Decision on OLWS may be deferred indefinitely
By Heather Latter
Northwest Catholic District School Board administration is recommending trustees postpone indefinitely a decision on the future of Our Lady of the Way School in Stratton.
The school, which runs up to Grade 8, saw its enrolment drop to 13 students last year and has been in the process of an accommodation review since January, 2013.
And while the Accommodation Review Committee recommended last month that the school remain open, an analysis by administration suggests it’s “too early to make a decision to close Our Lady of the Way School.”
“The enrolment decline that occurred was rapid and steps can be taken to address the enrolment decline,” noted the report, which will be presented at tonight’s regular board meeting.
“Additional time is required to determine the potential for long-term enrolment growth, as any enrolment growth will be slow as it will come from the kindergarten entry level and happen one year at a time,” it added.
Administration also is recommending the board direct it to provide update reports relative to enrolment at the school three times each year; and that the board instruct administration to present an updated Administration Reassessment Report of the Accommodation Report in February, 2017.
It also is suggesting the board ask administration to consider implementing the following accommodation review recommendations:
•that the Northwest Catholic District School Board commits to a minimum of two classrooms at Our Lady of the Way School;
•that a school action plan to be developed for implementation in 2013-14 to support a strong parish, community, and school relationship that focuses on strengthening the relationship with existing families while attracting new students and families; and
•that the board commit to review the accommodation review process to identify the strengths and concerns of the existing one.
Those three recommendations are operational and will be the decision of administration.
It is expected trustees will vote on the future of Our Lady of the Way at its next regular meeting March 18.