Sunday, March 30, 2008

School District divvies up the students

With Seal Cove and Kanata elementary schools now scheduled for closure at the end of this current school year, the School District has redefined the borders for the two remaining east side schools Conrad and Lax Keen.

The school district sent home letters on Friday to advise parents of the new boundaries and to explain the changes about to take place for their children.

The Daily News had full details on the School District developments in Friday's paper.

Eastside students learn where they will go to school
By Kris Schumacher
The Daily News
Friday, March 28, 2008

Pages one and two

Staff at School District 52 have finished their review of school catchment areas for the next school year that was needed because of the closure of Seal Cove and Kanata elementaries.
The changes mean all elementary students on the eastside of town will now live in the catchment area of either Lax Kxeen or Conrad Elementary school.

The district sent letters home today to every student and their families informing them of their new catchment area.

The new boundaries were redrawn after a decision by the Board of Education to consolidate Seal Cove and Kanata Elementary schools at the end of the 2007-08 school year.

Superintendent of Schools Eric Mercer described the exercise as "challenging," particularly given the fact that the two schools now serving the eastside are so close together.

"No matter where your children attend school in our district, they will receive a quality education and have their needs met," said Mercer.

"We understand the Board of Education's decision to consolidate schools was the first step in an emotional and challenging process.

"We've now drawn up the boundaries keeping equity in mind, and we expect to get feedback from the community next week."

Children already registered in an eastside school, but who are changing schools as a result of the newly drawn boundaries, will automatically be registered in their new catchment area school.
All students entering Kindergarten will also need to register as usual.

Following notification of the new catchment areas, families will have until April 11, 2008, to submit any cross-boundary applications, should they wish to attend a school other than the one that serves their neighbourhood.

These requests need to be renewed each year and there is no guarantee of approval from year to year.

Parents or guardians who have already submitted a request but now reside in the new catchment area of the school of their choice do not need to contact the board office, their request will simply be removed.

All other requests will remain active and will be processed accordingly.

The school district is also working on a plan to take care of the bussing needs of children and families now living a further distance from their catchment area school.

Information will be sent home regarding the bussing plan closer to the end of the school year. The next step will be the approval process for cross-boundary requests, and all families should know by the end of April which school their children will attend in September 2008.

In addition, plans are underway to introduce students and parents to their new school communities prior to the autumn in order to ease the transition.

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