The EMB high school site selection process is underway and, as promised, I’d like share what that looks like. First, a quick introduction to the “drivers” of the process, the EMB Transition to Secondary Committee.
The committee is chaired by Assistant Superintendent Nancy Brennan and includes representation from Principal Margaret Jorgensen along with two teachers, two parents (of which I am one), the district team and a person from Planning and Facilities. Parent Barbara Lee from Norquay recently joined the committee when another parent rep stepped down.
Factors Influencing the Process of Consideration
Existing Mandarin ProgramLanding the program in an established and supportive environment is vital to the program’s success. This means putting it where staff and resources are already in place. Out of the 18 secondary schools in the district, 7 currently offer Mandarin – Brittania, Churchill, Hamber, Templeton, Thompson, Van Tech and Windermere.Capital Planning & SeismicActive seismic projects and enrolment projections cannot be ignored. High risk schools have been identified and flagged by Facilities. Continuing the program at a school slated to undergo major changes is not in favour.Physical SpaceClassrooms, classrooms, classrooms!Five are needed to accommodate students from Grade 8 to Grade 12LocationThe committee has heard proximity to Norquay is important to some parents, especially those facing drop-off/pick-up of one child in elementary and another in high school. Therefore, looking at where EMB families currently reside in relation to the various high schools is a consideration.CapacityCapacity is determined by a formula and changes on a yearly basis to reflect actual enrolment and classroom configuration. Along with these numbers, the committee is looking at what District Programs currently exist at each high school and how EMB would fit.
What Does This Mean?
The committee will land on one of the seven schools listed above. We are two meetings in and there are more discussions and updates to be had.
I want to assure you that Margaret, myself, and the teachers are posing the questions parents are bringing to us about location and about the timeline and urgency to make a decision as quickly as possible. In essence, we are advocating for all things families are identifying as important. Everyone is invested and listening, taking all pieces into consideration. So please keep calling, writing and connecting with us however you feel most comfortable. My personal email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
The committee meets again on May 15th. You can expect an update from me shortly thereafter.
Norquay PAC EMB & DPAC Rep