Lloydminster public students will be getting more space to learn and play in the near future.
Lloydminster Public School Division received about $26 million from the Saskatchewan government to expand Lloydminster Comprehensive High School. The expansion will see some additional classroom space, support space and either another gym or field house.
Principal Dwayne Marciniw says it will help as they transition into one of their long-term goals of adding Grade 9 classes to their high school.
“The research around the Grade 9s joining the Grade 10 to 12 cohorts [show] a lot of benefits to that socially and lots of benefits academically. Whenever you hear announcements that impact the structure and have money infused into your building and division to benefit kids, it’s always great news.”
Marciniw clarified the benefits include things such as students becoming more mature sooner as well as the seamless integration of Grade 9s to athletic programs. Along with the transition of moving Grade 9 into high school, the division will be splitting their schools into kindergarten to Grade 5 and middle schools of Grade 6 to 8.
He says they will also try to keep minimal interruptions to student learning during the construction period.
“While your going to be the beneficiary of the instructional space in the future, for the short-term there’s going to be some disruptions. We’re going to do our very best in order to structure our programming at LCHS to minimize any impact to day-to-day happenings of education.”
Marciniw says the division is looking into plans and they don’t have a timeline on when construction will start yet. LPSD Director of Education Todd Robinson says the expansion will not only have a positive effect on the school but also the community in general.
“A great announcement for Lloyd Public. We’ve been working on this for over four years so we’re pretty excited to see that come to fruition. There’s lots of work ahead but I think the other cool thing to this is in a really tough economic time this is going to drive some jobs and economic stimulus into our community.”
Robinson also laid out the divisions plans for students returning in the fall. He says schools will still look similar to how they were before they left in March but classes will be scheduled differently. Students will be cohorted with the same group for most of the day to limit the exchange between students.
“We’re going to be working on a different type of timetable where kids take less classes during the day but those classes will be for a longer period of time so we minimize the transitions that happen over the course of the day.”
The division will also be adding more sanitizing stations, implementing enhanced cleaning with more custodial staff cleaning more often.
Parents are asked to bring their children to school themselves or they can register for bus pick-up where the students will be given assigned seating. The assigned seating will help the school and Saskatchewan Health Authority with contact tracing if a positive COVID-19 case were found.
Robinson says there will also be relying on parents to ensure their child isn’t being sent to school while sick.
“That same expectation will be in place for staff and there will be tools for that assessment. If a child becomes ill during the day, there will be an expectation that parents immediately pick their children up and take them home so we can protect the health of staff and students in all of our schools.”
The province will be sending the division more information on precautions and protocols should a student or family member of a student tests positive. Extra curricular activities are on hold until more information is given by the province.