Starting next September, students who graduate from Edgewood and Spruceland elementary school in Prince George will be moving on to DP Todd Secondary instead of Duchess Park.
The catchment area changes were made at Tuesday’s SD 57’s monthly meeting.

However, the move was met with some opposition from fellow trustee Sharrel Warrington who had concerns about DP Todd’s ability to take in more students since their expansion project has not seen a response yet from the Ministry of Education.

Board Chair Tim Bennett said the school even at its current state, is more flexible than Duchess Park.

“DP Todd has the ability for us if needed, to add portables or additional portables to what is already there and Duchess Park doesn’t have the ability to do that.”

“There’s a large number of Spruceland students who already live in the DP Todd area who would most likely be going there anyway so we’re not looking at the additional 70 students that were originally reported because a large number of the 42 to 45 students Grade sevens were already going to DP Todd for grade eight.”

While the vote was unanimous in favour of the change for Spruceland, Edgewood passed by a narrow margin of 4-3.

Bennett explained to why the change was made now instead of later in the school year.

“We recognize that families need time to plan and they also need time if they plan to apply for a transfer or have some other planning to do for September and it was important we made this decision early in the school year.”

“I think all trustees knew how important this decision was and how it could impact students and families, we also know that we have serious capacity issues at our secondary schools, we are facing a shortage of seats at the secondary level and that will continue to grow as we head into 2023.”

Trustees will also consider a notice of motion from Warrington at their December 3rd meeting to allow any Edgewood or Spruceland students who have siblings at Duchess Park to join them.