The news release issued on January 22, 2019 by the Provincial Government notes funding to support school capital projects throughout the province. There is no funding for Sage Creek mentioned in this release. The new schools being built in Manitoba that are referenced in this news release were announced 1 to 3 years ago, in previous provincial budget announcements.
There is a meeting scheduled with Public Schools Finance Board, Senior Administration of the Louis Riel School Division, our PAC Chair and President of the SCRA on Friday, January 25, 2019. It is a follow up from our meeting in June that led to the the review of capacity numbers throughout LRSD by PSFB.
Overpopulation update from ESCS PAC Chair, Sandra-Dee Beer, shared at November 14th PAC Meeting
Last meeting we relayed that our MLA Andrew Smith had met with the newly appointed Minister of Education Kelvin Goertzen on September 24th he is aware of the discrepancy between the capacity numbers that the PSFB is using vs what the LRSD is using for schools within the Division. At that time he had asked that a meeting take place between PSFB and LRSD before the end of October.
The meeting did take place on October 17th and follow-up requests for more information/clarification have been received by the Division since that meeting – most recently last Friday. The feedback from the meeting received through Acting Superintendent Christian Michalik was that “the PSFB’s theoretical model has more implications vs the Division’s practical model”; everything was discussed, from utilizing the early music program spaces and student services areas as classrooms and the class size guidelines that the Province uses vs the Division – the Province’s guideline is an average of 25 students per classroom no matter the age; the Division puts additional funding and resources towards targeting a maximum of 20 students in K-3 and 25 in 4-8, where space allows. They/the PSFB did agree that model that LRSD is using is valid and it seemed they were supportive of it but the final analysis has not been sent to the Province. They went through the information in detail for every school in LRSD. It was also noted that LRSD is the only Division in Winnipeg that has been asked to provide this much detail in analyzing the need for additional schools; the province did ask for this information from Brandon School Division and they did end up getting an announcement for a new school.
Since that meeting took place the new Deputy Minister of Education has been appointed Grant Doak; Rob Santos remains as the Assistant Deputy Minister, his was the only position not to have changed in the past 4 months – Christian is meeting with him on Friday. Requests are in from the Senior Administration and the Board to meet with Minister Goertzen – no responses have been received.
I sent and inquiry to Andrew Smith to get information on the process and status of the review between the PSFB and LRSD, and what the next steps will be. He did get back to me right before our meeting this evening to relay that the review by PSFB indicates that there are still unutilized spaces in LRSD that they feel should be used before granting funding for another school.
Moving forward – what can we do?
Keep the pressure on our MLA and the Province, continue to ask what the status of another school is? What were the results of the review by PSFB? When will an announcement be made for funding of another school? Make note that we don’t want them to wait another year to announce it as an election promise, we want this announcement this Spring – they can campaign on the fact that they acted before it was critical and have a picture of the groundbreaking for the new school instead of promise that may come too late if they wait another year. The Province feels with their tendering model that they can have a school built in 2 years from time of announcement – this was stated by PSFB at our meeting in June. The fact is that schools announced two years ago hadn’t broken ground 18 months later. We can’t risk that, we simply don’t have the time or space.
An information evening was held at École Sage Creek School on Thursday, October 11, 2018.
- Presentation by Christian Michalik
- Presentation by Windsor Park Collegiate and Collège Béliveau
- Video – A Day in the Life – Windsor Park Collegiate
- Video – A Day in the Life – Grade 7 at Collège Béliveau
As was shared in May, the LRSD School Board and its Senior Leadership Team have decided that, in order to manage overcrowding at the school while awaiting the provincial government to announce and build a second school in Sage Creek, Windsor Park Collegiate and Collège Béliveau will welcome the Grades 7 and 8 students from ÉSCS beginning in September 2019. Students in Grades 7 and 8 will attend these two schools until the second school is built in Sage Creek.
The Louis Riel School Division, in coordination with École Sage Creek School (ESCS), Windsor Park Collegiate and Collège Béliveau, has prepared FAQs for the Sage Creek community regarding high school transition plans for the community.
Overpopulation update from ESCS PAC Chair, Sandra-Dee Beer, shared at September 26th PAC Meeting
On Sept 13th I met with LRSD Acting Superintendent Christian Michalik; Acting Asst Superintendent Henri Peloquin where they confirmed the PSFB requested data from the LRSD, very specific data in a specific format for all 41 schools in the Division on June 28th. The completed package with the requested data was sent on August 20th to the PSFB
On Sept 15th I email sent to MLA Andrew Smith regarding the review that was supposed to take place between the PSFB and LRSD.
On Sept 24th after a follow up text, I received a call from MLA Andrew Smith, he had met with the newly appointed Minister of Education Kelvin Goertzen that morning; the Minister inquired as to the status of the review between the Division and PSFB. He has asked for the review to be completed by the end of October.
