East City Community Q and A Summary
Re: King George and Armour Heights PS Consolidation
Construction and Transition Schedule
1) Why is construction of the new school behind schedule?
In our critical path for the new school, developed by the contractor in consultation with our architects, the September 2020 opening date was projected if all the various steps in the construction process progressed on time. While we were optimistic that this would happen, unfortunately, there have been several delays:
- we received our official approval to tender the project from the Ministry of Education in May 2019, when we had initially projected that to take place in February;
- the extensive rain and precipitation we have experienced since excavation began this summer, has resulted in 53 weather delays to date; and
- managing underground water on site has been challenging; while our geology reports did show springs on the site, the delayed fall and winter construction schedule has made the water more difficult and time consuming to manage.
Because of all these factors, we are approximately five months behind schedule for the construction of our new school.
2) Why can’t students start at the new school in winter/spring of 2021 instead of waiting until September?
There are several reasons why we believe that a September 2021 start at the new school is the best choice at this point.
· Because of where we are in the construction cycle, completion of the exterior of the building will be delayed, which means that all of the necessary paving and asphalt work around the school won’t be complete before winter. Given the unique site elevation, we do not want to bring students to the school in an unfinished state, with muddy slopes and terrain.
· Schools have significant staffing adjustments every year, and bringing two school staffs, and students together mid-year would be very complicated and potentially stressful for everyone.
· We want to ensure we provide ample time for a positive and smooth transition experience for everyone involved. Transition activities will take place in the spring to support both school communities coming together as one.
3) What type of transition activities will take place to support both school communities?
Our adjusted timeline, while regrettable, does provide certain benefits to students to support a successful start at the new combined school. Once the school is complete, we will plan school tours of the new facility and intentional transition events with the combined school communities, to support developing relationships between students, families and staff. We have already started to coordinate joint activities between the school communities, and look forward to planning more of these over the coming year to familiarize everyone with the new facility.
Before and After-School Care
1) Will before and after-school care continue the same way next year?
Yes. Before and after-school care will continue to be provided at Armour Heights PS by Trent Child Care. Trent will also be our partner in providing both full day-care for infants, toddlers and preschoolers, as well as before and after-school care at the new school.
2) Will students be bused from Armour to Ridpath in the morning and from Ridpath to Armour in the afternoon for the before and after-school program?
Yes, busing will continue to be provided from Armour to Ridpath in the morning and from Ridpath to Armour in the afternoon for students attending the before and after-school program.
1) Will Kindergarten students continue to have the option to start at/attend Armour instead of being bused to Ridpath?
Yes. Students who started Kindergarten at Armour Heights PS, can continue to attend Armour Heights next year. Likewise, all students who received special permission to attend Armour Heights this year will have the opportunity to stay at Armour Heights next year.
New Kindergarten students for September 2020 will also have the option to attend either Armour Heights or King George North in Lakefield.
2) What will happen to students at King George North who are currently in Grade 6?
Grade 6 students will attend Armour Heights PS for Grade 7, as they would have previously. We do understand that this creates an extra transition for Grade 6 students, who will attend Armour Heights for Grade 7 and the new school for Grade 8. However, in order to offer students at both schools a full intermediate program and experience, including the ability to participate in extracurricular activities with their peers, all Grade 7 and 8s will continue to attend Armour Heights PS.
1) When will we know the name of the new school?
The Board Committee received many submissions for naming our new school, and we want to thank everyone who took the time to suggest a name. The Committee is still considering the name options, with a timeline of bringing a recommended name to the March 31 Board Meeting. The name will be communicated to the school community once it is approved by the Board.
For more information about our new school, please visit the school board website: www.kprschools.ca
Through a Pupil Accommodation Review Process, a committee of community stakeholders supported the idea of consolidating the Armour Heights and King George Public School students into one new school on the King George property. During the review process, it became clear that the community was passionate about the potential opportunities of a new school.
The Minister of Education visited King George Public School on October 31, 2016 to announce funding to build the new school. Following the announcement, we invited the Ashburnham community to share their thoughts, to help inform the design of their new school.
June 27, 2019 Update
Official Sod Turning for Our New #EastCitySchool!
On Thursday, June 27, 2019, students, staff, parents, trustees, community members and special guests gathered to mark the official beginning of construction of our newest K-8 elementary school!
