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  #1  
Old Posted Jan 22, 2009, 6:33 AM
Vascilli Vascilli is offline
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Calgary & Area Schools

So I suppose this could be the place to talk about schools in the Greater Calgary Area, anything from preschool to university and anything in between. If you learn somewhere, talk about it here.

My first ponderings: The new high school to replace Ernest Manning, I'm curious as to if they'll keep the name (I say yes) and if the boundaries will remain the same as they are now. I don't think it's a good idea to change them much, because that would move students to Western, which is crowded enough as it is. Unless they can expand Western too, I don't think it can bear the extra students. Has a date or timeframe been set for the demolition of the current Ernest Manning? (It would be cool to watch. )
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Old Posted Jan 22, 2009, 6:39 AM
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Last I've heard is Spring 2011 if the current timeline is met, which calls for the new school to open to students in January of that year. CBE hasn't said anything aside from to wait until closer to opening for things such as the name and its boundaries, but I personally doubt they'll change
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Old Posted Jan 22, 2009, 6:43 AM
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When I spoke with the architects designing the new west high school about the name change (I agree, it would be nice to have it stay Ernest Manning), they said that it hadn't been decided and could go either way. The school will be modeled after Centennial High School in the SE. From what I've read before, the "boundaries" will change slightly, which makes sense to me. Those that would have otherwise gone to the old Ernest Manning will end up at either Central Memorial, Bowness, or Western.
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Old Posted Jan 22, 2009, 6:49 AM
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When I spoke with the architects designing the new west high school about the name change (I agree, it would be nice to have it stay Ernest Manning), they said that it hadn't been decided and could go either way. The school will be modeled after Centennial High School in the SE. From what I've read before, the "boundaries" will change slightly, which makes sense to me. Those that would have otherwise gone to the old Ernest Manning will end up at either Central Memorial, Bowness, or Western.
They better add another floor or something, we're bursting at the seams. The stairwells are almost impassable at times. If I can get details on the renovations going on I'll post them, all I know is that the stonework at the top is being repaired, a 60kg chunk fell with (Obviously) no warning onto the grass. And the main foyer place will be more "open" after renovations, incorporating glass and the like. (Overheard some planners or whatnot)
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Old Posted Jan 22, 2009, 7:50 AM
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Yeah, Western will always be like that, hopefully always will be. (busy hallways) At one point, the school board wanted to build a new school out back, then tear down the original Western, but that was kiboshed pretty quick!
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Old Posted Jan 22, 2009, 7:36 PM
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Here's a few notes from NW Calgary:

1. the #1 priority is a new high school located in Arbour Lake. Once that is open it will take students from the far NW communities of Calgary and take some pressure off Bowness.

2. Bowness is slated to downsize to a Jr/Sr High and some of the older portions will be demolished.

My kids are in the Spanish bilingual program, and let me tell you it is absolutely fantastic. If you have young kids entering the school system I highly recommend this program. The program was started about 7 years ago or so and thus only goes to grade 7 at the moment, with the program expanding by a grade every year. Currently there are 4 elemantary schools offering the program (Canyon Meadows, one in teh Westbrook area, Collingwood, and Dalhousie). Jr high is at Senator Patrick Burns althouygh they will likely have to find a school in the south soon to accomodate the kids from that part of the city. William Aberhart is slated to host the high school program when it advances to that stage.

My kids go to Dalhousie which started hosting the Spanish program 3 years ago. It has grown to the point that they are going to shut down the english only program due to lack of students and the school will be 100% Spanish, and going only to grade 4 due to the school being at capacity. Prior to the spanish program Dalhousie was struggling with low enrollment and would have been in danger of closing.
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Old Posted Jan 23, 2009, 6:26 PM
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Does the City own any former school lands and if so, are they planning to develop them into anything or just let them sit unused and rotting away?
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Old Posted Jan 23, 2009, 9:00 PM
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The city owns a few sites and I do believe has right of first refusal on any that the CBE or CSSD wants to sell off. Some sites will get redeveloped, I believe that the site where RB Bennett was in the NW is planned to be redeveloped for instance, but most of the unused sites likely will just remain as greenspace.
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  #9  
Old Posted Jan 24, 2009, 5:32 AM
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..What does everyone here think of private schools? After 3 years at Webber Academy, which people are led to believe is a good school, I'm done with them. If someone's kid is actually smart, they can be coded as Gifted in the public system and do whatever they want. Man, what a boring school that was. Few options, authoritarian administration (Even some parents agree) and about $12000/year too much. What a waste of my parent's money.

The Herald publishes that huge list of school rankings in the spring, right? Can't wait..

Edit: Some preliminary info from my "sources" aka friends at Webber on that theater project I've been ranting on about:

They're asking for 20m. 10m from the City, 10m from the Province. As frinkprof says, it sounds unusual that they're asking the city for money, but my sources are certain that's what Dr. Webber said.

Their reasoning for asking for so much is that they will open the theater for use by ATP and Theater Calgary.

The project has been put on hold, presumably because before they can even ask the City and Province for the money, they need a few million more in funding from other sources. "The government wont fund a project that has no significant amount of money from Webber invested into it." This is could be what their upcoming "New York, NY" fund raiser is for.

When the theater expansion was originally announced, it was budgeted at $17 million. I attended there when they made this proposal amongst several others.

