Plans are in the works to maintain the partnership between Westwind School Division and the Parent Link Centre while accommodating student growth in Raymond.
Due to overcrowding at Raymond Elementary School, the Westwind Board of Trustees had earlier decided it would not renew the lease agreement which allowed the Parent Link Centre to operate out of that building.
That decision was subsequently put on hold, however, and the parent centre has continued to operate out of RES while Westwind School Division, the provincial government and community stakeholders looked at all the options.
Westwind Superintendent Ken Sommerfeldt said the challenge has been to find a way to maintain the Parent Link Centre in the space that was funded for that purpose, while keeping all of the students under one roof.
“We are working energetically on a solution with Alberta Infrastructure for the potential of more modular classrooms to accommodate the growing school population,” he said.
The earlier addition of portable classrooms and housing some preschool programs elsewhere in the community have not alleviated overcrowding problems at RES. It is the largest school in the Division with a student population of more than 700 and as many as 20 additional students expected this next school year.
Following the release of this information a number of parental concerns came to the attention of the elementary school. In light of this RES will be hosting, along with Superintendent Ken Sommerfeldt and school board members Ron Fromm, Stephen Heggie and Peter Scott, an information session which will address those concerns tonight, at the school, at 7 p.m.
Marlin Hogg, RES Principal, said he’s definitely heard from the community how both the elementary school and the Parent Link Centre are both vital to the Town of Raymond.
“With the addition of two more portables, we can meet the educational needs of the enrolled students at RES,” he said. “We are very appreciative of the support that we have been given during these last few years of tight spaces and innovative solutions as we have tried to keep all of our students, including our pre-school, under one roof.”
The Parent Link Centre in Raymond, which offers counseling and support for not only parents but also teens and seniors, is also the busiest in the area and a continued connection with the school was preferred.
Sommerfeldt said in working towards a solution Westwind was cognizant of the importance to communities of such cross-ministry initiatives.
For more information on this please contact the school at 403-758-3004.