Grade ten students at Dr. Kearney and Bert Bowes will be staying where they are – at least for now.
School district 60 announced today, plans to reconfigure the two Jr. High schools into middle schools, have been postponed.
But, Superintendant Larry Espe emphasizes the plans have not been stopped, but rather delayed, until September of 2010. [asset|aid=713|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=e97437347eecc355533e201fc6a50712-Larry-1stTime_1_Pub.mp3] District 60 cites enrolment, staffing, and needed renovations as a few of the reasons for the postponement.
He adds some people will be disappointed with the postponement, but he sees that as a bittersweet result. [asset|aid=714|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=b59ebb8e15802fa9ca062c6e1cff23a6-larry-disappointed_1_Pub.mp3]
As for why the district would be considering this in the first place… [asset|aid=715|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=b59ebb8e15802fa9ca062c6e1cff23a6-Larry-benefits_1_Pub.mp3]
The plan would see Dr. Kearney and Bert Bowes schools reconfigured as middle schools, meaning they would house students in grades 7, 8, and 9. Grade ten students would be sent to North Peace Secondary.
Espe says NPSS does need expanding, but district 60 can’t necessarily count on provincial funding to do it. He says there are other options, including flexible timetables, community partnerships, and even portables as a last ditch option.