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February 23, 2022 - Public Meeting of the Board


Letter to ECSD Families regarding Our Lady of Mount Carmel Junior High Program

Letter to ECSD Families regarding St. Basil

At the February 23, 2022, regular Public Meeting of the Board, the Edmonton Catholic School Division Board of Trustees approved the closure of the junior high program (Grade 7, 8, and 9) at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Elementary/Junior High School and the closure of St. Basil Catholic Elementary/Junior High School effective June 30, 2022.

“The decision to close a school or part of a school is incredibly difficult and a step we didn’t take lightly,” said Board Chair Sandra Palazzo. “We have a very thorough process to ensure that the decision was made with all factors being considered.”

Between November 24, 2021 and February 23, 2022 the Division held an extensive and accessible public participation process where all stakeholders could respond to the School Closure Proposals. Over the 13 weeks, ECSD received a combined 895 feedback responses through emails, letters, videos, phone calls, and online surveys.  

“The voices of parents and guardians, students, staff, and community members are always very important to the Board, particularly in such a significant decision. This decision is rooted in the principles of equitable use of Division resources to create exceptional learning experiences for all 43,200 ECSD students we serve,” shared Palazzo.

Grades 7, 8, and 9 at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Elementary/Junior High School

The decision to close the junior high program at Our Lady of Mount Carmel is rooted in the commitment to provide the best possible programming choices to students in the regular junior high program. 

“OLMC Academy students, through their program of choice, are getting a highly tailored experience that speaks to their passions. The 30 non-academy students who are left behind each afternoon only get to experience a limited choice of offerings because of the difficulty of configuring and delivering cross-graded junior high complementary courses with very limited staff,” said Palazzo.

 Our Lady of Mount Carmel will continue to operate and offer great programming for its K-6 students. In September 2022, a Green STEM program will be introduced to provide a further academic focus for the school; this is something that families have indicated as being important to them.  

St. Basil Catholic Elementary/Junior High School

St. Basil has shown a multi-year trend of decreasing enrolments. This has made it difficult to effectively deliver the Polish Bilingual Program with the allocations that are tied to enrolment. The school is experiencing ongoing and substantial transportation and operating deficits. 

“As was shared in the School Closure Proposal, the Polish Bilingual Program has not been financially viable over a number of years despite marketing and recruitment efforts by the Division. It is important that programs of choice be financially viable so as not to negatively impact the resources available to all Division students,” said Palazzo.  

Edmonton Catholic Schools is committed to creating the conditions for a positive transition for every family and staff member who is impacted. Over the next few weeks, ECSD will be working to connect every student to their new school community so that they can be welcomed and supported as they begin this new leg of their educational journey.

Further information on the School Closure Proposals can be found on our Our Lady of Mount Carmel and St. Basil web pages.

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