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Wetaskiwin Regional Public Schools removing all modified calendars division-wide for 2024-25

Board also announced upcoming closure of two City of Wetaskiwin schools
(Stock photo/Metro Creative Connection)

In a board meeting right before spring break, the Wetaskiwin Regional Public Schools (WRPS) board of trustees decided to remove all modified learning calendars and align all schools in the division to the same learning calendar for the 2024-25 school year.

The change affects several small, rural elementary schools, including Pipestone School, Winfield School, Lakedell Elementary School and Griffiths-Scott School in Millet.

Bell times will also be the same for all division schools, adding 20 minutes to the school day for some students.

The trustees voted to make the move during their regular meeting on March 20. Parents were notified on Friday, March 22.

“Throughout this year, WRPS engaged the community in numerous conversations and conducted a thorough review of school operations. These conversations led us to examine various aspects including transportation, instructional minutes, and supervision, prompting us to question the rationale for having numerous calendars,” stated the release.

WRPS said it completed a “comprehensive review” of school operations, calendars and bell schedules, and the information “underwent extensive discussion” with school administrators and the board.

The uniform calendar across the division will have:

- a school day start time of 8:20 a.m. and end time of 3:45 p.m.

- 192 days of operation;

- 179 instructional days;

- 324 minutes of instruction per day (K-6, K-8);

- 950+ hours of instruction per year (elementary/junior high), and

- 1,000+ hours of instruction per year (high school).

Currently, Griffiths-Scott School doesn’t start until 8:30 a.m. and the last period ends at 3:35.

Modified school calendars also end in the second week of June for summer break. Now those students will have two more weeks in class.

Winfield School students will have a 20-minute longer school day, but those 20 minutes will not be instructional time. Their first bell rings at 8:31 a.m and students are let out at 3:40 p.m.

They will also spend 10 more days in school.

Winfield School’s current 2023-24 schedule has 342 minutes of instruction per day, 169 days of instruction per year and 963.3 instructional hours in a year.

READ MORE: Wetaskiwin Regional Public Schools considers closing some schools


The board also approved the closure of two schools during their March 20 meeting.

WRPS has received approval for a new K-8 school in Wetaskiwin to replace the existing Norwood School.

As soon as the board has a timeline for the construction of the new K-8 school, it plans to announce closure dates for Centennial Elementary School and Parkdale Elementary School.

The schools will close once the new K-8 school is open for students.

The board also passed a motion to keep looking into the sustainability of rural schools with the potential for consolidation of schools where low enrolment is projected to continue.

… More to come

Emily Jaycox

About the Author: Emily Jaycox

I’m Emily Jaycox, the editor of Ponoka News and the Bashaw Star. I’ve lived in Ponoka since 2015 and have over seven years of experience working as a journalist in central Alberta communities.
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