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Thousands head back to class in new schools

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Premier Notley and Minister Eggen welcome students back to school at Copperhaven School in Spruce Grove.

Premier Notley and Minister Eggen welcome students back to school at Copperhaven School in Spruce Grove.

As part of the Government of Alberta’s largest infrastructure build in the province’s history, nearly 32,000 students will be attending school in new and modernized learning spaces this school year.

The 37 new and modernized schools scheduled to open during the 2018-19 school year stretch across the province from Okotoks to Fort McMurray, and from Ashmont to Banff. A number of schools are also opening in Edmonton, Calgary and surrounding communities, which have experienced large population booms in recent years.

“Our government knows that investing in our education system is one of the most important investments we can make in our province’s future, and that is why we will continue to make these important investments. This includes building new schools and modernizing existing buildings, as well as providing funding for the teachers and support staff who teach our students each day. We know that for too long the education system was underfunded by the previous government and we’re working to fix that. As students head back to school, we can already see the benefits of our investments paying off.”

Rachel Notley, Premier

Since May 2015, the government has funded 244 school projects, including 144 that have already been completed. In budgets 2017 and 2018, the government announced 47 new school projects and during this school year, 37 new or modernized schools are scheduled to welcome students. In the last three years, this has meant 94,000 new and modernized school spaces, helping address capacity issues facing school boards across the province.

“We are thrilled to be opening another new school in our division to serve students in the City of Spruce Grove. This community is one of the fastest growing in the province and the addition of another new kindergarten to Grade 9 learning facility will have a ripple effect city-wide. The space in our schools can finally be used as intended giving students flexible learning environments to innovate, create and explore throughout their educational journey with us.”

Eric Cameron, board chair, Parkland School Division

Across the province more than 700,000 students are expected to attend classes in Alberta’s kindergarten to Grade 12 school system this year.

Schools expected to open this school year include:

  • Elementary schools in Ardrossan, Medicine Hat and Taber, as well as K-8 schools in Grande Prairie and Banff.
  • New and modernized K-12 schools in Magrath, Okotoks, Ashmont and Stirling.
  • A modernized high school in Okotoks, a new Grades 9-12 school in Fort Saskatchewan and a Grades 9-12 modernized school in Medicine Hat.
  • One modernized and one replacement school in Edmonton.
  • A total of seven schools in Calgary. These include two new high schools – one for Calgary Catholic, and one for Calgary Board of Education – with new spaces for over 3,000 students.

In addition to schools expected to open this year, and schools announced in budgets 2017 and 2018, Alberta’s previous investments in school infrastructure have included the following:

  • Edmonton (Public and Catholic) – 31 projects (21 new and additions, 10 replacements and modernizations)
  • Calgary (Public and Catholic) – 33 projects (26 new, seven replacements and modernizations)
  • Lethbridge School Division – two projects (one new, one modernization)
  • Red Deer (Public and Catholic) – six projects (four new and addition, two modernization and replacement)
  • Francophone school boards – six projects (four new and addition, two modernizations)
  • Rest of Alberta’s school boards – 83 total projects (31 new and addition, 52 replacements and modernizations)