Parents speak out on 'over-crowding' at Ecole Harbour Landing School
With more than 900 students enrolled, well over capacity, Ecole Harbour Landing School has become a true multipurpose facility. The library is now a double class room, the common room is now a library and other areas of the school have also been converted to class rooms.
“There is overcrowding in some of our schools and this is by far our number one case,” said Adam Hicks, Vice-Chair of the Regina Public School Board.
The school was originally built for a 650-student capacity and it hit that mark during its first year in 2017. Since then eight portables have been added onto the school as well as other conversions inside to help the school accommodate its large number of students.
The high number of students is creating student-to-teacher ratio concerns for parents.
“They’re not remaining focused on what the teacher is saying, they’re not focusing on what instructions are being given to them, so they’re, ‘Where’s my water bottle, where’s my backpack or I forgot that’, they’re just running around, the teachers is trying to control, so it’s really a challenge for the teacher,” said Syeda Mehmood, who has three children at the school.
“Due to the huge number of kids, it will be a problem for the teacher and even management, they can’t handle that much of kids,” said Nehtav Masroor, who also has three kids at Ecole Harbour Landing.
Safety when dropping off and picking up students at the school are also a concern.
“It’s very congested in the area,” said Lori Ekdahl with the School Community Council. “With the bus lane, it’s essentially one lane traffic going through there and at drop off and pick-up times, you’ll see parents parked in crosswalks and right in front of stop signs, so it’s a safety issue for sure.”
The Regina Public School Division is hosting a community meeting on Sept. 30 to present an accommodation report on enrollment challenges at Ecole Harbour Landing School.
“A lot of our questions are going to be answered,” said Ekdahl. “There’s a lot of rumours going around in terms of what is going to happen at Habour Landing School in the next couple of years, so this meeting is going to be telling for all of us and give us some indication on what’s going to be happening.”
The goal is a new school, but if the provincial government gives it the go-ahead, that’s still three-to-five years away and the school board will be looking at other solutions in the meantime.
“We’re inviting the community to come and talk about some options,” Hicks said. “There’s portions of this school community that we might have to move to other schools that have a little bit of capacity, which includes extra bussing and some temporary inconveniences until we can get a new school built in the Habour Landing area.”