On May 14, 2020, at a regular Elk Island Public Schools (EIPS) Board meeting, trustees voted in favour of closing the junior high program at Andrew School, effective June 30, 2020. What this means for Andrew School is its grade configuration will change to kindergarten to Grade 6 and it will no longer offer a junior high program, as of the 2020-21 school year. The Board also approved a new attendance area for students in grades 7 through 9 who live within the current Andrew School attendance area. Starting September 2020, these students are now designated to either Lamont High or Vegreville Composite High, depending on where they reside.
Before making a final decision, the Board spent a considerable amount of time reviewing and analyzing data submitted by EIPS administration and feedback collected from the community. Last year, multiple public consultations were conducted with students, staff, families, officials and community members—three working-group meetings, a student forum, surveys and four public meetings.
Overall, the data and feedback collected through the consultations confirmed the low enrolment at the junior high level limits the access students have to enhanced educational opportunities—in comparison to other schools within the Division. The Board felt, by redirecting junior high students to Lamont High and Vegreville Composite High, they’ll have better access to programming options, program-specialty teachers, extracurricular opportunities, team sports and a more well-rounded junior high experience.
Between now and September 2020, EIPS will work closely with families impacted by this decision to ensure the transition to the new school is handled smoothly and with sensitivity. Additionally, the Division will ensure any facility requirements, support services and student transportation needs are dealt with in advance of the first day of classes, assuming in-person classes will have resumed by that time.
All affected families will receive additional information about next steps.