementary schools, three intermediate schools and two high schools.
The Charlottetown Rural family of schools includes Charlottetown Rural High School, Donagh Regional School, Glen Stewart Primary, L.M. Montgomery Elementary, Sherwood Elementary, Stonepark Intermediate and Stratford Elementary.
The Colonel Gray family of schools includes Colonel Gray Senior High, Birchwood Intermediate, Parkdale Elementary, Prince Street Elementary, Queen Charlotte Intermediate, Spring Park Elementary, St. Jean Elementary, West Kent Elementary and West Royalty Elementary.
Perhaps the most dramatic recommendation of the 15 for this Charlottetown group is closing St. Jean Elementary in Charlottetown, which has the lowest utilization in the area and will soon be in need of renovations.
It also recommends rezoning Stratford and Donagh Intermediate students to Birchwood Intermediate to reduce overcrowding at Stonepark.
The report recommends West Kent and West Royalty elementary schools both become "dual-track" schools offering French immersion and English.
Glen Stewart's catchment and Donagh's should be merged, it added, to reduce enrolment at Glen Stewart and Stratford and increase the number of students using nearby Donagh.
And it said at a future date Charlottetown Rural and Colonel Gray zones should be "investigated to improve transportation by zoning students to a closer school."
- School overcrowding fix can't be delayed, meeting told
- Colonel Gray school community voices issues of strength and weakness
Opportunities for feedback
The remaining four school families — Kensington, Souris, Three Oaks and Bluefield — did not undergo a major review.
The Public Schools Branch will have another set of meetings, again divided by family of school, where people can share their thoughts on the report's recommendations.
The details for those meetings were also announced tonight.
- Charlottetown Rural, Colonel Gray families — Feb. 1, 7 p.m., Colonel Gray.
- Kinkora family of schools — Feb. 2, 7 p.m., Kinkora Regional High.
- Montague family of schools — Feb. 7, 7 p.m., Montague Regional High.
- Morell family of schools — Feb. 8, 7 p.m., Morell Regional High.
- Westisle family of schools — Feb. 9, 7 p.m., Westisle Composite.
Anyone who wishes to speak is being asked to book a time in advance through Bob Andrews, the man who's been managing the reorganization, at email@example.com or (902) 368-5868. They will be limited to 10 minutes at the microphone, to accommodate as many people as possible, a written release said.
People can also give their feedback online at princeedwardisland.ca/betterlearningforall.
You can view the dates for the upcoming public meetings here: <a href="https://t.co/dhWdc2SzR6">https://t.co/dhWdc2SzR6</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/PEISchoolReview?src=hash">#PEISchoolReview</a>—@PSBPEI
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