A school board plan to shift many French immersion students from Victory school to the new King George school in 2014 – in one of two ways – will be discussed at a public meeting next Tuesday.
The 7-9 p.m. Oct. 23 public information session at King George school will look at two shortlisted scenarios proposed by board staff.
Staff’s preferred scenario would see all Grade 4 to 6 French immersion students moved from Victory to King George. The alternative to moving Grade 4 to 6 French immersion students from Victory to King George would be to shrink Victory’s French immersion attendance area for all junior kindergarten to Grade 6 FI students.
The rebuilt school on the King George site on Lemon Street, which opened last month, will have room to take a lot of students from Victory when it becomes a JK-8 French immersion centre in September 2014, a new staff report says.
Victory, it says, is facing enrolment pressure because of the arrival of full-day kindergarten there in 2014 and increasing French immersion enrolment.
Available space at King George in 2014 “will be used to right-size Victory school, either through a grade level shift or boundary reassignment,” the report says.
Victory school now has 200 FI students, as well as 84 students in the regular English track. As things stand, it would be about 100 students over its capacity of 294 by September 2014, the report says.
No changes are being considered for Victory’s boundaries for JK-6 students in the English program.
If Victory’s boundary for FI students changes in 2014, about 180 FI students in junior kindergarten to Grade 6 would remain at the school. The new attendance area for FI students at Victory would be bounded by Clarence and Division streets, Edinburgh and London roads, and the Speed River. Students living north of Division and Clarence streets would be reassigned to King George in 2014, but Grade 6 students would likely be allowed to finish up at Victory that year.
The scenario preferred by staff would see Grades 4 to 6 move from Victory to King George, where these FI students would remain through Grade 8. In this scenario, Victory would be left with about 205 FI students in junior kindergarten to Grade 3, along with about 85 regular-track students in JK-6.
The advantages of this preferred scenario, the board says, include keeping the youngest students in a local school, maintaining friendships by keeping grades together and promoting walking to school as a healthy option for JK-3 students.
There would be less busing of students under this scenario, the board says.
The key advantage of the other scenario, where Victory’s boundary would shrink for all FI students, is that siblings directed to King George would stay together rather than being split between Victory and King George, the board says.
Both scenarios propose that King George will take Grade 7 and 8 FI students from Victory and Edward Johnson schools, as well as from its local area. These FI students currently cross the river to attend John McCrae school for Grades 7 and 8.
“Students entering Grade 8 in 2014 will be grandparented at John McCrae, which means King George will offer JK-7 FI in that year and JK-8 the following year,” says a board news release.
The new report by Upper Grand District School Board staff can be viewed at www.ugdsb.on.ca/kgbr.
The board has set Nov. 30 as the deadline for public input. A final boundary report will be made public on Dec. 7 and will go to the board’s business operations committee on Dec. 11, where delegations will be heard. A final decision is to be made at a Dec. 18 board meeting where delegations will also be heard.