June 4, 2019 Update
Construction of our new school to begin soon. Please click here for the June 4, 2019 update to the school community.
May 1, 2019 Update
Please click here to read the May 1 update confirming Ministry of Education approval to proceed to tender.
April 4, 2019 Update
Please click here to read the April 4 update confirming school bell times for next year.
March 6, 2019 Update
Please see below for the update sent to families.
January 23, 2019 Update
We wanted to share this brief note home to inform you that, last evening, the Board of Trustees has approved that students from King George PS will be housed temporarily at the board’s Ridpath Junior Public School building while construction of the new school is completed.
Through our letters home, and through the public meetings we held, we hope that we have expressed to parents our understanding and appreciation that this situation is not ideal, and has an impact on families. We will continue to work through how we can address these challenges as we move forward with our planning.
For next steps, we also know that parents are hoping for more information and details on bell times and busing plans. We will provide them to everyone as soon as possible.
As an update, we can also share that:
- the Board has approved that, should parents wish, we will accommodate King George PS Junior and Senior Kindergarten students, both English and French programs, who wish to attend Armour Heights PS for the 2019/2020 school year.
- we are continuing to explore how we can make Armour Heights PS a common destination, on an emergency basis, for inclement weather days, and;
- as part of our transportation planning, we are working with our transportation planners on the possibility of a general pick up and drop off bus stop for parents to cut down on student bus ride times.
We remain excited for the building of this $18 million new school, and the benefits it will provide for students and the community for many years. We will do our best to continue to provide updated information to parents as soon as we are able as we move forward with this exciting project.
Administration Report - January 22, 2019, Board Meeting
As shared with families, school board administration is presenting its recommendations to the Board of Trustees on Tuesday, January 22, regarding accommodating King George PS & Armour Heights PS students during construction of their new school. Trustees will consider this report before moving forward with planning. The report, which includes an overview of input provided by parents and guardians, is available online here.
The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. at the Education Centre, 1994 Fisher Drive, Peterborough. All are welcome to attend this public meeting, or to watch it online through live streaming at http://video.isilive.ca/kprdsb/live.html
January 10, 2019 Meeting
December 14, 2018 Update
Dear Parents and Guardians of King George and Armour Heights Public School Students,
We appreciate that the news we shared with you recently regarding accommodating students next year is significant, and of great impact on some families.
We would like to extend our thanks to the families who attended our parent information session last week. It is clear that this community is passionate about its school.
The presentation from that meeting, as well as a summary of Questions and Answers from the meeting, are available on our website, www.kprschools.ca, on the East City School home page link.
Student safety is our top priority in this project and we remain confident that the King George PS building must be vacated during the construction period next year. Unfortunately, as explained at the meeting, there is not a building in Peterborough that can house the entire school community. For your information, there are more details in the attached Q and A document related to the options that we explored for next year.
We also want to acknowledge the important points that were raised by families at the meeting. We are currently reviewing a number of the questions and suggestions raised to incorporate within our planning.
Specifically, we are considering:
- allowing new Kindergarten students to attend Armour Heights PS next year, should their parents choose that option, and
- confirming criteria for families with special, extenuating circumstances who wish their children to attend Armour Heights PS for the year based on available space. For example, this may include:
o students with special needs,
o families without a vehicle, and
o students with siblings already at the school.
We also want to be responsive to parents who have expressed concern that they have not had an opportunity to provide input on administration’s plan before it moves forward.
We are welcoming parent input to this planning in two ways.
Families and community members are invited to attend another parent information meeting on:
Thursday, January 10, 2019, 6:00 p.m.
King George Public School
At this meeting we will further discuss planning to date, including the options that were considered for accommodating students next year, as well as any new suggestions by parents.
Secondly, parents can also contribute their input for consideration by the Board by submitting it, by January 14, 2019, to firstname.lastname@example.org .
The feedback that is provided through the information meeting, and through online submissions, will be considered and summarized within a final report by administration.
Administration will then present its recommended plan, including background information and rationale on all other options that have been considered, to the Regular Meeting of the school board on:
Tuesday, January 22, 2019, 7:00 p.m.
The Education Centre, 1994 Fisher Drive, Peterborough
The full board of Trustees will then make a final decision on any course of action on this matter.
Parents also have the opportunity to attend and appear as a delegation at the board meeting should they so choose.
