During the last week of April, students, staff and families in the Louis Riel School Division (LRSD) were invited to community meetings to address enrolment pressures in École Sage Creek School (ÉSCS) and present possible solutions involving Shamrock School and Island Lakes Community School (ILCS). Each presentation, hosted by Superintendent Christian Michalik, covered community-specific details and provided time for a question-and-answer period.
As a result of these meetings and feedback from the community, LRSD has proposed the following solutions while the division patiently awaits a Manitoba government announcement allowing us to build a second school in Sage Creek:
- English program students in grades 5 and 6 from ÉSCS will continue to be temporarily relocated to Shamrock School. Because of the pandemic, these grades have already been relocated to Shamrock School in 2020-2021.
- ÉSCS will temporarily operate its English program for kindergarten to Grade 4 and French Immersion for kindergarten to Grade 6, until a second school is built.
- The catchment for ILCS will be expanded to include North Island Lakes and Bonavista, with a gradual transition of students beginning in the 2021-2022 school year.
ÉSCS was designed and built as a kindergarten to Grade 8 (K-8) school. The school opened in September 2017 over its capacity to accommodate 600 students. In 2019, LRSD implemented a temporary solution to address the overcrowding by moving the grades 7 and 8 students to their respective high schools.
- In 2020-2021, 934 students living in Sage Creek are in grades K-8. Only students in grades K-6 in the French Immersion program and students in grades K-4 in the English program attend school in the community.
- In September 2021, the K-8 enrolment in Sage Creek is projected to be 1,020 students.
- By September 2024, the K-8 enrolment in Sage Creek is projected to be 1,257 students.
"ÉSCS has been overpopulated since the school opened its doors in 2017. Current demographic projections and enrolment pressures show continued growth," said Christian Michalik, Superintendent. "The most recent temporary solutions we presented to the community are viable for the short-term, but not sustainable. The division has made clear the need and been laying the groundwork for a second school in Sage Creek for the past 8 years and we remain hopeful that the Government of Manitoba will help us bring our vision to fruition."
Divisional and school leadership have begun scheduling additional conversations with the families and staff directly impacted by these changes.
"The conversations we are having with families and staff are invaluable," said Louise Johnston, Chair, LRSD Board of Trustees. "Relocating students and updating catchments requires the support and insights of our community and I am grateful for everyone's willingness to work alongside us to find solutions."
Future decisions about navigating the timing and complexity of these important decisions will be managed alongside the affected school communities.
This slide deck synthesizes the information shared during the presentations and includes updated slides based on further consultation with families and staff. We have also put together a list of frequently asked questions and answers for each school community: