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River East Collegiate to add Grade 9

School population to expand as RETSD rejigs catchment area

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Grade 9 students are set to begin attending River East Collegiate starting next fall.

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Grade 9 students are set to begin attending River East Collegiate starting next fall. Photo Store

The River East Transcona School Division is proposing changes to River East Collegiate’s catchment area.

The changes, set to be implemented for the 2014-15 school year, will add Grade 9 to River East Collegiate, and will add Grade 6 to Robert Andrews School, John Pritchard School and Chief Peguis Junior High.

The division said the change is designed to help early years schools prepare for the full implementation of the provincial 20K3 plan, which caps 90% of a division’s kindergarten to Grade 3 classrooms at 20 students by 2017. The other 10% of classrooms can have a maximum of 23 students.

RETSD superintendent Kelly Barkman said the River East adjustment is one of the first dominoes to fall as the division looks to become compliant with the rules.

"We’re a ways away yet," Barkman said. "There are several steps we have (to take).

"This will definitely help."

The division also wants to bring its schools into alignment with the bulk of other school divisions in Manitoba by embracing the early years (kindergarten to Grade 5), middle years (Grades 6 to 8), and senior years (Grades 9 to 12) model.

Barkman said specific details of how the schools, particularly River East Collegiate, will be affected are not yet available.

He expects to have the reports from division staff in January, and RETSD will hold information nights when more info is available.

Barkman estimated River East’s enrolment will increase to approximately 1,300 students with the addition of Grade 9. The school’s enrolment was 1,010 in 2011-12 and dipped to 940 last year.

"Our capacity for the building is around 1,300 (students)," Barkman said, noting the coming reports will detail whether any changes will need to be made to the building.

The division will look at staffing after other details of the shuffle are confirmed. That process is expected to begin in February.

There are no concrete plans to implement a similar program in the Miles Macdonell catchment area. RETSD will only consider such a move when there is space to add Grade 9 students to Miles Mac.

For more information, visit the division’s website about the move at http://www.retsd.mb.ca/Pages/Making-The-Move.aspx

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