Advocacy: Catholic High School in Ward 6

October 30, 2019

Over the last few months, the Ward 6 Office and I have been advocating for a new Catholic High School in West Calgary. We’ve raised the issue with our local MLA’s, school board trustees from both the Calgary Catholic School District and the Calgary Board of Education, and Bishop McGrattan of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Calgary.

While building schools is traditionally a provincial responsibility, there are immediate implications of the lack of a Catholic High School felt by Ward 6 students and their families. For example, consider transportation and commute: it can take upwards of an hour and fifteen minutes for students to arrive at the nearest designated Catholic High School – St Mary’s, in the City’s downtown core.

As a result, many parents have decided to pull their children from the Catholic school system and enroll them in the Public school system. For example, in 2017 59 per cent of the students at St. Joan of Arc School went to a CBE school for grade 10.

The influx of students from the Catholic system into the Calgary Board of Education is directly contributing to the overflow at Ernest Manning High School – which is now operating at over 117 per cent capacity.

At the City of Calgary, we are committed to creating livable communities. In the coming years, thousands of people will move to Ward 6 as we fill out the communities of West Springs, Cougar Ridge and Springbank Hill.

I fundamentally believe that now is the time for the Province of Alberta and the Calgary Catholic School District to prioritize building a Catholic High School in Ward 6.

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