A.L. Fortune Secondary will include Grade 7 students starting in September. (Morning Star file photo)

Enderby schools restructured

Grade 7 students will begin attending class at A.L. Fortune Secondary in September

A contentious plan for Enderby students is moving ahead.

Mike McKay, North Okanagan-Shuswap trustee, decided Monday that in September, Grade 7 students will shift from M.V. Beattie Elementary to A.L. Fortune Secondary because of overcrowding.

McKay said he had heard, and taken into account, all of the concerns from parents, including those about Grade 7 students moving from a more supported school into one where unfavourable behaviours could affect them.

But he added that the biggest variables are high-quality teachers and strong leadership.

“We’re going to make sure kids moving into A.L. Fortune are going to be supported by the right kind of environment and the right kind of people.”

A number of other recommendations were also approved Monday:

1. One portable be placed at M.V. Beattie for September.

2. That the Beattie catchment is closed to cross-boundary students for the foreseeable future.

3. That a local capital plan for an addition to Beattie be developed and reviewed each fall to be considered for implementation if Beattie as a K-6 is projected to have no space.

4. That a shuttle bus from Enderby to Grindrod be instituted.

5. That an express-like bus from Ashton Creek to Grindrod be instituted.

6. That all Beattie catchment students are given a priority choice for registration at ALF or Grindrod Elementary.

7. That additional resources are provided to Grade 6-8 students in Enderby to support appropriate and healthy social and emotional behavior and choices.

8. That resources are allocated to Beattie for closure and transition for current Grade 6 and 7 students together.

9. That resources are allocated to Fortune for welcoming and transitional activities.

10. That resources be allocated to Fortune to support a school team to develop the best ways to successfully integrate Grade 7 students to A.L. Fortune with particular attention to program options, transitional events and supports, and policy considerations.

These recommendations are based on the following reasons:

• Space is available at A.L. Fortune and Grindrod Elementary

• Space is needed for both classrooms and for ancillary services at M.V. Beattie

• The economic feasibility of busing students to Grindrod from Enderby and Ashton Creek areas.

• Educational capacity and willingness is available at ALF

• The cost of a three portables at Beattie would result in reduction of resources for students, and student programs in Enderby and across the school district.

• Parents are already registering at Grindrod from both Enderby and Ashton Creek areas.

• A strong imperative to have Beattie remain as an available neighbourhood school of choice for all Beattie catchment students.