It’s only been open for a little over two years, but Kaawaate East City Public School in Peterborough is already facing overcrowding, with the Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board proposing moving some of the students to another school as of next September. The school board also has a proposal to manage expected overcrowding at both Crestwood Secondary School and Crestwood Intermediate School.
“We continue to experience significant growth across our schools in the City and County of Peterborough,” reads a message to affected families. “While we are pleased that our schools continue to be a destination of choice for families, our growth within schools has been uneven. This has led to critical overcrowding in some schools and extra space in others.”
While the school board will begin “a broad review of secondary and elementary school boundaries and family of school groupings in the new year to identify long-term strategies to manage this growth,” the board says it needs “to manage immediate enrolment pressures” at the affected schools.
The school board is forecasting that Kaawaate East City Public School, located at 250 Hunter Street East beside the former King George Public School it replaced, will have 847 students next year, and it only has capacity for 675 students. The original capacity was based on the Ontario Ministry of Education’s funding model for new schools when it was built.
Although a fourth portable classroom was placed at the school to accommodate increased enrolment this year, the school board says there is no more room for portables and all special-purpose rooms in the school, other than the library, have already been converted to regular classroom spaces. While there is space in the now-closed King George and Armour Heights Public School buildings, the school board says those buildings aren’t an option.
“The King George and Armour Heights Public School buildings have been empty for several years and would require significant investment to bring them to necessary standards for students,” reads a school board document.
Located in the same building at 1885 Sherbrooke Street West, Crestwood Secondary School and Crestwood Intermediate School are both forecast to be over capacity next year.
Crestwood Intermediate School (Grades 7 and 8) is forecast to have 320 students next September with capacity for 184, while Crestwood Secondary School (Grades 9 to 12) would be at 101 per cent capacity with 769 expected students.
The school board says the costs of installing two portable classrooms at the site to address capacity issues would cost around $540,000 because of required electrical upgrades.
As a short-term measure to address the capacity issues at Kaawaate East City Public School, which are expected to continue over the next 10 years, the school board is recommending the school’s Grade 7 and 8 French immersion students attend Adam Scott Intermediate School effective next September.
For Crestwood Secondary School and Crestwood Intermediate School, the school board is recommending that Grade 7 students from Kawartha Heights Public School and Grade 7 students from Westmount Public School in the English stream would attend James Strath Public School for Grades 7 and 8 effective next September.
Grade 7 students currently attending Crestwood Intermediate would remain at the school and then attend Crestwood Secondary School.
For the proposed changes affecting Kaawaate East City Public School, the school board held a public meeting at the school last Thursday (November 23). For proposed changes affecting Crestwood Secondary School and Crestwood Intermediate School, the school board is holding public meetings at Westmount Public School at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, November 30th and at Kawartha Heights Public School at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, December 4th.
After gathering community feedback, a summary report and recommendation for Kaawaate East City Public School will be presented to school board trustees at their meeting on Tuesday, January 23rd, with a summary report and recommendation for Crestwood Secondary School and Crestwood Intermediate School to be presented to school board trustees at their meeting on Tuesday, February 27th.
More information about the proposed changes is available at the Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board website at www.kprschools.ca.