No meeting date has been set.
Overpopulation update from ÉSCS PAC Chair, Sandra-Dee Beer:
As you know, ÉSCS was built with a student capacity of 600 and is projected to have 740 students enrolled this September. To accommodate the increased number of students in ÉSCS next year the Louis Riel School Division has chosen to create two additional classroom spaces in the Main Floor Commons and will be utilizing the classrooms that were used as an Art and Guitar room this year as the classrooms they were intended to be. To accommodate the continued growth and estimated enrolment of over 800 students in September of 2019 the LRSD plans to move the grades 7 and 8 students to their respective catchment high schools, Collège Béliveau for French Immersion and Windsor Park Collegiate for English. They further plan to change the existing Human Ecology and Industrial Arts rooms into classrooms.
As a parent, and a taxpayer, I didn’t agree with this choice and to feel comfortable with it I wanted to be sure that every other option was looked at by LRSD to accommodate students within the Division, and wanted to confirm that the information we have been receiving through the LRSD on behalf of the Provincial Government was accurate. We’ve been told to “stop asking for portables” but the statement wasn’t in reply to any of my inquiries, it was filtered through the LRSD. I needed information from both LRSD and the Minister of Education to feel comfortable with the LRSD’s strategy in dealing with the growing population in Sage Creek.
LRSD: show me the numbers that prove there is no other option.
Minister of Education: confirm that the Province will not fund portables and tell us what your plan is for Sage Creek.
I was invited last Friday, June 22nd to the LRSD Board Office and was able to view the numbers for the schools throughout LRSD and it is scary to be honest. There are 32 elementary schools in the LRSD and 1/3 of them are either right at or over capacity – ÉSCS being the highest over capacity in the Division. Yes, there are small pockets of spaces available but they aren’t enough to accommodate the number of students we will need to displace from Sage Creek for longer than a year without those schools being over capacity too. Taking the total capacity of LRSD and using their projections, the Division as a whole will be overcapacity by 2028. These enrolment projections have been accurate for a number of years as the LRSD has been using a database from a software provider, Baragar since 2001 that pulls information from many sources (CRA, birth registry, census, etc.). It also has the capability of including additional information specific to an area, such as data from developers on the number of homes that are planned to be built in an area. The data is there to show the need for an additional elementary school in LRSD, specifically in Sage Creek.
After months of requests, yesterday, June 25th, myself, and Frank Capasso, the President of the Sage Creek Residents’ Association met with Minister of Education Ian Wishart, Deputy Minister of Education Jamie Wilson, Southdale MLA Andrew Smith, and Konrad Erickson of the Public Schools’ Finance Board to hear the Province’s position on our need for an additional K-8 school in Sage Creek. I am very grateful they took the time to meet with us and will acknowledge the work they have done as a government to catch up on the need for investment in schools throughout the Province. The main things I want to relay about this meeting are:
• Sage Creek is on their radar, they are watching the growth in our area closely.
• They will fund portables in the province but would prefer not to, there are many portables in the Province that aren’t in use but their condition is too poor to relocate them.
• They feel they have the processes in place to have new schools constructed within 24 to 28 months after funding is confirmed. They do not announce a new school until funding is confirmed.
• They want the Division to utilize existing space throughout LRSD before a new school will be confirmed for Sage Creek.
o I asked where they felt there was space for students to go within the Division and the reply was that there are 440 spaces available at Frontenac School and École Howden. For those of you who may not be aware, approximately 2/3 of the population of ÉSCS came from these two elementary schools in Windsor Park. Both of these schools lost resources spaces, including their library, Family Centre, Nursery School, sensory and art rooms, and had to reduce the size of their classrooms while increasing the number of students in each classroom. They were well beyond their capacity. However it is this number, the HIGHEST PREVIOUS ENROLMENT in a school, that the PSFB is using to determine the capacity of our schools in LRSD, with no regard for resources lost, stress on students, staff and the building to fit in as many students as possible. This is unacceptable and I stated so in our meeting yesterday. I am grateful to the Honourable Ian Wishart for acknowledging that this should not be the numbers we are looking to as guidelines. The Public Schools’ Finance Board has offered to meet again with the LRSD and more openly discuss the data they are using. I will be following up to find out when that meeting will be taking place.
My hope is the Provincial Government sees the value in maintaining all schools within a reasonable capacity and supports the plan as proposed by LRSD to build a new school in Sage Creek. The issue of how the Province is determining capacity of a school is not one that will affect just Sage Creek but all of LRSD, and potentially the rest of the schools in Manitoba. Inevitably some students will have to be moved out of our existing school, it would be a short term sacrifice if the Province announces funding for a new school. If they don’t announce funding by next year we truly will be in a crisis, we don’t want to wait for an election promise, we need their support for a new school in Sage Creek now.
