By Doug Hallett
The public school board, which is launching a boundary review for the new King George school, is looking at shifting some French immersion students from Victory school to King George in a couple of years.
The arrival of full-day kindergarten at Victory in September 2014, combined with a growing number of French immersion students, means the school’s enrolment in 2014 “is projected to be 365 students, nearly 100 over the current number of students,” a board news release said.
Victory school, located near Exhibition Park, is a dual-track school with both French immersion students and students in the regular English track. It has a capacity of 294 students. “Originally built in 1919, the school has very limited space to accommodate more students using portables,” the release said.
The rebuilt King George, which opens this September, is expected to become a French immersion centre in September 2014 after two years of being used as a holding school.
The “long-term plan” is to make King George an FI centre for junior kindergarten to Grade 8 students, “but there will be a delay before it assumes that role,” the release said.
For the next two school years, King George will have some French immersion students, but it will also be a holding school for some students in the regular English track. Laurine Avenue students will go there while their school is rebuilt during the 2012-13 school year. st eThen a large group of students from the city’s eastern outskirts will go to King George during the 2013-14 school year, while a new school is built on Lee Street to relieve enrolment pressure at Ken Danby school.
King George, located on Lemon Street west of John F. Ross Collegiate, has been rebuilt with a capacity of 504 students.
In 2014, it’s expected to have 280 French immersion students from what used to be part of the attendance area for Edward Johnson school, a JK-6 French immersion centre. These students will start at King George when it opens this fall and will stay there throughout their elementary years.
The rest of the space available at King George in 2014 could be used to relieve overcrowding at Victory and at John McCrae school, a JK-8 French immersion centre south of the river on Water Street, the release said.
Relocation of Grade 7 and 8 French immersion students living north of the river from John McCrae to King George in 2014 could free up space for the start of full-day kindergarten at John McCrae that year, it said.
Paisley Road school, a dual-track school, also faces enrolment pressure when it gets full-day kindergarten in September 2014, says a staff report that went to the Upper Grand District School Board’s business operations committee last week. Enrolment at Paisley Road, which has a capacity of 499 students, is projected to jump to 605 students in the fall of 2014, the report says.
King George won’t be able to relieve enrolment pressures at both Victory and Paisley Road, the report suggests. If Grade 7 and 8 FI students living north of the river are shifted to King George from John McCrae, “staff recognizes that King George Public School will only resolve the enrolment pressures at Victory PS,” it says.
Paisley Road is expected to have three portables in use during the 2012-13 school year, and full-day kindergarten will require more portables, the report says. Like Victory, Paisley Road has a site that’s “unfavourable for housing portables,” it says.
The King George boundary review committee, made up of board staff, will be looking at various boundary scenarios, the release said. The committee’s next report to the business operations committee on Oct. 16 will include recommended attendance areas for King George.
A public information meeting is tentatively scheduled for Oct. 18, where parents can look at the recommended scenario and at alternative scenarios, ask questions and provide input, the release said.
It’s expected the boundary review will be completed by mid-December. For more information visit www.ugdsb.on.ca/kgbr