Changes to Elmer S. Gish School
What is the change?
Students from the Global junior high
program will move to Lorne Akins Junior High, in a phased-in approach, beginning
next school year (2019-2020).
Why was this decision made?
There are 20 students currently in Grade 6, 13 in Grade 7 and 21 in Grade 8. Every year, many of the Grade 6 students transitioning into Grade 7 choose to attend a different junior high school. Assuming the transition loss that occurs each year from Grade 6 to Grade 7, that would leave us with fewer than 50 students next year in Global junior high, and that enrollment makes the program unsustainable. We have had this discussion with the school community in the past and came very close to moving the junior high program out a few years ago. We were able to stay this decision for a few years but this no longer remains a viable option.
Does this have to do with the high enrollment and lack of space at the school?
The primary reason for this decision is programming and sustainability of the junior high program, however the move would provide some much needed space at the school. The school’s capacity is 903 and enrollment is currently 915 FTE (952 students). We hope to reach an enrollment count of approximately 850 students, which would be below the school's current capacity.
Does it affect all junior high students immediately?
No. Those students currently in junior high at Gish have the opportunity to stay and finish out their junior high years there. We will begin next year by transitioning the Grade 7 students to another junior high or program. While Lorne Akins would become the designated junior high school for students in Akinsdale and Pineview, students have the option to choose to attend any of our other junior high schools or programs (please note, however, that bus transportation is not guaranteed for students who don't attend their designated school). Some students may choose to stay at Gish and transfer into the Cogito program.
Will busing be provided?
To help with the transition, free yellow bus transportation will be provided for the first year to Gish students who attend Lorne Akins.
Does this mean that the elementary Global program will be phased out as well?
No. Our current board is committed to dual-track schools and maintaining elementary English programming in our schools. There are no plans to remove the elementary Global program from Gish.