Miscellaneous » Schools » Whispering Ridge Community School Boundary Engagement

Whispering Ridge Community School Boundary Engagement

Peace Wapiti Public School Division (PWPSD) serves many different students, families and community members and is continually looking to improve and provide the best possible education experience. A student's school experience is impacted by many things including how school grades are arranged, how many students are found within each school, what programs are available, and how long they travel to and from school each day.
 
The PWPSD Board of Trustees is seeking your feedback on two possible boundary changes for the 2024-2025 school year. Both possible changes would affect the students, staff, families and communities of Whispering Ridge Community School (WRCS), Harry Balfour School (HBS), and Peace Wapiti Academy (PWA).

What we heardOnline Survey

Parents were invited to complete an online survey and share how each possible boundary change could affect their families and communities.
 
The survey closed on Friday, January 26.
 
We thank everyone who took the time to complete our online survey and attend our in-person engagement sessions. All the information collected has been included in the final report to the Board of Trustees, who will consider all the survey responses when making their decision.

Why do we change boundaries?

School boundaries are changed in response to trends in population, impact of growth on school capacities, and the location of new schools. The WRCS and HBS school boundaries will change for the 2024-2025 school year to alleviate enrollment pressures at WRCS.
Whispering Ridge Community School's utilization rate currently sits at 94% and is expected to continue to increase due to continued high-density residential development in the school's attendance area. The Whispering Ridge subdivision is expected to increase in size from 902 residential lots with an average of 2.5 people per household, to 1,706 developed lots with the total subdivision population projected at 5,260 residents. Population growth of this magnitude will create a critical need for an additional K-8 school in the area.
 
Whispering Ridge Area Structure Plan, County of Grande Prairie
 
The latest Area Structure Pan has student populations estimated at 1,250 K-8 public school students and 552 Grade 9-12 public school students residing within the area. This is in addition to the current student populations that are already exceeding recommended utilizations at WRCS and PWA.

What are the possibilities?

The PWPSD Board of Trustees are considering two possibilities for the upcoming boundary change. Both scenarios involve using the current Harry Balfour School as a satellite campus for Peace Wapiti Academy until the new high school is opened.

Possibility 1

Create a new K-8 school located at the current HBS site, and split the WRCS attendance boundary. WRCS continues to run as a K-8 school with a reduced school attendance area.
 
If the Board decides to choose Possibility 1, the new attendance boundary could begin at Highway 43 and encompass the entire south west portion of the current WRCS attendance area. These students would begin attending a new K-8 school at the current HBS site.
 
P1A P1A
View Possibility 1A on GoogleMaps.
 
The adjusted enrollment and utilization projections for WRCS and a new K-8 school due to this boundary change are shown below.
 
WRCS 1A
New K-8
 
A more substantial change would be to use Township Road 720 as the new boundary, encompassing the entire south west portion of the current WRCS attendance area.
 
P1B P1B
View Possibility 1B on GoogleMaps.
 
The adjusted enrollment and utilization projections for WRCS and a new K-8 school due to this boundary change are shown below.
 
WRCS 1B
New K-8 1B
 

Possibility 2

Significantly adjust the current WRCS and HBS attendance boundaries. WRCS continues to run as a K-8 school with a reduced school attendance area. The new HBS opens as a K-8 school with an increased school attendance area. The current HBS site becomes a satellite campus for PWA only.
 
If the Board decides to choose Possibility 2, the new attendance boundary could begin at Highway 43 and encompass a section of the south west portion of the current WRCS attendance area, which would become the HBS attendance area. These students would begin attending the new HBS in the fall of 2024.
 
P2A P2A
View Possibility 2A on GoogleMaps.
 
The adjusted enrollment and utilization projections for WRCS and HBS due to this boundary change are shown below.
 
P2A WRCS
P2A HBS
 
An alternative would be to have a variation of this proposed attendance boundary change.
 
P2B P2B
View Possibility 2B on GoogleMaps.
 
The adjusted enrollment and utilization projections for WRCS and HBS due to this boundary change are shown below.
 
P2B WRCS
P2B HBS

Past Events

January 15 - 26: Online survey open

Wednesday, January 17: In-person engagement session at Whispering Ridge Community School

Thursday, January 18: In-person engagement session at Harry Balfour School

Upcoming Events

March 2024: PWPSD Board of Trustees decide on boundary change