Due to growing student enrolment and a shortage of school space, two more schools are being added to Edmonton Public Schools’ lottery process.
New students in the attendance area for Lillian Osborne High School in the southwest, and David Thomas King School, in west Edmonton, will have to enter a lottery to enroll at their designated school.
Mable Chan-Simon’s 14-year-old daughter is looking forward to attending her neighbourhood high school, Lillian Osborne, in the fall.
“She’s excited to walk to school… or come home for lunch,” Chan-Simon said. “Just that flexibility and us not having to drive her.”
However, the lottery process means that her daughter is not guaranteed a spot at Lillian Osborne. If her daughter is not selected in the lottery, her overflow designated school is Strathcona High School.
“We live practically across the street (from Lillian Osborne). She just has to hop 23 Ave.”
Edmonton school moves to lottery system for enrolment
At an information session, Chan-Simon said she heard from many other frustrated parents.
“What I’m hearing is the lottery is their (EPSB’s) solution. But for a lot of parents, this is not a solution. This is just where the effort stops,” Chan-Simon said.
Julie Kusiek is the Edmonton Public School Board trustee for Ward F, which includes Lillian Osborne.
She said the issue comes back to a need for more provincial funding for new schools.
“This is a crummy situation,” Kusiek said on Thursday.
“What this situation at Lillian Osborne demonstrates is that although we are very thankful for a couple of new schools that have been built — like Dr. Anne Anderson and the Meadows High School, which will be coming online in the next couple of years — it’s not enough.
“We have more students that need to be accommodated.”
“We continue to recognize the need for school projects across Alberta,” Katherine Stavropoulos, the press secretary for the minister of education, said via email Thursday.
“Alberta Education and Alberta Infrastructure staff are carefully reviewing and analyzing the Three-Year Capital Plans for all Alberta school boards. Edmonton Public School’s requests are receiving full and careful consideration, along with other school capital requests from across the province.”
Overcrowded Edmonton elementary schools prompt worries about high school enrolment
As for why a lottery process is used by Edmonton Public Schools, Kusiek said she understands that other alternatives, such as moving entire classes to another school or changing boundaries, were difficult for families.
“(The lottery) is a process that doesn’t touch those boundaries. It tries to keep those communities as intact as possible and that everyone in that boundary has a equal chance to get in to the school that they’re applying to.”
The other three schools already using the lottery process are Dr. Lila Fahlman School, Dr. Margaret-Ann Armour School and Svend Hansen School.
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