Opening of new Catholic high school pushed back to February 2016

(Press release from the French Catholic high school.)

At the regular meeting of the Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est on October 28, school board trustees made important decisions regarding the opening date and attendance boundary of the new Catholic secondary school in Fernbank, in the Kanata area of the City of Ottawa.

Opening of the new building pushed back

The building under construction at 5315 Abbott St. will open in February 2016 instead of August 2015, due to, among other factors, delays in purchasing the land (resulting from zoning and availability of city services) and approval of the building permit by the City of Ottawa. Construction work was unable to start until September 2014.

Temporary site

At the start of the 2015 school year, Fernbank secondary school students in Grades 7 to 9 will be housed, on a temporary basis, at École secondaire catholique Pierre-Savard, in the Barrhaven area of Ottawa. The first semester will therefore be held at Pierre-Savard (from September 2015 to January 2016). This contingency plan is necessary because Collège catholique Franco-Ouest (CCFO) has reached maximum capacity and cannot accept more students in September 2015.

A smooth transition

The CECCE will ensure students experience a smooth transition to the schedule and operation of their new school. For example, the classroom groups of the future secondary school will already be formed at the temporary site at Pierre-Savard, and will be transferred to the new building in February 2016. As well, even at the temporary site, the start time for classes for the Fernbank school students will be 9:15 a.m. (as for the new site), whereas classes for Pierre-Savard students will start at 8:10 a.m., as per their usual timetable.

In order to ensure students are divided properly based on the capacity of the three French Catholic secondary schools in Ottawa’s west end, students who will be in Grades 10, 11, and 12 in 2015-2016 will continue their studies in their original secondary school (Franco-Ouest or Pierre-Savard), until they obtain their diploma. The new secondary school in Fernbank will offer Grades 7, 8 and 9 in 2015-2016, and add Grade 10 in 2016-2017, Grade 11 in 2017-2018 and Grade 12 in 2018-2019.

New attendance boundaries

On May 20, the CECCE consulted the school communities of the French Catholic elementary schools in Ottawa’s west end, as well as the parents of the students at Pierre-Savard and Franco-Ouest Catholic secondary schools. In total, 90 people participated in the public consultation. The presentation was also posted on the CECCE’s website for feedback from parents.

Here is how the attendance boundaries and feeder elementary schools will break down by secondary school (changes in bold):

Secondary schools Feeder schools
Franco-Ouest Part of Édouard-Bond, the Bells Corners area of Élisabeth-Bruyère, Laurier-Carrière, the Crystal Beach area of Roger-Saint-Denis, Saint-François-d’Assise, Terre-des-Jeunes.
Pierre-Savard  Part of Bernard-Grandmaître and Sainte-Bernadette, Jean-Robert-Gauthier, Pierre-Elliott-Trudeau, Sainte-Kateri and Sainte-Thérèse-d’Avila, Sainte-Marguerite-Bourgeoys (northern part).
Fernbank  Élisabeth-Bruyère (excluding Bells Corners), J.-L.-Couroux, Saint-Jean-Paul II, Roger-Saint-Denis (excluding Crystal Beach), Saint-Rémi.

At the request of parents, the area around Crystal Beach (Kanata) will be kept within the attendance boundary of Collège catholique Franco-Ouest. The northern part of Sainte-Marguerite-Bourgeoys (Merrickville), which is currently within the attendance boundary of Collège catholique Franco-Ouest, will be integrated into the École secondaire catholique Pierre-Savard area. Students in Grades 7 through 9 in the Laurier-Carrière area will be redirected to Collège Franco-Ouest starting in fall 2015. However, students in Grades 10 through 12 will be able to continue at Pierre-Savard with transportation.

To view the boundary map, for the new Fernbank French Catholic click here.

To view the new boundary map, for Collège catholique Franco-Ouest click here.

To view the new boundary map, for École secondaire catholique Pierre-Savard click here.

The Chair of the CECCE, Denis Poirier, is confident that the community in the west end will be well served: “The new attendance boundaries meet the shared needs and concerns of the families in the school communities in question,” he said. “As defined, the new boundaries will ensure the viability of all three French-language Catholic secondary schools in Ottawa’s west end.”

Bernard Roy, Director of Education of the CECCE, identified the advantages: “In the short term, the new attendance boundaries will help ease the overpopulation at Collège catholique Franco-Ouest. In the long term, the student body will be divided up in a way that optimizes the occupation rate of the secondary schools and expands the offering of a quality French-language education in Ottawa’s west end.”

With more than 21,000 students in 41 elementary and 10 secondary schools, as well as its school for adults, the CECCE is the largest Canadian network of French-language schools outside Quebec.


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