Following the recent approval of Grande Prairie's annexation application, Peace Wapiti Public School Division (PWSD) would like to assure County of Grande Prairie residents that PWSD's current school boundaries will remain in effect until June 30th, 2016.
If families are concerned that upcoming changes to municipal boundaries may mean that their child will need to switch schools after the current school year, Superintendent Sheldon Rowe offers some reassurance.
"Under Section 239 of the School Act, a Minister of Education may add lands to a district or division, and any changes would occur after the end of the current school year," says Superintendent Sheldon Rowe. "However, when an annexation occurs, it does not necessarily mean the Minister will choose to add lands to another school division."
"We do not know what Minister David Eggen will decide," adds Superintendent Rowe. "Our Board Chair has requested a meeting with the Minister for clarification on how the annexation will impact PWSD students."
In the past, Education Ministers have not adhered to a standard response as a result of changes to municipal boundaries. In fact, history has shown a number of decisions, including:
- Status quo – no change to school division boundaries.
- School division boundaries altered to reflect municipal boundary changes.
- School division boundaries altered, but transportation grants were provided for the affected students until graduation.
"Until we have met with Minister Eggen, we are unable to offer a definitive statement on how changes to Grande Prairie's boundary will impact PWSD students beyond June 30, 2016. When the meeting occurs, we will communicate the results to our families. In the meantime, families may contact our office, or the office of the Minister," adds Superintendent Rowe.