Leduc Schools Boundary and Grade Configuration Review
At their Special Board Meeting on November 3, 2023, the Black Gold School Division’s Board of Trustees voted to approve the Administration’s recommendations for boundary and grade configurations for its schools in Leduc (excluding *Covenant Christian School and the Leduc Outreach School), as presented.
Creating attendance boundaries for Ohpaho Secondary School and Leduc Composite High School, with Highway 2 acting as the boundary line for attendance areas between the two high schools; students on the east side of Highway 2 will attend Leduc Composite High School, and those on the west side of Highway 2 will attend Ohpaho Secondary School.
Relocating Caledonia Park School Grade 8 and 9 students to Leduc Composite High School.
Relocating West Haven Public School Grade 8 and 9 students to Ohpaho Secondary School.
Relocating all K – 6 students from the neighbourhood of Black Stone to École Leduc Estates School for French Immersion (FI) programming, and to West Haven Public School for English (ENG) programming.
Relocating all K – 6 students in the neighbourhood of Woodbend from Linsford Park School to École Leduc Estates School for both FI and ENG programming.
Implementing the above recommendations in conjunction with the opening of Ohpaho Secondary School for the 2024 – 2025 school year.
The above takes into account feedback gathered through the public engagement opportunities (two surveys and an open house), along with detailed discussions with key stakeholders. The Division, where possible, has worked to address parent concerns and incorporate the community’s suggestions in its decision-making process.
The addition of the 1,100-student Ohpaho Secondary School allows the Division to address the high utilization rates at Leduc Composite High School, West Haven Public School, and Caledonia Park School. In addition, moving to a grade 8 to 12 configuration provides adequate space for students at both Leduc Composite High School and Ohpaho Secondary School, and creates sufficient capacity to accommodate the growth of new students within their attendance boundaries.
Both secondary schools will provide students with comparable opportunities for programming; however, each school will offer unique courses based on the expertise of the staff and available facilities. Inclusive Education programming will be provided at both schools.
To support equitable programming through balanced senior high numbers at both schools, the grades 10-12 French Immersion program, currently located at Leduc Composite High School, will be moved to Ohpaho Secondary School.
Enrolment at Caledonia Park School and West Haven Public School will decrease due to the grade configuration changes, resulting in opportunities to reclaim various school spaces that are currently being used for regular classrooms rather than their intended design and purpose.
For students to have the most opportunities at each school and to ensure student program requirements are met, all Leduc students will transition to their designated school at the start of the 2024 – 2025 school year.
*The Black Gold School Division will continue to honor its agreement with Covenant Christian School (CCS). All CCS students will have access to a Leduc-area school depending on where they reside in relation to Highway 2, which acts as the boundary line for attendance areas between Ohpaho Secondary School and Leduc Composite High School.
Through the reconfiguration process, we anticipate that several bus routes will align more closely with neighbourhood schools, and bus route efficiencies will be realized due to having a high school on both sides of Highway 2.
New school transportation eligibility requirements will be mandatory starting in the 2024 – 2025 school year. The calculation for the distance to schools will be based on driving distance rather than walking distance, resulting in a comprehensive review of all current routes.
Implementation of the approved changes will take place in conjunction with the opening of Ohpaho Secondary School for the 2024 – 2025 school year. Staffing redeployment analysis has begun to ensure an equitable distribution of administrative, teaching, and support staff at each affected school.
Initial staffing for Ohpaho Secondary School has begun with the appointment of a principal and vice principal, who are working to get the school ready for opening in September 2024.
We thank all families for their patience and understanding during this complex reconfiguration process. The approved recommendations strike a balanced approach to viable enrolments at all schools and minimize disruptions to students and families while providing continuing quality programming for all students through equitable school utilization. They also provide a measure of stability for Leduc schools for the foreseeable future.
On February 22, 2023, the Board of Trustees passed a Notice of Motion, based on Board Policy 15 – Appendix: School Reconfiguration, to begin a reconfiguration process – inclusive of public consultation – on the proposed school boundary and grade configuration review for schools within Leduc (excluding Covenant Christian School and the Leduc Outreach School).
Why are we doing this?
With the anticipated opening in September 2024 of Ohpaho Secondary School – with an opening capacity of 1,100 students – there is a need to establish attendance boundaries and grade configuration for the new school, and conduct a review of the impact of these additional student spaces on other Leduc schools as the community is growing at a significant rate.
Over the last two years, East Elementary School, Caledonia Park School, Leduc Composite High School, Ecole Leduc Junior High School, and West Haven Public School have experienced their highest enrolments, leading to very high utilization rates. In fact, four of our nine schools in Leduc are above the 100 percent utilization rate (see map below), which creates an urgent need for extra student spaces across the community.
What are our project objectives?
The Division’s overall goals are to ensure continued quality programming for all students through equitable school utilization. In addition, we’re seeking to:
To maximize the boundary and grade configuration effectiveness and minimize the amount of disruption to achieve this.
To enable viable enrolments at all schools.
To permit Division programs (e.g. French Immersion) and services at the appropriate schools.
To continue to accommodate Inclusive Education.
To ensure all schools work within their capacity, in terms of “permanent” school facilities and portable/modular classrooms.
To support a successful transition of students and families from current attendance boundaries and maximize school utilization.
To respect the City of Leduc residential neighbourhood boundaries as closely as possible.
Consider transportation efficiencies
What are we doing?
To address the above concerns, the Division contracted the services of Edmonton Public Schools Planning Consultancy to submit the Leduc Student Attendance Area Study, which was presented to the Board on February 22.
The study’s goals include proposing attendance area options for Ohpaho Secondary School, and reviewing Leduc school boundaries (excluding Covenant Christian School and Leduc Outreach School) to accommodate as many students as close to home as possible.
This comprehensive study provides a number of concepts to help address the capacity challenges, which will be further investigated through a public engagement process. It is through this public engagement process that a final recommendation will be generated and presented to the Board for consideration this fall.
So, what’s next?
The next steps in this review process involve Administration forming working and advisory committees to review the concepts as presented by the consultants, and to develop and implement a multi-phased public engagement process.
Over the coming months, Leduc school communities will be provided opportunities to review and provide feedback on the various boundary and grade configuration proposals. More information and updates on this project, including timelines for public engagement opportunities, will be provided in the coming weeks.