Changes com­ing at St. Mary

School al­ters name, ap­plies for por­ta­ble class­rooms as en­rol­ment con­tin­ues to grow

Prince Albert Daily Herald - - COMING UP - JA­SON KERR

The Prince Al­bert Catholic School Divi­sion (PACSD) has one of the high­est per capita rates of French Im­mer­sion stu­dents in the province, and that num­ber will soon be re­flected in the name of their largest high school.

Start­ing in Jan­uary 2018, St. Mary High School will be­come École St. Mary High School, a de­ci­sion made to bet­ter rep­re­sent avail­able French pro­gram­ming.

PACSD ed­u­ca­tion di­rec­tor Lorel Tru­mier said it’s an ex­cit­ing change that high­lights and grow­ing part of the ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem.

“Cur­rently when you say St. Mary High School, you think it would only be an English stream of pro­gram­ming,” Tru­mier ex­plained. “So the (name change) gives a bet­ter op­por­tu­nity for our new stu­dents, who are po­ten­tially look­ing at St. Mary, to un­der­stand that we have dual-track … where stu­dents can fin­ish their high school with a French Im­mer­sion cer­tifi­cate and grad­u­ate with that hon­our.”

Roughly 240 of the 1,047 stu­dents at St. Mary are en­rolled in the French Im­mer­sion pro­gram, with a to­tal of 871 French Im­mer­sion stu­dents across the school divi­sion.

Tru­mier said they ex­pect that num­ber to get big­ger as more and more fam­i­lies opt for French-lan­guage ed­u­ca­tion.

“In our world it’s sig­nif­i­cant when we have three per cent pop­u­la­tion growth over a two to three year pe­riod,” she ex­plained. “We’re at ap­prox­i­mately a third (of stu­dents tak­ing French Im­mer­sion), whereas a few years ago we were at 25 per cent.”

A new name might not be the only change com­ing to St. Mary. On Oct. 16, the Catholic trustees voted to ap­ply for pro­vin­cial fund­ing to add por­ta­ble class­rooms to the school over the next fives years.

Fi­nan­cial de­tails of the project are pend­ing govern­ment ap­proval.

Tru­mier said St. Mary cur­rently has enough space for all en­rolled stu­dents. The board sim­ply wanted to make sure that con­tin­ues to be the case.

“In the next five years we are an­tic­i­pat­ing 100 stu­dents, so we would like to be in a po­si­tion to con­tinue to have that growth to oc­cur,” she said. “It’s just a pro­jec­tion. We’ve grown by 100 this year and we’re very pleased about that, so like I said, we’re just putting our­selves in a po­si­tion to (con­tinue).”

Tru­mier added that the re­quest could take a few years to be ap­proved, mak­ing it nec­es­sary to ap­prove a board mo­tion well in ad­vance.

Af­ter fall­ing slightly last school year, en­rol­ment at St. Mary grew by al­most 100 stu­dents in 2017.


Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.