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Changes in Fairview - Update #2

Educational Facilities in Fairview

Upon learning of the St. Thomas More (STM) building closure, the Peace River School Division immediately contacted Grande Prairie and District Catholic Schools (GPCSD) to discuss how we may be of assistance. The GPCSD Board of Trustees met on Monday, December 18 to develop a plan for the St. Thomas More School community. Following that meeting, a short-term, mid-term and long-term plan was communicated to their school community on Tuesday, December 19. 

While GPCSD has chosen not to pursue placing a modular school facility on PRSD property, the Peace River School Division remains a willing partner to support education of all students in the Fairview area. GPCSD has decided St. Thomas More School students will remain at Northwestern Polytechnic (NWP) until the end of the 2023-2024 school year. Then, in the fall of 2024, GPCSD has proposed that their K-Grade 9 students will remain on the NWP campus property, in a standalone modular school, complete with library and office spaces, and playground facilities. This plan has been submitted to Alberta Education and Alberta Infrastructure for consideration.

High School Programming in Fairview

Regarding the high school program at St. Thomas More, GPCSD has informed their school community that continuing a Catholic high school program in Fairview is no longer a feasible option. As a result, these students will be encouraged to enrol at Peace River School Division’s Fairview High School after the current school year.

The Peace River School Division is delighted to welcome the STM Kodiaks into the Fairview Cobra family. It is our desire to assist your families in any way possible during this time of transition. It is also important to us that our students, and families, feel safe, welcome and comfortable in our schools. The PRSD and GPCSD are discussing the possibility of offering a Religion class at Fairview High, which would be open to all students. This will be further discussed at our joint board meeting.

Long-Term Solutions

Moving forward, the PRSD is committed to working with GPCSD on a long-term solution in Fairview. During the value-scoping session that took place in October, 2023, discussions were held regarding the future of education in Fairview. The popular opinion, following that session, was for the school divisions to put forward a joint request for a high school facility on the NWP property, and a separate K-6 joint-use facility on another property within Fairview, possibly on the Fairview High School grounds. This property is a safe distance from the highway and already has an outdoor running track. 

Placing a Jr./Sr. high school on the NWP property makes a lot of sense to the PRSD. By doing so, students would have increased access to various CTS programming through a collegiate school model between the PRSD and NWP. We look forward to further conversations about this with GPCSD at our upcoming joint board meeting.

Dec 20, 2023 Fairview Schools

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