This is a big topic, and one I’m getting many questions and comments about. THANK YOU to everyone who has taken the time to reach out to me. I really appreciate hearing from you. I will be posting information in at least a couple of blog posts to help cover the key points about how student enrollment growth is putting pressure on our infrastructure capacity at Edmonton Public Schools…and what we can (and can’t) do about it.
Many families have phoned or emailed me about the lottery for Lillian Osborne High School this September. For all the families frustrated with the lottery system, I see you.
Here’s what I understand of the situation:
- The Division doesn’t yet know how many students will be impacted by the lottery, as that number will depend on the number of students who apply to attend Lillian Osborne School.
- Work between Division staff and ETS is ongoing. ETS typically plans schedules in the summer to be ready for the September start of school, so commutes today might not be what they will be in September.
- Trustees before me have advocated tirelessly for high school space in the Division. One example is moving up in priority the request for a 7-12 school at Glenridding (not yet funded by the province).
- Unfortunately, funding for new schools has not kept pace with population growth. The province funds school buildings and decides where they will be located, not Edmonton Public Schools. We need to keep pushing for provincial funding for schools!!!
- After broad consultation with families across Edmonton, Division administration decided on a growth control model that includes a lottery system as the most transparent and equitable solution to respond to enrollment growth. This system has been in place since about 2019/2020.
As your Trustee, I’ll continue to advocate for families. Here are some things I’ll be working on with my colleagues:
- Continuing to ask lots of questions to a) understand the current situation better and b) ensure we’re doing all we can for families in the short term
- Providing input on the Board’s Three Year Capital Plan to the province, which outlines a list of priority requests for capital funding
- Ongoing work as Chair of the Infrastructure Committee and a member of the Advocacy Committee on issues related to space for students
- Continuing to listen and learn from families
- Working hard to provide information to families to help build understanding of the processes around capital planning, including requested new school construction and deferred maintenance.
- Lottery Process: https://epsb.ca/lotteryprocess/
- Student Transportation: https://www.epsb.ca/ourdistrict/departments/studenttransportation/
- Growth Control Model: https://epsb.ca/schools/register/growthcontrolmodel/
- Capital Planning: https://epsb.ca/ourdistrict/results/capitalplanning/
- Infrastructure Committee Workplace: https://www.epsb.ca/media/epsb/ourdistrict/boardoftrustees/boardmeetings/2021-22/december142021/06-InfrastructureCommitteeWorkPlanfor2021-2022.pdf
- CBC News article: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/edmonton-public-schools-expand-lottery-for-poular-schools-as-student-population-booms-1.6315909