Nova Scotia's French-language school board is adjusting some grade configurations and catchment areas in HRM to shift some students to the building that formerly served as the private Newbridge Academy school.
The province bought the Dartmouth building in the fall for the Conseil scolaire acadien provincial (CSAP). The facility will open for about 900 Grade 9 to Grade 12 students in September.
Stephanie Comeau, communications co-ordinator for CSAP, said the new school is a great opportunity to address overcrowding in the board's communities.
"Right now, as it stands, we're seeing pressure of overcrowding in all of our schools in HRM," she said in a telephone interview on Tuesday. "This is helping to ease the pressure in some of them. Not all pressures are being addressed with these new changes. As we know, we still have to have ... further discussions on how to do some of those changes, but it's a starting point. So we're seeing that by changing the catchment areas for Ecole de Grand Portage in Sackville, it is helping to ease the overcrowding in that school. It's also going to have an effect on Ecole secondaire du Sommet, where those students would normally have gone, now they're going to be going to Dartmouth."
She said grade configurations for Ecole Bois-Joli and Ecole du Carrefour du Grand-Havre, both in Dartmouth, are changing. Bois-Joli will be a pre-primary to Grade 4 school, where currently it goes to Grade 5. The Grade 5 students will be moving on to Carrefour, which will handle Grade 5 to Grade 8.
"And then all Grade 9, 10, 11 and 12 students that currently go to Ecole du Carrefour will be attending the new school," Comeau said. "But there are no changes to the catchment areas for those schools.
"A school in Porter's Lake (Ecole des Beaux Marais) will be a pre-primary to 8 school, where if you live in that area and have Grade 9 and 10 students, you'll be going to the new school, as currently those students would be attending Ecole du Carrefour."
Ecole Mer et Monde in Halifax will host students from pre-primary to Grade 8. In September 2021, Grade 9 will be added to the Atlantic Street school.
There will be no change to the configuration of Ecole Beaubassin in Bedford, which is pre-primary to Grade 5. Similarly, although Ecole secondaire du Sommet will be affected by the Sackville catchment changes, the Bedford school will continue to handle Grade 6 to Grade 12.
Children enrolled in the pre-kindergarten program either go to Petit Voilier-Beaubassin or Centre le Tournesol, according to available spaces.
Comeau said a name has not yet been selected for the new school.
"As our policies are, we have to launch a public consultation on that," she said. "It'll be launched next week. The community members will be able to submit their names and then a committee will choose five for the board to vote on."