Supporting Outdoor Play Spaces
Edmonton Catholic Schools is moving closer to its goal to have all Division playgrounds accessible and inclusive by 2030. At today’s meeting of the Board, Educational Planning unveiled plans to overhaul an additional nine playgrounds this summer.
“We believe all children have the right to play and be included. What our Division has been able to accomplish in just a few short years is remarkable,” shared Board Chair Palazzo.
In 2018, Educational Planning developed and implemented a comprehensive playground planning, maintenance, and inspections process.
“We work with our school communities to help them navigate the planning and construction process. From fundraising and grants to selecting a vibrant playground design, we are proud to offer this support and management,” explained Doris Paquette, Educational Planning Manager. “Prior to this initiative, families were typically on their own.”
This school year, the Division will also support the installation of ten outdoor classrooms, five accessible pathways, two new tarmacs, and tarmac stencilling.
“Our outdoor classrooms are being designed as an extension of the school. More time outside and learning in nature benefits students in so many ways, including mental health and academic performance,” said Educational Planning Superintendent John Fiacco.
There are a total of 43 playgrounds in Edmonton Catholic Schools. By next fall, more than 80% (35 playgrounds) will have been upgraded or replaced.
One of the projects slated for this summer is a volunteer playground build at St. Teresa of Calcutta Catholic Elementary School. It will be the Division’s third volunteer playground build since 2018.