Monday, March 17, 2008

School District 52 works on plan to ease transition from closed schools

Hoping to ease some of the trauma of recently announced school closures on the east side of the city, School District 52 is working out a plan to aid in the transition for students, parents and teachers.

The School District is working on a redrawing of the catchment areas for the schools that will remain open and want to have that information provided to parents and students as soon as possible.

They will be dedicating their efforts to try and make the changes and transition as smooth as possible over the rest of the school year and on to the start of the year in September.

The Daily News featured the details of the road ahead for all with a front page story in Monday's paper.

School district is making plans for closure of Kanata and Seal Cove
By Kris Schumacher
The Daily News
Monday, March 17, 2008
Page one

Following the decision to close Seal Cove and Kanata elementary schools, staff at School District 52 are now putting together a plan that will help students, their families and educators transition to new facilities.

The district has begun work to on redrawing the catchment areas on the eastside of the city, and staff will notify affected families as soon as the process is complete. It is expected to take until the end of March to draw up the new boundaries - then parents will have until April 11 to deal with enrollment for the 2008-09 school year.

"Our team will be working diligently over spring break to redraw catchment areas," said Eric Mercer, superintendent of schools. "People can expect this information to be sent through the schools, on the school district's web site and in local media as soon as it is available."

At last week's school board meeting, the district also affirmed its commitment to develop a formal transition plan that will include celebrations of the contributions of the schools that are being closed, welcoming events for new students and parents at receiving schools and the closing and transition of the Parent Advisory Councils.

"Parents need to be reminded that their children will react according to how their parents react," said Mercer.

"We all need to focus on making this transition as smooth as possible."

Students and staff at Seal Cove and Kanata were notified of the decision to close their buildings by Mercer and Board Chair Tina Last during special assemblies last Wednesday where they answered questions from staff and students. Last said that during coming months, the board will be fully committed to ensuring a sense of belonging and safety of its students, as well as honouring the memories and emotions packed into every classroom.

"This isn't the ending, this is a beginning," said Last.

"I have absolute conviction you can take any child to any school in this district and they will be embraced. We will have to be as supportive as humanly possible to the transition and ensure that transition goes as smooth as possible."

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