Airdrie resident Kayla Caranay is one parent out of a group of many who says she is concerned and frustrated about the recent announcement by the Rocky View Schools Division (RVS) regarding Balancing Airdrie Student Spaces.

In late April, RVS announced that, 'in response to increasing enrolment pressures and to improve space utilization, beginning September 2025 all Airdrie RVS schools except for Cooper’s Crossing School will adjust by one grade level and some attendance boundaries will change.'

Caranay said that one particular change regarding Windsong Heights has spurred parents to begin an online petition. While Caranay said she understands why the Balancing Student Spaces initiative was undertaken by the Board, she and other parents are far from happy.

"They surveyed all of Airdrie and going into that vote, we were given three options, which our community [of] Prairie Springs, we all came together and had the same conclusion of which option we voted for; and that option was, we assumed [that] we would stay at Windsong Heights for K to Grade eight, possibly [Grade] nine," she said.  "[As there] was the option to add Grade nine in there. After they released the decisions of what was going to happen, Prairie Springs neighbourhood was alienated from Windsong Heights School, which was a huge surprise to us as a community because that's not what we voted for."

In its final decision, RVS stated that among the many changes, when it came to Windsong Heights, 'Grades move from K – 8 to K – 9, Prairie Springs redesignated to Cooper's Crossing K – 5 and then feed into Muriel Clayton and not Windsong Heights.'

DiscoverAirdrie reached out to RVS for comment on the parent's concerns and the subsequent online petition. RVS underlined that there was, 'not a public vote or ‘three solutions to choose from’ and the potential solutions were not presented as the only possible outcome/decision.'

RVS added that Balancing Airdrie Student Spaces was an engagement held by RVS to collect public feedback on three potential solutions as well as ideas for other solutions to improve school utilization.

"RVS took all feedback provided into consideration as well as new information we received closer to the Board’s decision. The approval of three new schools in Airdrie announced by the provincial government in March provided new certainty of future space in our communities and it was important to consider the impact of this additional space as well as what communities had shared that they value."

"... Considering what we heard during the engagement, the new certainty of school approvals from the provincial government (announced by the Province in March) and the modular classrooms approved for funding," RVS wrote in an email. "After carefully considering all available information, the Board believes a school-by-school approach to changing grade configurations and attendance areas where necessary and keeping neighbourhoods together, honours what we heard and best balances Airdrie student spaces with the greatest improvement to utilizations overall."

Caranay, however, said that many parents are still asking why and they hope that with the petition a change can be made.

"That's where we're standing on trying to get the attention and try to reverse that decision," she added.

Thus far the online petition has garnered 192 signatures. Caranay said she is worried that RVS's decision will uproot her children, who already have a hard time adapting to changes.

"My one daughter is very sensitive to new situations. I can tell you; it is very detrimental for a child to be uprooted and thrown into a situation when the parents cannot do anything and we didn't choose this," she said.

Currently, Caranay's children can walk to school within a matter of minutes. The changes will mean that the children will have to be driven a short distance to another community or walk nearly 25 minutes to get to school.

"For middle school, my kids are going to be split up; not only are they going to a different school, but they’re also going to be going to two different schools," she said. "They want to bus [to] the middle school across the city."

She underlined that while it may be a ten-minute drive, it may not be feasible for some parents, which means some will have to opt for bussing.

"They expect us to pay $325 for busing fees when our kids can walk to school. It makes no sense whatsoever."

In its response to DiscoverAirdrie, RVS also underlined that if all students stayed in their current school and/or on their current school path, 'they would not be able to improve utilization of RVS's very full schools.'

"It becomes challenging for students and staff when there is no more physical space for learning in a school and we continue to grow the student population. We recognize this will impact families who will now be designated to a new school in the future. We reassure Prairie Springs and all families that each of our schools has wonderful staff who will welcome their children and make the transition as smooth as possible."

Other highlights of the changes announced in April by RVS include that all high schools in Airdrie will serve students from Grade 10 to Grade 12, as well as several Airdrie communities being re-designated to different schools to address enrolment pressures and optimize space utilization. 

"Grade configurations will adjust by one level in all Airdrie schools except Cooper’s Crossing School. [There are] no attendance boundary changes made for French Immersion or Christian programs, with the Christian program extending to Grade nine (it currently ends at Grade eight). A small area in central Airdrie will be designated for specific high schools discontinuing a historical choice area."

The full list of school changes include:

A.E. Bowers – Grades change from K – 4 to K – 5 English, French Immersion changes from K – 5 to K – 6, Edmonton Trail (South) and The Village (South) redesignated to École Edwards.

Bert Church – Grades change from 9 – 12 to 10 – 12, pickup Ridgegate, Edgewater, Summerhill and Waterstone for Grades 10 – 12, redesignate Key Ranch Grades 10 – 12 from Bert Church to W.H. Croxford.

Cooper’s Crossing – Grades stay PreK – 5. Prairie Springs redesignated from Windsong Heights to Cooper's Crossing, Cooper's Crossing now feeds into Muriel Clayton for Grades 6 – 9 rather than Northcott Prairie.

C.W. Perry – Grades move from 5 – 8 to 6 – 9, pickup 6 – 9 students from Bayview, Baysprings and Bayside who formerly attended Muriel Clayton.

École Airdrie Middle – Grades move from 6 – 8 English and French Immersion to 7 – 9 English and French Immersion, pickup Silver Creek, The Village (South) and Edmonton Trail (South).

École Edwards – Grades move from K – 5 for English and French Immersion to K – 6 for English and French Immersion, redesignate Silver Creek from Herons Crossing into École Edwards, redesignate Edmonton Trail (South) and The Village (South) from A.E. Bowers to École Edwards.

George McDougall – Grades move from 9 – 12 to 10 – 12, pickup Airdrie Meadows and Downtown for 10 – 12, redesignate Chinook Gate, Cobblestone Creek, Southwinds Grades 10 – 12 to W.H. Croxford rather than George McDougall.

Heloise Lorimer – Grades move from K – 5 to K – 6.

Herons Crossing – Grades move from K – 8 to K – 9, redesignate Silver Creek into École Edwards and feed into Airdrie Middle.

Meadowbrook – Grades move from 6 – 8 for English and Christian program to Grades 7 – 9 for English and Christian program.

Muriel Clayton – Grades move from 5 – 8 to 6 – 9, designate Edmonton Trail (South) and The Village (South) for Grades 6 – 9 to École Airdrie Middle, redesignate Bayview, Baysprings, Bayside for Grades 6 – 9 to C.W. Perry, pickup Grades 6 – 9 students from Cooper's Crossing, Morningside and Prairie Springs.

Northcott Prairie – Grades move from K – 8 to K – 9, redesignate Cooper's Crossing and Morningside in Grades 6 to 9 to Muriel Clayton rather than Northcott Prairie.

Nose Creek – Grades move from K – 4 to K – 5.

Ralph McCall – Grades move from K – 4 to K – 5.

R.J. Hawkey – Grades move from K – 5 to K – 6 for both English and Christian programs.

W.H. Croxford – Grades move from 9 – 12 to 10 – 12, pickup Chinook Gate, Cobblestone Creek and Southwinds from George McDougall and pickup Key Ranch from Bert Church for students 10 – 12, redesignate Summerhill and Waterstone Grades 10 – 12 from W.H. Croxford to Bert Church.

Windsong Heights – Grades move from K – 8 to K – 9, Prairie Springs redesignated to Cooper's Crossing K – 5 and then feed into Muriel Clayton and not Windsong Heights.

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