Despite delays coming from the Government of Alberta the St. Thomas Aquinas Roman Catholic School Division is not letting that stop the functional opening of the new Father Leduc School.
“We’ll have a November opening (2016) instead of the September opening,” said board chair John Tomkinson.
The Father Leduc School will begin its activities out of the Notre Dame School at the beginning of the school year in September.
Tomkinson said the school-within-a-school program received positive feedback from the community and has a lot of support from staff and students.
Over Christmas break Father Leduc School will move to its actual location at the south end of the city in Southfork. “I believe that’s the intent,” said Tomkinson.
Students from Kindergarten to Grade 6 will take up residence in Notre Dame before moving into the new school building. “The enrollment numbers are still coming in,” said Tomkinson.
Direction from the Alberta government says the school may be a grades Kindergarten to 9 but Tomkinson says the grade reconfiguration discussion is ongoing.
The Father Leduc School will offer French immersion options for junior high students but French immersion on a duel-track system for elementary students will stay at Notre Dame for the time being.
Even with the influx of students, Notre Dame School will not be able to expand its space because it has already maxed out expansion capabilities and modulars.
However, Tomkinson says an opportunity for modulars at St. Benedict School is still being looked at. “It’s being aggressively worked on.”
A common problem all school faces, the schools in the division have reached or passed max capacity. Tomkinson says it is a hope the new school will be able to relieve some of that pressure. Until then students and staff are going to have to work in close quarters. “It’ll be a little squishy.”
Due to the mild winter weather, construction of the Father Leduc School is moving ahead smoothly, says Tomkinson. “We’re glad to be back on top of the project.”