Alexander Henry to become new French Immersion facility
In late fall of 2015 the Algoma District School Board learned that the Ontario government is investing $6.7 million for a capital school improvement project with the Board. The provincial investment of $6,761,618 will support the retrofit of the former site of the Alexander Henry High School for elementary K – 8 students.
“Our government continues to support local students with significant investments in better schools to support better learning outcomes for students," said Orazietti. “ This is an important step in moving the capital plan of the Algoma District School Board forward, but more importantly, it represents an enhanced learning environment to support students and their families.”
Our Board of Trustees, along with our Senior Administrative team have been continually working at revising and updating our capital plan and our capital priorities over the past 10 years. In an effort to “right size” our system, we have made some difficult decisions to close neighbourhood schools and to consolidate other schools. Our focus has always been that capital decisions must have the best programming opportunities for our students at their core. The funding announcement is especially good news because in this case, we have a thriving French immersion program that has outgrown our facility capacity and needs another home. As families continue to choose our excellent French Immersion program, we look forward to working with them to create two facilities for JK to Grade 8 students across our city. This retrofitted facility at Alexander Henry will cut down on transitions, reduce some bus travel, and allow specialized classrooms to be used by our intermediate students. We also believe that this retrofit will be an example of an effective use of available space, and could potentially provide us future possibilities and partnerships, depending on our enrolment trends.
We are so fortunate that the Ontario Government and MPP David Orazietti remain committed to student achievement, quality learning spaces and to maintaining Ontario as one of the best education systems in the world. Our Board of Trustees and Senior Administration are equally committed and we are proud of our work to ensure our capital plan reflects fiscal responsibility, quality programs and an unwavering commitment to student achievement. The funding to support the retrofit of Alexander Henry High School is an example of effective use of existing space that will help us address enrolment pressures, provide quality programs and enhance partnerships for years to come. We thank our administrative team and Plant management who have worked tirelessly to present our vision for this facility to the Ministry
Additionally, our French Immersion parents, administration and staff need to be thanked for their support and patience through this process. You have stood by our program in the face of some challenges with capacity and transitions and for that, we say Thank You!
In the ADSB, we have always said that, “It’s not about the building, it’s about the program.” Today, we reinforce that belief while also acknowledging that a great building – whether new or retrofitted – can also help to maximize the potential of a great program.