The Board of Education is moving forward with its educational planning process for high school students in the Emerald Park, White City, Pilot Butte and Balgonie areas. The Board is currently in the process of preparing a Stage 1 Plan for high school planning in the area.
Among the items discussed at the June 21 Board Meeting was a survey of area residents conducted to determine their preference for either a new regional high school or two smaller collegiates. The survey, which was conducted in May, showed an almost even split between those favouring a new regional high school and those supporting a new collegiate and the modernization of Greenall High School.
The survey generated strong interest, resulting in 530 responses, of which 504 were valid (only two responses were allowed per IP address).
• Option 1 (New Regional High School) – 46.6% in favour
• Option 2 (Modernize Greenall High School and build an additional Collegiate) – 52.4% in favour
• No preference – 1.2%
Breaking down the results based on respondents with children:
429 respondents with children under the age of 18:
• 202 (47.1%) in favour of option
• 227 (52.9%) in favour of option 2
181 respondents with children aged 0 to 5:
• 63 (34.8%) in favour of option 1
• 118 (65.2%) in favour of option 2
282 respondents with children aged 6 to 12:
• 126 (44.7%) in favour of option 1
• 156 (55.3%) in favour of option 2
152 respondents with children aged 13 to 18:
• 101 (66.4%) in favour of option 1
• 51 (33.6%) in favour of option 2
It appears that the overall population is closely split on the two options (approximately 46/54 split in favour of option 2). However, approximately two-thirds of parents of children ages 0 to 5 are in favour of option 2. The opposite holds true in parents of children aged 13 to 18, where approximately two-thirds are in favour of option 1. Parents of children aged 6 to 12 slightly favour option 2 (approximately a 45/55 split). Generally speaking, respondents favour option 2, with the exception of parents of older children.
With regards to the four larger communities affected (Balgonie, Pilot Butte, White City, Emerald Park), there were some noticeable differences. It appears that the community of Balgonie is split on the choice of options. Pilot Butte is in favour of option 1. Emerald Park and White City are in favour of option 2.
The final decision will be based on four key factors: educational programming, community preference, location considerations and student safety and financial implications.
Work will continue in the fall.