The Grande Prairie and District Catholic School division are proposing new boundaries for their new junior-senior schools. Superintendent Karl Germann says community consultations will be arranged to allow residents and parents to provide feedback on the potential adjustment. The changes would be put into place in the 2017/2018 and 2018/2019 school years for St. John Paul II Junior-Senior Catholic High School and St. Joe’s High School. He says all consultations will wrap up by January 2017 to allow for transportation and programming to be set in place.
The proposed boundary would have students from Hillside, Smith area, Cobblestone, Creekside and Riverstone and anywhere north of those areas attend the new school in Arbour Hills. Students in Countryside North, South Patterson, North Patterson, and Highland Park and south of these areas would attend St. Joe’s.
The boundary changes will also help accommodate for the division’s switch to have the junior-senior schools go from grade 8 to 12 and primary schools go from Kindergarten to grade 7 by the 2018/2019 school year.
Germann explains that due to delays in the tendering, St. John Paul II school will not be open as soon as originally planned. It was set for September 2017 but will now be ready for January 31st, 2018. The students going into grade 8 and 9 in 2017 from St. Gerard, Holy Cross, St. Clement and the northern boundary of Mother Teresa will temporarily attend St. Catherine school in September 2017. These students will attend school there while they wait for the completion of the high school in Arbour Hills in the new year.
The french immersion program will eventually be phased out of the St. Joe’s building and moved solely to St. John Paul II. Germann says this shuffle will be done over a three year period and to help in this transition, the St. Gerard grade 9 immersion students will be moved to St. Joe’s for 2017/2018. The Superintendent explains that the last french immersion graduating class will consist of the students that are currently attending grade 9 at St. Joe’s for the 2016/2017 school year. They will graduate in 2020.