The first of two community consultations was held last night to discuss how Rocky View Schools will utilize the currently empty school on Powell Street (formally Holy Spirit School).
The meeting held on Thursday evening, January 26 took place at Manachaban School and 180 to 200 people attended the meeting.
There were rumours floating around the community ahead of the consultation and some may have entered the meeting with pre-disposed ideas but RVS Board Trustee, Fiona Gilbert says, "I think once we were able to share some information and people realized okay, this is just the first step. No decisions have been made and we are just sharing information and collecting feedback I think once that was clear to people that definitely helped with the tone. There was great engagement by everybody there everybody wanting to talk and share their opinions and feedback and things like that, so that is good."
During the two-hour meeting, Rocky View Schools made their presentation which included an overview of the schools in Cochrane, the status of the Powell Street school, the projections for schools in Cochrane, key considerations for planning, and the presented scenarios. At the end of the evening, attendees were given a chance to table talk and then were informed of what will happen next.
The three scenarios presented 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.
There were compelling numbers to support all three scenarios with near or over-capacity attendance at current schools being the common denominator.
According to RVS, the next steps will entail stakeholders submitting other options in written form by March 23, 2023, for RVS to consider. There will also be the opportunity for people to provide delegations to the Board of Trustees on March 23, 2023, at the RVS Educations Centre in Airdrie.
A second public meeting is scheduled to take place on March 2, 2023, at Mitford School/Cochrane Christian Academy from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Gilbert says, "I want to encourage everyone to provide feedback. We do want to hear from everybody."
Feedback may also be provided online through RVSEngage.com.