Grassland School Gr. 7-12 considered for closure

Grades 7-12 at Grassland School considered for closure
Posted on 02/10/2020
Grassland School

February 7, 2020

At its February 6, 2020 meeting, the Board of Trustees of Aspen View Public Schools served a Notice of Motion that Grades 7-12 at Grassland School be considered for closure, effective June 30, 2020. The motion will be debated and voted on at a special meeting of the Board of Trustees, being held on Wednesday, April 8, 2020 at 10 a.m. in the Division Office boardroom (3600 48 Ave., Athabasca).

It is important to note that no decision has yet been made. The time preceding the April 8, 2020 meeting will be used to gather feedback from parents, community members and other stakeholders, and to examine all information and options regarding the viability of Grassland School.

At the April 8 meeting, the Board of Trustees will deliberate the closure of Grades 7-12 at Grassland School and make a decision.

The Board of Trustees invites parents, community members and other stakeholders to a public meeting to be held at Grassland School on Wednesday, March 11, 2020 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. At this meeting, Aspen View Public Schools will:

  • Review the Grassland School Viability Report;

  • Review the potential implications of closing Grades 7-12 at Grassland School;

  • Provide an opportunity for stakeholders to meet individually with a trustee and/or Aspen View Public Schools Superintendent regarding specific concerns or questions.

Written presentations on the possible closure of Grades 7-12 at Grassland School will be accepted at any time prior to March 27, 2020, and members of the public may request to form a delegation to present their input at the Board meeting on March 19, 2020.

The Board of Trustees is very interested in input and comments from stakeholders as they consider this important decision about the future of Grassland School.

We recognize that school closure or restructuring can be an emotional issue that evokes strong feelings. Aspen View Public Schools administration and trustees are committed to maintaining respectful and thoughtful dialogue with parents, staff, and community members throughout this process.

Thank you for your anticipated cooperation with the process.

Sincerely,

Neil O’Shea, Superintendent
Aspen View Public Schools

Potential closure of Grades 7-12 at Grassland School: Q&A

1. Why is Aspen View Public Schools considering the closure of Grades 7-12 at Grassland School?

Aspen View Public Schools Policy 15 – School & Program Viability includes enrolment thresholds which signal that a school’s viability may be in question. Each year, the Superintendent is required to advise the Board of any schools that have fallen below these enrolment thresholds. The Board of Trustees has the opportunity to act on that information through a viability study.

The Board of Trustees has been aware for several years that Grassland School’s enrolment is below the established enrolment thresholds. To this point, the Board of Trustees has chosen not to act on that information. Enrolment decline at Grassland School has accelerated, dropping by approximately 37 per cent since 2015. This year, the Board elected to proceed with a viability study.

2. What did the Grassland School Viability Study recommend?

On November 15, 2019, Aspen View Public Schools contracted Edmonton Public Schools to conduct the Grassland School Viability Study. Planners visited Grassland School on December 2, 2019 to assess school programming and operations. Data from Alberta Education and an economic scan of the greater Athabasca region were also factored into the study.


The Grassland School Viability Report can be found here.

The recommendation from the Grassland School Viability Study is to close Grassland School in its entirety and re-designate students to Boyle School.

The Board of Trustees has reviewed and discussed the Grassland School Viability Report. Following those discussions, the Notice of Motion put forward for consideration is to close Grades 7-12, and keep Grassland School open as a K-6 school.

3. If Grades 7-12 at Grassland School were closed, where would the students go?

Boyle School would become the designated school for all Grade 7-12 students living in the Grassland School attendance area.

4. What impact would the closure of Grades 7-12 at Grassland School have on busing?

Aspen View Public School would provide busing for all eligible students to Grassland School (for K-6 students) or Boyle School (for Grade 7-12 students).

Pick-up times and ride lengths will depend largely on the location of individual students’ residences. Aspen View Public Schools will provide additional transportation information at the March 11 public meeting.

5. How many students would be affected by the closure of Grades 7-12 at Grassland School?

Based on current enrolment projections for the 2020-21 school year, approximately 22 students in Grades 7-12 would be reassigned from Grassland School to Boyle School.

6. When is the public meeting?

A public meeting will be held at Grassland School on Wednesday, March 11, 2020 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the implications of closure of Grades 7-12 at Grassland School. We encourage you to attend. The Board of Trustees would like to hear from you.

7. How can I contact the Board of Trustees with my views?

Written comments will be received until March 27, 2020. Please direct your comments to:
execasst@aspenview.org

To book a delegation to present at the March 19, 2020 regular meeting of the Board of Trustees, please submit at Delegation Request Form by March 12, 2020.

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