A status update meeting regarding the construction of the Acadia Rd. Elementary School was held on Oct. 4, 2012. Below is a summary of the information and questions discussed:
David Nelson, District Principal, and I presented an updated timeline for the completion of the new Acadia Road Elementary School, showed some pictures of the construction progress, and answered questions from the audience.
The timeline changed because the opening of the new NRC/U. Hill secondary school was delayed until January 1, 2013. Once the current U. Hill Secondary building is vacated it will be demolished and construction will begin on the west wing of the new Acadia Road elementary school. I have attached some pictures of the construction currently underway on the east wing. The end result is that the new Acadia Road school will be ready for September 2014.
Community members in attendance asked about the transition to the new school and we responded that we were looking at each of the grades to determine when it would be best to begin in the new school. For example we may want to avoid a cohort of students being in their current school for most of elementary school and then going to the new school for one year. This process, that involves students from all of the nearby schools, has not yet been determined.
Parents also asked about the cross boundary application process and what considerations were being given to the existing schools in order to prevent a mass exodus. The cross boundary process in Vancouver is based on the school choice legislation that states that students can apply to any school in the district and will be accepted provided that there is room. This process begins in January and parents are notified of acceptance for the next school year by the end of March. Schools have an obligation to first provide programs for students living in the catchment area and then accept cross boundary applications.
A new school in the community also affects nearby schools. Neighbouring schools are reviewing what new and existing programs would retain and attract students. The school district is also reviewing district programs and programs of choice as part of the sectoral review that was initiated last year.
I hope this gives you a sense of the meeting. Please let me know if I can help in any way