Board of Trustees consider offering additional grade levels at Ecole Providence

Ecole Providence on Highway 2 in McLennan.

Tom Henihan
Express Staff

Due to an increase in enrolment at McLennan’s Ecole Providence and in response to requests from parents and students to add junior high grades, the Holy Family Catholic Regional Division (HFCRD) Board of Trustees passed a motion to examine the feasibility of adding Grades 7, 8 and 9 for the 2019/2020 school year.

The HFCRD Board of Trustees will meet with parents and students on 18 March and following that meeting, a decision will be made on the matter at the Regular Board Meeting on April 16.

In a HFCRD press release issued on March 1, Board Chair, Kelly Whalen said:

“We as a board are open to this possibility, but only if it is a viable option. If we are to add more grades, we want to ensure the community of McLennan supports it and that it will be successful. In the coming weeks, we will be asking all parents and students if their child would stay at the school throughout junior high. Our decision will be based heavily on their responses.”

In March 2013, HFCRD Board of Trustees unanimously supported the reorganization of Ecole Providence from a K to 9 to a K to 6 school, a reorganization that came into effect at the beginning of the 2013/14 school year.

The decision to reorganize was in response to low school enrolment and at that time, the Board made the decision to eliminate triple grading and ensure that a maximum of two grades be taught within the same classroom.

Those changes proved beneficial to the school as enrolment has steadily increased and in light of these positive developments, the Board of Trustees is now open to revisiting the question of offering additional grades.

“The fact that the board is considering reinstating a junior high for Ecole Providence speaks to how well the school is doing,” says Principal Krista Veitch. “Offering a Catholic Junior high for students is a wonderful opportunity for parents to keep their children in a small, supportive, academically rigorous environment to prepare them for the challenges of high school.”

The board of trustees meeting is at Ecole Providence on March 18 at 5.30 pm. This meeting is exclusively for parents of current students attending Providence and parents of potential students are welcome.

However, if any other community members wish to contribute to the conversation about the Ecole Providence offering extra grades, they are encouraged to email or call 780-624-3956.


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