The Thames Valley District School Board is looking at recommendations that will deal with rapidly growing enrollment in a northwest London school sooner rather than later.
The process to secure a site for a new school is taking longer than expected, due to a shortage of available land. It will take about three-and-a-half to four years to build a new school for the 802 pupils, once land is secured.
“We simply do not have the luxury of time in waiting,” said associate director Jeff Pratt.
Enrolment at Sir Arthur Currie, located off Sunningdale Road near Wonderland Road, increased by an additional 150 students since the last school year. It is currently accommodating 1,000 students, even though the building was designed for 530. There is no more room for additional portable classrooms beyond the current 22.
If the status quo is maintained, enrolment will exceed 1050 students by the 2023/2024 school year, the school board heard.
The school formerly known as Ryerson Public School, in Old North, which has been serving as one of two holding zones for students, also has a projected enrolment of over 650 students for 2022, beyond its 438 student capacity.
Pratt presented two optional interim solutions to the board.
The first option shifts students to University Heights Public School to create space for younger siblings of existing Sir Arthur Currie Public School students.
The school would be restructured to a kindergarten to grade six model and all current and future grade seven and eight students would attend a newly renovated satellite campus for Sir Arthur Currie, located on the same site but separate from Sir Frederic Banting Secondary School starting in fall 2022.
The second option is similar, with all new families attending Knollwood Park Public School instead.
“We recognize that any change can be difficult, and while no solution is perfect, the proposed recommendations, we believe, will provide the best possible opportunities for our students,” said Pratt.
“If the recommendations are not adopted, administration would be required to proceed with capping enrolment at the school and close the school to new registrations. We simply cannot continue to accept any additional students at Sir Arthur Currie.”
In order to provide relief to the school formerly known as Ryerson Public School, it is recommended that students from new developments in northwest London attend another holding school. Wilfred Jury is the first option, John Roberts Public School is the second.
Parents who want to provide input about the recommendations can do so at a meeting on Nov. 9.
The link to apply to submit input will be posted on the board’s website. Applications must be submitted before Nov. 3.
The issue goes back before trustees at their next board meeting on Nov. 23.