I will be writing my letters again, both personally and as Parent Advisory Council Chair, to our MLA Andrew Smith, the Minister of Education Ian Wishart and Premier Brian Pallister to request they provide funding for an additional K-8 school in Sage Creek. I hope you will too.
ÉSCS PAC, Chair
WIthout funding for portables the plan to bus Kindergarten students will not be viable. LRSD has decided to repurpose the Lower Learning Commons into two classrooms for 2018-2019, along with increasing class sizes and utilizing the rooms used as Art and Guitar classrooms in 2017-2018 as full-time classrooms all Sage Creek students will be able to attend ESCS for the 2018-2019 school year. In 2019-2020 Ecole Sage Creek School will become a K-6 school with the 7/8 students being bused to their catchment high school - College Beliveau for French Immersion and Windsor Park Collegiate for English.
For more details and to see the presentation that was shared, click here.
The ESCS PAC created a post on our Facebook Page (before this website was established) to communicate the overpopulation issue to parents, residents and taxpayers. It was encouraged that everyone write to our MLAs, Minister of Education and the Premier to ask for funding for portables and another K-8 school in Sage Creek.
We encouraged those that wrote letters to post them in the comments so send them in to be posted anonymously to let everyone see how the busing of students will affect each of them and their families.
Current projections indicate that 107 Kindergarten-aged children residing in Sage Creek will choose to attend ÉSCS. As of 2017, 120 Kindergarten-aged children resided in Sage Creek. The current plan is to accommodate 107 requests based on this projected number for 2018-19.
If we allow 107 students to start Kindergarten in ÉSCS in 2018 and we are successful in adding spaces at ÉSCS, the Kindergarten registration for future years (beginning in 2019-20) will be capped at 80 students (40 in the English
program and 40 in the French Immersion program).
For 2018-19, if the number registering for Kindergarten is greater than the projected 107 students, the length of time a family has been residing in Sage Creek (without interruption) will determine where a child is placed in the queue for the allocated Kindergarten spaces. For 2019-20 and beyond, the length of
time the parents/guardians have been residing in the Sage Creek catchment (without interruption) will determine where a child is placed in the queue for the allocated Kindergarten spaces.
See the comprehensive Community Update provided by LRSD here.
Summary of Overpopulation Public Meeting held January 25, 2018
- LRSD plans to cap Kindergarten enrolment starting in the 2018-2019 school year
- Younger siblings of currently enrolled student will be guaranteed enrolment to keep families together
- Funding for portables from the PSFB must be received accommodate the growth in ESCS, even with capping the number of Kindergarten registrations
- The only French Immersion schools with enough available classroom spaces are École Provencher (K-3) and École Henri-Bergeron (4-8)
- The English program K-8 schools with enough available classroom spaces not being considered to accommodate overcrowding pressures in other parts of the LRSD are: Victor Wyatt School, Minnetonka School, Nordale School, and Marion School. No decision has been made as to which school Sage Creek students would be bussed to
- Registration for the remaining Kindergarten spots would be on a first-come first-served basis
Without a physical school we couldn't establish a Parent Advisory Council, soon after the doors opened parents came together to create our first PAC at ESCS. Read about it here.
September 7th, 2017 - the first official day of school at Ecole Sage Creek School.
Information on conferences and what to expect can be found on the school's website by following this link.
Read the post about the staff at Ecole Sage Creek School from Principal Marc Poirier, here.
In December 2016, LRSD Trustees alongside Superintendent Duane Brothers, Assistant Superintendent Christian Michalik, Assistant Superintendent Lisa Aitken, Secretary Treasurer Brad Fulton, Charles Robert from our Maintenance Department as well as architects from Number 10, were treated to a tour of the worksite at our amazing school. Read more about it here.
Other site visit links and pictures can be found at the following links:
August 2013 - Joint interview committee reaches agreement on Design Firm
September 2013 - Number TEN Architectural Group selected by LRSD Board and approved by Public Schools Finance Board (PSFB)
October 2013 - LRSD hosts open community workshop for the design of "Sage Creek School" and announces its dual track status
April 2014 - PSFB gives LRSD approval to proceed to the Design Development phase
June 2014 - Number TEN hosts LRSD working group
The Province of Manitoba announced on April 24, 2013 that it will build an Early Learning to Grade 8 school in Sage Creek to serve the families of the Louis Riel School Division.
School location: Sage Creek Boulevard and Edward Turner Drive
Grades: Kindergarten to Grade 8
Capacity: 450 to 600 students
Early Learning and Childcare: 114 child care spaces
Square Footage: 68,000
- a science technology education room,
- a physical education and health facility,
- a learning resource centre and library,
- a band and music room,
- a practical arts classroom, and
- facilities for special-needs students.
The school will exceed the province's Green Building Policy by targeting Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Standard building certification.
See Provincial news release here.