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East end communities discuss grade reconfiguration

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Parents and community members from Alberta Beach, Onoway, Rich Valley and Darwell were invited by the Superintendent and NGPS Board to Onoway last night to discuss the potential of a common Grade 8 entry at Onoway Jr/Sr High School, beginning in 2016.

Current grade configurations for these schools are as follows:

Grasmere School (Alberta Beach) – K-8
Onoway Elementary School – K-7
Rich Valley Elementary – K-6
Darwell School – K-8

Under the proposed grade re-configuration, all east end schools would become K-7 schools and all east end students would transition to Onoway Junior/Senior High School in Grade 8. Grasmere and Darwell students would transition over one year earlier, while Rich Valley students would have another year at Rich Valley Elementary before making the move.

Why transition to Onoway Junior/Senior High School earlier?

“We have a 30+ million dollar facility being built here in Onoway,” commented NGPS Superintendent Kevin Andrea. “This contemporary facility will provide 21st century learning opportunities for students in a beautiful, innovative environment. We want to offer this top notch learning environment, with a greater breadth of programming, to more students, sooner.”

The ability to streamline Grade 8 programming across the east end also provides huge advantages for student outcomes in terms of stability and consistency of programming.

The re-configuration would see approximately 28 students from Darwell and Grasmere Schools affected in 2016.

Onoway Jr/Sr High staff spoke to current school culture, programming and supports that are available to students, including a new and improved transition process which includes visits to feeder schools, time spent with students and teachers to learn about the needs of students who will be attending Onoway Jr/Sr High, school tours and orientations.

Feedback from parents at the meeting was positive with a period of time for questions and discussion of potential concerns.

Superintendent Andrea shared, "This proposal is not a cost-saving measure or a dollar and cents decision. This is simply a matter of opportunity for students."

Next Steps

A SHORT, 5 question survey is currently being shared with all parents of students who attend one of the four east end schools. The survey is being emailed or mailed out directly to parents.

We want to hear from you – please return by January 12, 2016!

Feedback gathered will be compiled and presented to the Board for review and a decision at the February 8 Board Meeting.


Questions may be directed to the Superintendent of Schools at 780-778-2800, toll-free at 1-800-262-8674 or via email to learn@ngps.ca.

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