Rezoning readiness for new school year
It’s almost time for students to head back to class, but some education employees have been working all summer to ensure everything is ready for the upcoming academic year.
Teachers, school administrators and even construction crews have been on the job since last spring to ensure public schools affected by rezoning are ready for the new configurations of students.
This has meant significant work in some schools, notably West Kent, Donagh Regional and Birchwood Intermediate.
Paving to add space to parking lots at Birchwood and West Kent was completed, walls of some classrooms were shifted, equipment such as desks and chairs have been moved between schools and more computers have been added to some classrooms.
Overall, the physical transitions of these schools will cost $100,000.
“It’s been a significant piece of work, for sure,” said John Cummings, director of corporate services for the Public Schools Branch.
Approximately 1,200 students across Prince Edward Island are being moved to different schools in September as a result of rezoning decisions made by the board of directors of the Public Schools Branch last April.
The biggest zoning changes are happening in Charlottetown and Stratford.
In Charlottetown, West Kent has become a dual track school, offering both English and French immersion programming.
This will mean an influx of students from across the city, many of whom were attending Spring Park.
Birchwood is also getting an influx of new students from Stratford. Those who live in the Glen Stewart/Stratford Elementary zone were rezoned from Stonepark, which was struggling with overcapacity issues, to Birchwood for Grades 7-9.
The previous dual zone of Glen Stewart and Donagh was eliminated and added to the Donagh catchment. This means Donagh is also getting more students who were previously attending Glen Stewart and Stratford Elementary.
A number of other more minor zoning changes were also made across the province.
Some parents were unhappy with the changes and complained about their children having to move, but school officials have been strictly enforcing zoning catchments.
Cummings says many of the schools affected by rezoning have held open houses for incoming students and parents to help them feel welcome and to familiarize them with the properties.
Students across the province will return to class on Sept. 7.