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'Not ideal for anyone': Regina Public Schools to move 200 students from Harbour Landing School

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The Regina Public School Board has endorsed the school division’s proposal to have 200 students change schools next year.

The students will be moved from Harbour Landing School to Ethel Millken School. The schools are about two kilometres apart.

Harbour Landing School has a capacity of 675. As of March 15, there were 1,055 students enrolled, according to Regina Public Schools (RPS).

Because of overcrowding, RPS administration proposed a plan to temporarily divert 200 students from Harbour Landing School to Ethel Milliken School based on a boundary alteration.

“We legitimately cannot run an educational program with as many students as we have right now, if not more,” Darren Boldt, the director of education for Regina Public Schools, said.

At its meeting on Tuesday, the Regina Public School Board endorsed the move, meaning the change will officially happen.

“It’s certainly not ideal for anyone to consider a boundary change, but I feel the school division has been put in a place where essentially they’re forced to make tough decisions,” Tara Molson, the chair of the school board, said.

Throughout the month of March, RPS collected feedback from parents about the proposal through open houses, forms and emails.

Some concerns that were voiced included potential social and psychological impacts on students who would have to leave their friends, change the distance from their homes to school and disappointment in ongoing delays with a new school being built in Harbour Landing.

Community members also offered their own suggestions to combat the problem. Some of those included limiting the number of incoming students and moving one or more grades out of Harbour Landing School.

“We absolutely considered each piece of feedback,” Boldt said.

“We worked through each individual suggestion, looked at the pros, looked at the cons. Some of the suggestions are just not doable, with all due respect to the community that provided that feedback, it just wasn’t doable. We were left with very limited options.”

The boundary alterations will take effect at the beginning of the 2023-24 school year. They will stay in place until the new school in Harbour Landing is complete.

That build is expected to take about three years.

“It’ll be on the west side of the existing Harbour Landing sub-development, so it’ll be adjacent to where the community has already been developed,” Education Minister Dustin Duncan said.

“SaskBuilds is working on a design as we speak and we look forward to hopefully breaking ground later this year.”

The City of Regina said an update will be announced at some point throughout the week on the new school build.

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