Airdrie resident Michael Radziwon is on a mission to encourage as many Airdrie residents as he can, to join a month-long campaign to email local Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) regarding schools in Airdrie. 

He has frequently posted to local social media groups in the hopes that others will join and write to their MLAs about what he says is the dire situation with over-capacity in Airdrie schools. Radziwon said it began when he joined the school council at A. E. Bowers Elementary School.

"I kept hearing rumblings about the lack of schools, schools being full. I started talking more and investigating more and more and I found out how dire the situation was. The only thing I could think of was to start writing emails, and getting the whole community engaged, because a lot of parents didn't realize the totality of the situation."

In one of his most recent social media posts, he stated, 'I implore everyone to continue to contribute to our campaign to write an email a day or if it is your first time write your own personal story or copy the one below. So without further ado Day 26 email is here:'

The post in part stated:

As constituents and advocates for quality education in our community, we write to you on the 26th day of our ongoing email campaign to shed light on the critical issue of education funding, particularly in Airdrie. With the recent developments within Rocky View Schools (RVS), it has become evident that immediate action is needed to address the pressing challenges faced by our local schools.

Furthermore, the disparity between the approved allocation and the actual needs of our schools is glaring, especially considering the significant number of modular classrooms already in use within RVS. The proposal to relocate underutilized units from Langdon and Indus to schools in need of additional space reflects a sensible approach to maximizing resources and addressing immediate capacity challenges...

He also encouraged residents to email the Premier and Education Minister as part of the email blitz campaign. 

The province's 2024 budget has allocated money for full construction funding for two new K-8 schools in Airdrie within the Rocky View School Division (RVS), as well as design funding for a new grade 9-12 school. However, Radziwon argues this is not a solution that addresses the needs of students in schools at the present moment.

"Ideally, I would like to see solutions for today because the schools are full today. The education situation in Airdrie is at a critical junction; with rapid population growth outpacing the availability of school spaces, despite obvious efforts from the city and local school divisions."

However, Radziwon is not the only voice that has sounded the alarm on the current issues facing students and teachers in Airdrie. In a written response to the province's announcement of funding construction for schools in Airdrie in early March, Rocky View School Division (RVS) also underlined their concerns.

"School approvals have not kept pace with RVS’ growth of 750 to 1,000 new students annually – requiring one to two new schools every year across the division. RVS has been exploring possible solutions to help alleviate pressure in some of the division’s overutilized schools."

However, RVS did add that the province's announcement for funding was a welcomed one.

"These have been long-awaited as top priorities for RVS and are crucial for providing relief in our most crowded schools in Airdrie, Cochrane and Chestermere," said Fiona Gilbert, Chair of the Board of Trustees. "Today's announcement marks a positive step forward as we plan for the rapidly increasing student population in these communities."

Gilbert added that changes in Airdrie are necessary to address the space challenges in Airdrie schools now and in the few years it will take to build and open the new schools.

The Balancing Airdrie Student Spaces sought out public feedback on potential changes to attendance boundaries and adjustments to the grade levels served by the schools. Some of the solutions that RVS posed included converting C.W. Perry School into a high school, Grade 8 students staying in their current school for Grade 9, as well as re-organizing grade structures across Airdrie schools. The Board plans to make its decision on April 25.

"Greater certainty of future space is timely as we consider community input, accommodation factors, and other information to inform this important decision."

Radziwon was also critical of the most recent announcement that RVS received approval for nine modular units and the relocation of one washroom unit for the division. He said it is also not nearly enough. 

Initially, the division requested 22 new modular units and the relocation of another 12 classrooms and one bathroom unit.

"It is unknown at this time when the new units will arrive or when the relocation of the one approved existing unit will take place," RVS added in a briefing note.

When asked what his hopes are for the campaign, Radziwon says it comes down to advocacy and more of it for Airdrie.

"We just need to get the message out so that we can get more parents involved," he added. 

In its most recent Board of Trustees meeting, RVS continued to underline that, 'despite recent government approval of construction funding, school utilization is projected to continue to rise due to ongoing population growth in RVS’ fastest-growing communities of Airdrie, Cochrane and Chestermere.'

"RVS is years behind in government funding for new schools, additions and modular classrooms as approvals have failed to keep pace with rising enrolment."

According to its Capital Plan for  2025 – 2028, the division requested that the government approve funding the construction of 10 additional new schools across the division in the next three years.

"These are needed to address the ongoing growing utilization in RVS schools even after the opening of the three recently announced new schools expected to take place in 2027, the opening of Horseshoe Crossing High School in Langdon in September 2024 and completion of a previously approved expansion to Bow Valley High School in Cochrane in 2026."

RVS also stated that the budget for 2024, included a 4.4 per cent increase in education funding to support enrolment growth and students with specialized needs.

"As the specific details (known as the funding profile) for RVS have not yet been received, understanding the implications of the province’s increased education funding is difficult. The funding profile should be received shortly and will help the division understand the impact of Budget 2024," RVS concluded.

In discussions with MLA for Airdrie-East, Angela Pitt said that she encourages all kinds of civic engagement and that residents' voices are important in discussions surrounding advocacy for Airdrie. She also noted that when the St. Martin de Porres High School multi-year modernization project is complete, this too may alleviate pressures in other schools.

Her counterpart, Airdrie-Cochrane MLA, Peter Guthrie, released a statement earlier this month regarding the funding to schools in his district.

"I am overjoyed at the Budget 2024 funding announcement for four new schools within the Rocky View School Division. I have been a strong advocate for this advancement to Airdrie and Cochrane’s education sector as our students deserve to learn in a world-class facility," a written statement by Guthrie read. "By expanding educational opportunities throughout our constituency, we are investing in the next generation to grow into successful Albertans."

RVS estimated that there will be an average utilization of 101 per cent by 2028 across RVS, adding that several schools are projected to significantly exceed this rate.

Send your news tips, story ideas, pictures, and videos to You can also message and follow us on Twitter: @AIR1061FM

DiscoverAirdrie encourages you to get your news directly from your trusted source by bookmarking this page and downloading the DiscoverAirdrie app. For breaking news, weather and contest alerts click here.