More information on how to register as a delegate, and how to watch our Board meetings via Live Stream, is available through the Board and Committee Meetings link on the bottom of the front page of our website: www.kprschools.ca
Thank you for your involvement as we move forward toward a new, modern learning environment for our King George and Armour Heights school communities.
November 28, 2018 Update
November 28, 2018 Update to Parents
Dear Parents and Guardians of King George and Armour Heights Public School Students,
We would like to provide you with an update on some important information about our new school. Specifically, we need to share with you our plans to keep students safe while the school is being built.
Ensuring the safety of students and staff is our number one concern during any capital project. As we have worked through the design and site preparation phases of this project, it has become clear that it is not possible to safely keep students and staff in the King George PS building while the new school is being built.
The challenges associated with building on the King George PS site are significant. They include: steep grades, drainage and site preparation work, and heavy equipment traffic combined with bus and normal parent and city traffic. Together, these challenges will create an unacceptable safety risk for students, staff and the community during the construction period.
Our safety concerns include not just keeping students and staff safe on school grounds, but also travelling to and from school within a heavy construction area.
As a result, our plan is to keep the King George PS community together for the 2019 – 2020 school year within the recently vacated Ridpath Junior Public School building in Lakefield.
After extensive review and deliberation of a number of options, we believe this is the best course of action to keep students and staff safe.
The Ridpath Junior Public School site is move-in ready, has a broad playground with plenty of green space for safe play and outdoor learning, and is located within a quiet neighbourhood. Until December 2017, it was occupied by students and it remains a fully functioning school building.
We will transport all students to the Ridpath Junior PS site, and home again, on buses each day, from regular stops near their home.
We are also reviewing the provision of before and after-school care to maintain this service for parents as best we are able.
We realize this is important news. To help explain our plan, and to answer questions that you may have, we have created a Question and Answer document. We also invite all parents to an Information Meeting:
Parent Information Meeting
King George Public School
Monday, December 3, 2018
To help us respond to your initial questions at this meeting, parents may also submit questions ahead of our meeting at: email@example.com
Again, we understand this is emerging information and parents will have a number of questions related to how this will work for the next school year.
Our meeting next week will be the first of several opportunities to talk together throughout the spring in preparation for the 2019-2020 school year.
We invite you to join us as we continue moving forward toward a modern new learning environment for our King George and Armour Heights school communities.
Superintendent of Education
East City School Update - February 26, 2018
East City School Open House Design Renderings
On October 19, 2017 the #EastCitySchool community participated in an Open House event to view their new school designs.
The new school design reflects the community’s feedback, received through a community collaboration process last fall. The new school design incorporates:
· Modern learning environments
· Both indoor and outdoor learning opportunities
· Green/sustainable features
· Innovative use of the site’s unique features; and
· A design that reflects the aesthetics of the surrounding community.
School Architect Selection
Beginning in January 2017, the school board coordinated an Architect Selection process to find an innovative architect to design our new school. A two-phased competitive design process was used to first create a short list of the highest scoring firms, and then ultimately choose the best architect for our new school design. Competing firms provided evidence of their experience and ability to incorporate green/sustainable features, create modern learning environments, develop innovative site and building designs and bring together two or more student populations.
Through this process, Moffet and Duncan Architects was awarded the contract to design our new school. Moffet and Duncan Architects have designed 20 secondary schools, over 100 elementary schools and 20 child care centres for many school boards across Ontario, in the last 15 years. They have extensive experience designing sustainable/green features of school buildings and outdoor learning spaces, and in creating flexible, modern learning environments that support the principles of 21st century learning. Their submission reflected suggestions for innovative use of the site, and a strong emphasis on the incorporation of natural light and flexible indoor and outdoor learning spaces.
The architect then met with a school design team to focus on incorporating key design features, as identified by the Accommodation Review Committee, supported by the Board of Trustees, and expanded upon by the #EastCitySchool school design collaboration and focus group session participants.
About the Community Collaboration
In the fall of 2016, the school board invited community collaboration, through an online platform, in three key areas that were identified during the accommodation review process. The community could share their own ideas and see the ideas shared by others.
Over 100 ideas and thoughts were provided through the online platform! You can view the ideas provided by the community, by clicking here.
A stakeholder group of students, staff, parents and community members met in December 2016 to review the ideas provided, and synthesize them, to be used to inform the selection process for the school's architectural team.
Watch for more updates as we move forward!
If you have any questions, please feel welcome to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org