A crowd of close to 400 attended the second community engagement meeting last night at Mitford/CCA School to discuss how to best use the Powell Street school (old Holy Spirit School). At that time Rocky View Schools provided additional information, including another two usage options, and answered questions.
The first meeting was held on January 26, at which time three proposed options for the school were discussed. The three options suggested were:
Scenario A would see Cochrane Christian Academy move into the Powell Street location as either a K-8 or K-4 school. Glenbow French Immersion would then feed into Mitford.
Scenario B would see Powell Street school become a French Immersion K-4 school for the entire region. Grades 5 remains at the elementary schools.
Scenario C would see a K-5 English program for the south of the river and would impact Fireside School.
Following that meeting stakeholders were invited to provide feedback in writing or online and RVS took the information and compiled the information for last night’s meeting. Two hundred and eighty people took to the Engage portal to provide that feedback.
Last night a lengthy and detailed presentation laid out to attendees the numbers and an additional two options to consider for the Powell Street school. Those were presented as:
Scenario D Cochrane Christian Academy (CCA) becomes a dual campus (K-5 in school on Powell Street and Gr. 6-8 in the current location. French Immersion from Glenbow feeds into Mitford and Manachaban continues as FI for Elizabeth Barrett only.
Scenario E K-4 students from communities east of Highway 22 and south of Bow River attend the school on Powell Street.
Sheri Tobin, a parent of children currently attending Fireside School says, “I obviously don’t think the scenario of Fireside is the best option to move over to Powell Street. But after the presentation tonight, it was a little more informative helping me understand why just seeing the capacity Fireside is at I can see why they are looking at this scenario as a possible outcome. But obviously, I hope that all my kids can stay at the one school, that would be ideal.” Tobin feels that the two scenarios that make the most sense to her are the Heartland and East end students attending Powell Street, or CCA K-8 moving into the school.
Dan Dejong has grandchildren who attend CCA and his thought is, “I think with this whole discussion tonight, the biggest thing is keeping the schools together, don’t break them up. So, whatever is the most accommodating to that I think is just prudent and wise.” Dejong believes splitting up the student body at CCA would be a big mistake.
Jessica McLauchlin, a mother of three Fireside students said after the meeting, “It’s hard to even put into words right now. I feel like I need to go home and collect my thoughts, but I definitely feel like, my kids are in Fireside, and that is a scenario I am strongly against. I think splitting up a community is just not the way to go especially after what our kids have been through the last couple of years.”
During the meeting, RVS addressed questions that had been raised by stakeholders which included:
What has RVS done regarding advocacy efforts?
How much space can be added to the school on Powell Street? Why can’t you just add more modular units to the school?
What will busing be like to the school on Powell Street? How long will my child be on the bus?
The school on Powell Street is an older building. Is it a healthy building?
Has RVS considered the development of Greystone?
The next step in the decision-making process will be to provide time, up to March 23, for people to provide feedback online. Then on the 23rd, stakeholders can present to the Board at its public meeting at 10 a.m. at the EVS education Centre in Airdrie. Requests to present must be submitted no later than March 17, c/o Greg Luterbach, Superintendent of Schools, at 2651 Chinook Winds Dr., Airdrie, T4B 0B4 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Board will consider the accommodation plan for the school on Powell Street at its public Board meeting scheduled for April 27 (subject to change). A notice will be issued to all stakeholders regarding any decision following the public meeting.
Once it has been determined who will attend the school and the grade/program configuration of the school, the Board will give the facility a new name.
The plan is for the Powell Street school to be operational by September 2023.