Community Engagement : Accommodation Planning & Engagement for Possible Relocation of the Louise Dean Centre
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Community Engagement

Accommodation Planning & Engagement for Possible Relocation of the Louise Dean Centre

Status

The CBE continues to explore the feasibility of an identified alternate location at Dr. Norman Bethune School. Meanwhile, Louise Dean Centre will continue to operate out of Kensington School for the remainder of this year and the 2019-20 school year.
 
We remain committed to providing high quality learning opportunities for Louise Dean students and we will provide updates when more information is available.

The Program

The Louise Dean Centre is a program for pregnant and parenting teens located in Kensington School. The centre is currently in a building that is at capacity for the program it serves. The facility requires significant infrastructure investments and has one of the highest operating costs per student in the system. 

Over the past 15 years, maintenance work has continued at Kensington School to ensure the facility is safe. Minor adjustments have been made to respond to the changing demands of the program.

Based on the current condition and programming needs at the Louise Dean Centre, Facilities and Environmental Services (FES), School Improvment and Communication and Engagement Services staff worked with the Area Director and school administration to understand programming needs and to consider either:
  • Recapitalizing the existing space using Infrastructure Maintenance and Renewal funding; or
  • Finding an alternative location that meets programming needs. 

To ensure quality programming continues into the future, a recommendation to consider the closure of the program for the purpose of relocation to Dr. Norman Bethune School is being proposed.  A move to a new facility would ensure that the program is best suited, situated and sustainable to meet student programming and learning needs into the future. 

The Louise Dean Centre has been in existence in the CBE since 1969. The education program allows students to work toward a high school diploma or certificate, while affording them flexible scheduling for maternity leaves, counselling or lifestyle challenges. Students who are 19 years of age or under as of Sept. 1 each year may attend the Louise Dean Centre to complete core courses.  

Students may attend while they are pregnant or after the birth of their child. Some students transfer directly from their designated school, while other students have been out of school for a length of time. Regardless of a student’s academic background, the Louise Dean Centre works to support learning and lifestyle needs. This is a full-time education program with direct instruction.

The Centre has active partnerships with Alberta Health Services (AHS) as well as Catholic Family Service (CFS) who have dedicated space and staff on site at the school. Learning at the school is offered from September to July each academic year, providing both regular and summer school programming for its students. This programming is supported by the provision of childcare services for children aged 0 to 35 months by Catholic Family Service, which is critical to program success. It is also important to note that partner staff occupy the building year-round. 

Historically, enrolment at the Louise Dean Centre has varied between 100-150 students over the past 10 years. Throughout the year, enrolment in the program does fluctuate and students are welcomed into the program at all points throughout the school year. This year CBE’s system projection is forecasting a conservative level of growth.  

The Facility

Kensington School was built in 1947 in the community of Kensington and was expanded in 1957 by an addition to the school. Historical documents indicate that the school underwent a modernization in 1991 in anticipation of the relocation of students from the Louise Dean Centre. 

The school site itself includes: 

  • Core school
  • Two adjacent portables not attached to school
  • Playground (Funds have been raised to upgrade or replace the play structure but this has been placed on hold.)

Accommodation Timeline

August 2018 

  • Conversations begin between Facilities and Environmental Services, School Improvement​ and Communication and Engagement Services as to the facility condition based on work required over the summer at the Louise Dean Centre. 

Fall 2018 

  • Decision made by the above mentioned service units to explore re-capitilization investment in existing space or consider move to alternative location
  • Conversations between FES and school administration and Area Director occur with several tours of the facility to fully understand the complexities and requirements for programming 
  • Planning department undertakes facilities review of schools with space and makes recommendation for location in the event Louise Dean is to be moved
  • Tour of Dr. Norman Bethune School with all service units involved occurs as possible site relocation

 January - February 2019

  • ​In mid-January 2019, CBE administration met with leaders of the partnership groups (AHS & CFS) to inform them that the CBE was exploring options for continued programming for students at the Louise Dean Centre.

Connecting with Staff, Students, Parents and Community

Feb. 19-20, 2019 | CBE administration held a meeting with staff Feb. 19; a meeting with students Feb. 20; and a public meeting Feb. 20. The purpose of the meetings was to discuss the Louise Dean Centre and its evolving program needs and inform key stakeholders about the possibility of a proposal to relocate the program (in accordance with the Closure of School Regulation). Stakeholders were presented with planning, facility and programming information and had the opportunity to ask questions and provide written feedback regarding opportunities and challenges of relocating the program or keeping the program at its current location.

Feb. 22 – Mar. 24, 2019 | An online survey​ was open Feb. 22 – March 24 and allowed stakeholders to provide feedback regarding opportunities and challenges of relocating the program or keeping it at its current location.

March 18, 2019 | An additional public meeting was held on March 18. The format and presentation was primarily the same as the Feb. 19-20 meetings with feedback and questions from those meetings informing updates to the content of the March 18 meeting. Stakeholders were again provided the opportunity to ask questions and provide written feedback regarding opportunities and challenges of relocating the program or keeping the program at its current location.

 

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 What We Heard

 

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Last modified: 8/14/2019 2:40 PM
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