Neighbourhoods in southwest Edmonton are now packed with growing families, and schools are stretched to their limits. A shortage of space means that some students may not be able to attend the school in their own neighbourhood. We need to look at innovative ways to get schools built quickly and make the best use of the space we have.
At the same time, there’s no reason we can’t be a little more innovative than when we set firm geographic boundaries as the final word on eligibility. It may well be that these boundaries are required in the end, but we can do a better job by:
- Giving families a say in setting boundaries and eligibility requirements to make sure that are fair and reasonable;
- Providing different programming in different schools that may appeal to some families but not others, which can help alleviate overcrowding; and
- Keeping an open dialogue about the best match between student and school – not to make exceptions, but to make commonsense decisions possible.