The Calgary Board of Education opened Joane Cardinal-Schubert High School (JCS) in Seton for the 2018-19 school year. After expanding to Grade 12 for the 2019-20 school year, the school is at capacity, with current enrolment at 1,861 (Sept. 30) students. JCS staff have done an excellent job of using the design of the building in a deliberate way that ensures students have access to effective learning environments. However, we anticipate that over the next two years, school enrolment will increase by an additional 200 students each year. At that size, it would be challenging for the school to provide optimal learning opportunities for students.
Though the CBE is currently in the process of engaging with stakeholders to balance high school enrolment across the entire system, this issue requires a short-term solution be implemented before a decision is made through the high school engagement process (October 2021, implemented in September 2022).
After reviewing the demographics and projected enrolment for the communities currently designated to Joane Cardinal-Schubert, a decision has been made to re-designate the communities of Douglasdale, Douglasglen (including Quarry Park), McKenzie Lake and McKenzie Towne to Lord Beaverbrook High School for the 2020-21 and 2021-22 school years.
Families with students currently enrolled in Grades 8 and 9 are invited to attend the following information meeting:
McKenzie Highlands School
Wednesday, November 13, 7-8:00 p.m.
This is an information meeting where you will be able to ask questions about this decision to address enrolment pressures at Joane Cardinal-Schubert over the next couple years as well as learn more about Lord Beaverbrook High School.
Who does this decision impact?
Families living in the communities of Douglasdale, Douglasglen (including Quarry Park), McKenzie Lake and McKenzie Towne with students currently enrolled in Grades 8 and 9.
Who will move to Lord Beaverbrook High School?
Students living in the four identified communities who will be in Grade 10 for the 2020-21 or 2021-22 school years, as well as students in Grade 11 or 12 moving into these communities, will attend Lord Beaverbrook High School (LBHS).
Will current Joane Cardinal-Schubert students be required to move to Lord Beaverbrook High School?
Students living in Douglasdale, Douglasglen (including Quarry Park), McKenzie Lake and McKenzie Towne who are currently attending JCS can remain at JCS.
Can my child attend JCS if they have a sibling attending that school?
If a student is a resident of the four identified communities and has a sibling already attending JCS who will still be attending in the 2020 school year, the student will have the option of attending JCS or LBHS. If they choose to attend JCS, the new student and sibling must be enrolled and attending the high school at the same time.
Will students from these newly designated communities change schools after a decision in 2021?
Any students who are designated to LBHS for the 2020-21 and 2021-22 school years can remain at the school, even if the communities are not designated to LBHS in the high school engagement decision expected October 2021. We are making every effort to minimize disruptions for our students and families while providing strong learning opportunities for students at both JCS and LBHS in making this decision.
This is a decision for a two-year period only. Long-term decisions for JCS and LBHS will be made by October 2021 through the high school engagement process, which is currently underway. Changes that result from this process will be implemented starting in September 2022.
What factors were considered in making the decision to re-designate these communities?
Throughout the high school engagement sessions this fall, we have heard feedback on what factors should be taken into consideration in the event that an interim plan would be required, knowing the school would exceed capacity before a system-wide decision is made. Feedback indicated a desire for equitable access for students to quality learning environments and choice of programs as well as allowing students to attend school as close to home as possible.
We took both the projected enrollment and the distance from school into consideration when determining which communities to designate to LBHS. Combined, these two factors informed the decision to re-designate these communities. Student enrollment that is above or well below a school’s capacity (utilization rate) affects access, flexibility and choice for students. When student enrollment at a school is either too high or too low it affects student access, flexibility and choice in programming and extracurricular activities including athletics and clubs for students. Re-designation of these three communities on an interim basis reduces enrollment at JCS to a level that allows the school to operate within the building’s capacity and reduces pressure on the learning environment in the school. It allows students attending JCS to continue to have access to quality learning environments. Similarly, increasing enrollment at LBHS provides the opportunity for students designated there to access quality learning environments.
Will transportation be provided for students attending Lord Beaverbrook High School?
If high school students are traveling to and from school by bus, they use Calgary Transit. Decisions about dedicated routes to high schools are made by Calgary Transit and are dependent on their available resources. We continue to work with Calgary Transit to inform them of changes.
How can I learn more?
To learn more or have your questions answered, please attend the parent meeting. For more information about the high school engagement process and how long-term decisions for high schools will be made, please visit: cbe.ab.ca/highschoolengagement
Carrie Edwards Michael Nelson Ann Ard
Director, Property, Planning and Transportation Director, Area 5 Director, Area 5