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Not everyone happy with choice to not add enrollment requirements to arts high school
Julia Parrish, CTV Edmonton
Published Friday, January 25, 2013 11:11AM MST
Last Updated Friday, January 25, 2013 6:33PM MST
Families concerned over proposed changes to entrance requirements at an Edmonton high school were relieved Thursday when officials decided to not move forward with the changes, but it’s a decision that’s not sitting well with some.
Edmonton Public School officials met with parents Thursday night, to discuss changes proposed for enrollment requirements for high school students who wanted to attend high school at Victoria School for the Arts.
The proposed changes included students auditioning for a spot at the school - Kindergarten and Junior High students need to meet similar requirements to enroll at the school.
Some parents vocally protested the idea, as the high school currently serves high school students from 14 surrounding neighbourhoods, they said the change would make going to school inconvenient and unfair to the high number of low-income families living in the area, who would have to find transportation to other schools.
“When you don’t have a school available in the area, it doesn’t create a sense of community,” Jane Prulotte said.
Others believed the programs at Victoria School are so focused on the arts, that students not interested in such studies should attend class at schools where they might be better suited.
“I think, in order to have these kids work on what’s good for them and their talents, it needs to be kids like them in this school,” Parent Debbie Meachem said.
However, Thursday’s decision was not supported by some, including student Mackenzie Dale, 17, who is passionate about the arts, and believes it feeds into a number of other academic subjects.
“I just feel like the people who get in here who actually don’t want to do art, should go somewhere that nurtures what they want to do,” Dale said.
Edmonton Public said officials considered the change because there were a number of students from outside the area, who wanted to attend the arts program, but there wasn’t room.
“There’s that challenge, because we have more students wanting to attend the arts program that we can’t accommodate,” Dr. Lorne Parker with Edmonton Public Schools said. “[We were] ensuring that the high school students who attend Victoria School are interested in the program.”
In the end, the school district decided to leave enrollment requirements as they were, however, students living outside of the surrounding neighbourhoods would still have to audition.
“The superintendent has considered that feedback, and this morning he has decided this recommendation will not go forward,” Parker said.
According to the school district, sttudents living within the zone around Victoria School can enroll to attend the school next month.
With files from Ashley Molnar