Parents naturally want what’s best for their children, so the concerns among some Enderby parents aren’t a surprise.
Obviously shifting Grade 7 students from M.V. Beattie Elementary to A.L. Fortune Secondary is a departure from what they have known for many years, and it raises questions about how the high school will accommodate the children one year earlier than they would traditionally walk through the doors.
However, those concerns aside, Beattie is full and there’s available space at ALF.
On top of this, there are Grade 7 to 12 schools throughout the province, including in Lumby and Lake Country, so Enderby can learn from those experiences. And Grade 7 students are already mixing with older grades in middle schools within the district.
Trustee Mike McKay and administrators appear to have listened to the parents’ concerns and have provided a very thoughtful and thorough plan for school restructuring.
Additional resources will help Grade 6 to 8 students select appropriate social and emotional behaviour and choices, while ALF will look at ways to successfully integrate Grade 7 students, with particular attention to program options, transitional support and policy considerations.
In an ideal world, the Grade 7 students would remain at Beattie for their final year, but enrolment and capacity issues make that impossible.
But that aside, educators will do everything possible to ensure the transition is as smooth as possible and that students succeed socially and educationally. There’s also the reality that students are resilient.