CALGARY – Calgary’s Catholic School Board is planning some big changes for next school year but the proposals aren’t sitting well with some parents.
The changes include the possible closure of two inner city schools including the St. John Fine Arts school on Kensington Road, which has been open since 1916.
“There are a lot of students that are from a different location than where that school is located so it may make sense for them to go to a different location for transportation reasons, for facility usage,” says Janet Corsten with the Calgary Catholic School District.
Parents like Gloria Walls, who lives in Rocky Ridge, are thrilled with the idea of the fine arts program relocating to a school to Calgary’s suburbs.
“If they are going to take the bus sometimes it takes an hour. Let’s say when it’s snowy, it takes an hour and a half.”
But other parents who live in Hillhurst are disappointed with the idea of losing another inner city school.
“There is a lot going on in the inner city but not necessarily for children so it’s nice when there are programs for families like us who live in the inner city,” says Liz Bohach.
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Another proposed change is moving the French immersion program form Ecole Madeline D’Houet in Hillhurst to Escuela St. Margaret, making St. Margaret Calgary’s first combined Spanish and French Catholic School.
“I think children who learn a second language when they are young generally have affinities for leraning languages, so having access to the teaching staff, French, English and Spanish, is a positive thing,” says Dermot O’Connor, whose child attends Esuela St. Margaret.
The Catholic School Board is still looking for public input into the plans; if approved, they would be implemented next fall.
Parents can have their say by emailing the school board or attending public input sessions on December 6th, 7th and 8th. Click here for more information.