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Fort Macleod parents discuss priorities with Livingstone Range School Board

A delegation of three Fort Macleod parents has asked Livingstone Range School Board to include four items in their planning to modernize Fort Macleod schools.
The plan has W.A. Day become a Kindergarden to Grade 5 school, F.P. Walshe become a Grade 6-12 facility, and G.R. Davis school closed.
At its April 8 meeting, the board received a delegation made up of Chelsie Wolff, Liisa Gillingham, and Cathie Harris.
“This is a very exciting time for our community,” Wolff said, adding they have never seen this kind of opportunity.
“We know we have one shot,” Wolff later said, so they want to make sure they get it right.
They have gathered information from parents. Many ideas involve curriculum and programming.
Wolff said their intention was to discuss facilities with the board and curriculum and programming at another time.
They identified four areas regarding facilities.
The first is moving the Grade 6 students to F.P. Walshe school which is a Grade 7-12 facility.
Wolff said there is a 50-50 split among parents on this move.
Wolff observed the people who support the move seem to know more about how the decision was made.
Wolff said the parents of Grade 6 students provided more information.
“So they feel special and needed and understood,” Wolff said.
Wolff, Harris and Gillingham also requested a separation be incorporated in the design between the Grade 6-8, and the Grade 7-12 students. Another set of bathrooms is also necessary.
The second request was for the school division to promote Fort Macleod as a great community and plan for growth.
Enrollment has been growing at Fort Macleod schools.
“We want to see that emphasized,” Wolff said.
They would like to see a positive and hopeful outlook for the community, and see the funding allocation to schools reflect that.
They also want the schools designed so they can be added on to at a later date.
The third request was to have a performing arts stage at F.P. Walshe school and keep the commercial kitchen.
Wolff suggested the school could become a performing arts, industrial arts, and culinary arts school, similar to the way Warner became a hockey school.
They have the support of arts groups in Fort Macleod, including the Empress Theatre.
The final request was to make sure W.A. Day school has a full-sized gym.
It would assist in theatrical productions and athletic tournaments that require more than one gym.
Trustee John McKee commended the delegation on their presentation.
“That was a very good presentation,” McKee said. “It was very well done.”
Wolff said the community has a lot of engaged, interested, and even concerned parents.
Harris noted the meetings with parents about the modernization have been positive.
Chair Martha Ratcliffe said the board will discuss the presentation and respond by April 30.

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