Status: Consideration of Closure Process
Enrolment in the regular program at Rosscarrock is declining. On Sept. 30, 2018, there were 109 students registered in the K-6 regular program at the school, 22 of whom were out of attendance area. By Jan. 9, 2019 enrolment in the regular program had declined further to 106 students. Low enrolment in the regular program is expected to continue into the future and have impacts on student learning.
Without a significant increase in student enrolment in the regular program, continued quality educational programming is not possible into the future. For this reason, it is recommended that consideration be given to the closure of the regular program at Rosscarrock School effective June 30, 2019. This process aligns with Section 2 of Closure of Schools Regulation (1997) under the Alberta School Act which states that a board may:
- Close a school permanently or for a specified period of time
- Close entirely 3 or more consecutive grades in a school and
- Transfer all students from one school building to one or more other school buildings on a permanent basis.
Consulting with Staff, Parents and the Community
- April 2017 - April 2018 | Rosscarrock School was part of the Area 6 and 7 Impacted Schools Engagement that occurred in 2017-2018. Rosscarrock School was part of a group of four schools that could have potential impacts resulting from providing K-4 students in the Cougar Ridge community the opportunity to attend school closer to home.
The decision to designate K-4 students in the Cougar Ridge community to West Springs School was communicated to parents April 5, 2018. The decision letter acknowledged that enrolment would monitored and further discussions may be required. Find out more about the Area 6 and 7 Impacted Schools Engagement.
- December 2018 | We held a meeting with staff Dec. 4, 2018 and a public meeting Dec. 6 2018. The purpose of the meetings was to discuss the declining enrolment and inform of the possibility of the recommendation of school closure. Stakeholders were presented with enrolment data and had the opportunity to ask questions and provide written feedback regarding opportunities and challenges of low enrolment. See presentation and meeting evaluation summary
- Jan, 9, 2019 | Additional meetings – one for staff and one for the public - were held Jan. 9, 2019. The presentation was primarily the same as the December meetings with feedback and questions from those meetings informing updates to the content. Updated information at the second meetings included more detailed information regarding enrolment and capacity of surrounding elementary schools including Wildwood, Glendale and Alexander Ferguson schools. In addition, CBE staff shared the City of Calgary proposed development plans for the Westbrook LRT and surrounding area. More detail on the process regarding the recommendation to consider school closure was also provided. See presentation and meeting evaluation summary.
- Jan. 10-17, 2019 | An online survey was open Jan. 10-17 for stakeholders to provide feedback on options for re-designating students should closure proceed. See survey report.
In the fall of 2018, Rosscarrock School continued to be identified on the System Student Accommodation Plan (SSAP) presented to the public meeting of the Board of Trustees on June 19, 2018 as a school with low enrolment relative to the capacity of the school.
The September 30, 2018 enrolment showed that all students from Cougar Ridge were able to attend West Springs School which meant 50 fewer students enrolled at Rosscarrock School. In addition to the reduction in students from Cougar Ridge, the number of out of attendance area students continued to decline. Overall, the Sept. 30, 2018 enrolment was 122 students including the 13 students attending the PLP program.
There has been a slight decline since Sept. 30 and as of Jan. 9, 2019 there were 118 students enrolled in the school with 106 in the regular program and 12 in the PLP program. Enrolment is projected to remain low for the foreseeable future with a total of 111 students projected for September.
Accommodation Challenges and Opportunities
At the Dec. 4, 2018 meeting with staff, feedback was collected on the opportunities and challenges low enrolment presents for teaching and learning.
Opportunities identified included a strong sense of community, space to spread out within the building and the ease of scheduling physical education.
School staff also identified challenges including, limited support services such as ELL specialists and resource teachers, fewer financial resources for materials, no assistant principal to support instructional leadership, lack of opportunities for team teaching, challenges with expertise levels to cover curriculum particularly in higher grades, lack of opportunities for grouping students and a very small number of parent volunteers.
There are two schools in communities adjacent to the Rosscarrock community that have space to accommodate regular program students living in the Rosscarrock community in the future; Glendale School and Wildwood School. Both schools are within walking distance for some students living in Rosscarrock but neither school is within walking distance for all students living in the Rosscarrock community. (see map)
If Rosscarrock School is closed and the proposed accommodation plan is implemented for Sept. 30, 2019 there is space at both Glendale and Wildwood schools to accommodate regular program students who live in the community of Rosscarrock. Out of attendance area students would be expected to return to their designated school. A new location for the PLP program would be determined during the annual CBE review of complex learning class locations which takes into account available space in schools as well as the residential areas of these students.
Thirty people responded to an online survey with proposed options for re-designating students, and feedback showed a similar level of support for both options. After reviewing the feedback and in relation to the planning principle of having students attend school as close to home as possible, the Area 7 Director and the Director of Property, Planning and Transportation determined that the accommodation plan for students, if the Board of Trustees decides to close Rosscarrock School, is: