The Grande Prairie Public School Division has seen student population growth of just over one per cent for the 2019/2020 year.
“We came in just about exactly on what we projected we would; we went pretty conservatively,” says Superintendent Sandy McDonald.
McDonald says about 100 students were welcomed into the fold for the school year with much of the growth coming in places they expected.
“We saw some really big growth in Kindergarten/Grade 1, and in our new schools, which are in those areas where there is still a little bit of building going on and people still buying houses.”
He adds the Grande Prairie Composite High School also saw a growing population as well, which comes as a pleasant surprise, as they continue to look forward to their eventual replacement.
“The existing Composite High School is a school with a great deal of tradition. [There’s] some really neat features, some amazing shops, and industrial areas in the school, but its age and condition are just such that we are unable to work with Alberta Education and Alberta Infrastructure to modernize it.
A replacement for the Comp was planned and developed after the city approved a land swap deal, which gives the province a swath of its land in Royal Oaks for the piece west of the current school’s location. It has faced delays, but McDonald says the district is inching closer to the start of construction on its big-ticket project, with a sod-turning planned for November 1st.
Grande Prairie Public School Division now houses around 8,500 students.
*Editors Note: The original version of this article referred to the GPPSD as the Grande Prairie Public School District. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.*