The Northern Lights School Board of Trustees says they have given the go-ahead to a plan to re-configure schools in Cold Lake.

The board says the transition from the current configuration of the schools to the configuration outlined in the Multi-Configuration scenario will take place over the next three years, with full implementation expected at the start of the 2023-2024 school year.

Under the new configuration, North Star Elementary will become a Kindergarten to Grade 6 school (currently K to 3), Cold Elementary will become a Kindergarten to Grade 3 school (currently K to 4), Nelson Heights will become a grades 4 to 6 school (currently 5 to 8), Cold Lake Middle School will become a grades 7 to 9 school (currently 4 to 8), Cold Lake High will become a grades 10-12 school (currently 9 to 12), and Art Smith Aviation Academy will retain its current Kindergarten to Grade 8 configuration, as long as enrolments do not exceed the capacity of the school.

“When we seek engagement and people participate, we want to honour the wisdom of the community,” said Board Chair Arlene Hrynyk following the approval of the recommendation made by the committee. “The committee put a tremendous amount of work into developing options and consulting with the community and we would like to thank them for their contribution and their commitment to our students.”

Now that the Board has made its decision about what the new configuration of schools will look like, division administration says the next step will be to developing a detailed transition plan, including timelines for shifting students and staff between schools and completing any renovations that are needed to accommodate the changes being made.

“Administration will present a plan to the Board and the community in June that includes what changes, if any, will be made for the start of the 2021-2022 school year. This could include some students remaining at their current schools for an additional year and/or renovations being done at some sites over the summer.” – NLPS

With files from an NLPS release.