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David Finlayson on the size of new high school

David Finlayson, School Board Representative for District 7, answers your concerns on the size of the new high school to be built on Innovation Drive:

After having received much feedback from the community, I have spoken at great length to operations and the Superintendent of the HRSB. After a review of the numbers they have provided, I feel confident that the new High School, built for 1200 students, will be the correct size for community.

The DOE and Board operates on the assumption that High Schools can be used for up to 120% of capacity figures due to the flow of students in the High School setting. With study periods and different class schedules, the school can handle a volume of around 1400.

Current Board figures show us hitting that in 2018. This school will have all the amenities that will be expected of a new High school along with specific learning centre space, fine arts spaces, labs, gyms and a computer centre.

2011 – 1231

2012 – 1287

2013 – 1285

2014 – 1334

2015 – 1311

2016 – 1338

2017 – 1312

2018 – 1437

I understand the Board has met with DOE and has added some flexibility in the learning spaces for Special needs. In March, Senior Staff will be bringing us a Master Capital plan to take us through the next 7-12 years.

This plan will use the community consultations from Imagine our Schools and incorporate the most recent numbers as well. In that plan, we should see a recommendation for a new High School in the Ravines area in 2018/19 and at that point, we will move to a 9-12 grade configuration.

Much of these changes are due to lack of growth in HRM. In that Capital Plan, I would expect to see the following from the IOS report:

– a recommended replacement school for Sunnyside
– a new Rockingham/ Clayton Park/ Birch Cove/ Ravines High School
– boundary reviews for Basinview, Bedford South, Bedford Jr. High
– replacement for the Bedford Jr. High in the renovated CPA
– Many of the other schools in District 7 will also be a part of this plan

As a Board, we have the responsibility to bring a full Capital Plan to the province and also review our excess spaces in the rest of the city which will lead to some school reviews over the coming few years.

Newsletter: I have added a bi-monthly newsletter as a new method of communication. If you are interested in receiving the newsletter, please email me at david@davidfinlayson.ca.

You can follow me on twitter. I have been posting articles that I get from all over the world. Some really interesting items for thought for our board and province. Twitter handle: Halifaxdave.

For more on David you can also visit davidfinlayson.ca.

Source: http://www.bedfordbeacon.com/david-finlayson-on-the-size-of-new-high-school

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