I will be getting a paper copy of their financial statements around Tuesday, it encapsules their spending and revenues over the years. Nothing specifically of this theater or any other government funds.


Edit 2: My source briefly outlines how Dr. Webber setup a network of companies to gain him and others (Family and friends) considerable amounts of money. This sounds insane, but I do believe my source.

"He explained it"
"[..]and he set up a non profit company, a profit company and another company, not sure if it was profit or non profit, to get maximum funding from government[.]"
"And thus he can put it on the webpage that Webber is a non profit school[.]"
"But the members of the profit company (webber family, close friends) are part of a profit company that funds the non profit one so that the Webber family and friends can get loads[.]"
"[..]on top of their normal salary[.]"

He doesn't remember the whole thing, but I suppose you get the gist of it.

Edit 3: As I said, my source doesn't remember everything.

"Actually I may have gotten some mixed up, the profit company that gets money from non profit, isnt the one that is just Webber Family, thats the board deciding one[.]"

So there's two schemes, one to keep Dr. Webber on the Board, and another to profit off public funding.

Last edited by Vascilli; Jan 26, 2009 at 8:46 AM.
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  #10  
Old Posted Jan 26, 2009, 7:36 PM
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I have no issue with private schools. If some parent wants to fork over their cash for an education that likely is no better than they can get in the public system then who am I to argue. As long as no taxpayer dollars are used.....

There are sure a ton of schools to choose from when it comes to your kids education. Public (CBE and Catholic), each with specialty programs to pick from, private schools, and charter schools. 2 years ago I remember talking to other parents on my daughter's comminity soccer team. She was in grade one at the time and all the kids on the team (10-12 or so) lived on our street. EVERY SINGLE KID went to a different school, there were no 2 kids going to the same school.
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  #11  
Old Posted Jan 26, 2009, 7:38 PM
Vascilli Vascilli is offline
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I have no issue with private schools. If some parent wants to fork over their cash for an education that likely is no better than they can get in the public system then who am I to argue. As long as no taxpayer dollars are used.....

There are sure a ton of schools to choose from when it comes to your kids education. Public (CBE and Catholic), each with specialty programs to pick from, private schools, and charter schools. 2 years ago I remember talking to other parents on my daughter's comminity soccer team. She was in grade one at the time and all the kids on the team (10-12 or so) lived on our street. EVERY SINGLE KID went to a different school, there were no 2 kids going to the same school.
Uh oh.

I'm quite pleased with all the options I have, but I'm more than happy with my fine public school. What I'm more concerned about now is finding work.
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  #12  
Old Posted Jan 26, 2009, 10:20 PM
MalcolmTucker MalcolmTucker is online now
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Private schools get alot of per student funding from the province (in the ball park of $3000 a head), they just do not get capital funding.

There is lots of choice without the private schools getting support, it is a real waste of money to support private schools in our province, especially when religious groups can get a charter for a special school, and be fully funded.
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Old Posted Jan 26, 2009, 11:26 PM
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Private schools get alot of per student funding from the province (in the ball park of $3000 a head), they just do not get capital funding.

There is lots of choice without the private schools getting support, it is a real waste of money to support private schools in our province, especially when religious groups can get a charter for a special school, and be fully funded.
If Webber does get that 20m, it's around $25,000 per student. A bit much, no? *facepalm*

I'll keep this thread updated with information as I receive it. At this point they don't have enough of their own money invested into the project for the governments to consider it, as my sources say.
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Old Posted Jan 27, 2009, 12:26 AM
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They won't get $20 million, if Webber thinks he will get that, he must think he is much more important than he is. The ~$3,000 per student, is per year just so you know.

There is no political value in funding it, there is no pressing public need, there is no program to fund it even if there was a pressing need. I have never heard of a private school getting a capital grant from the government for anything other than security upgrades, and Webber is sure not going to be a first in that department.

$20 million is alot, Vertigo and Y-Stage when they moved to their new space cost $5 million.
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Old Posted Jan 27, 2009, 12:49 AM
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They won't get $20 million, if Webber thinks he will get that, he must think he is much more important than he is. The ~$3,000 per student, is per year just so you know.

There is no political value in funding it, there is no pressing public need, there is no program to fund it even if there was a pressing need. I have never heard of a private school getting a capital grant from the government for anything other than security upgrades, and Webber is sure not going to be a first in that department.

$20 million is alot, Vertigo and Y-Stage when they moved to their new space cost $5 million.
WE HAVE A WINNER!!!!!

Again their reasoning is that they'll "let ATP and Theater Calgary use it", but that's just a load. The drama program there is so small anyways, I have no clue why they're even trying.

Keep in mind he's a former politician, I bet he's got some dick plan lined up that'll screw over everyone but him and his precious little school.
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Old Posted Jan 29, 2009, 6:24 PM
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My own personal view is that the school does not make the person. I have some cousins that went to Stratchcona Tweedsmuir and they haven't done much with their life. Another cousin of mine had her son go to James Fowler high - not known as an academic powerhouse of any kind - and he did well, and really did well in University winning an award and graduating with honors.


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Originally Posted by Vascilli View Post
..What does everyone here think of private schools? After 3 years at Webber Academy, which people are led to believe is a good school, I'm done with them. If someone's kid is actually smart, they can be coded as Gifted in the public system and do whatever they want. Man, what a boring school that was. Few options, authoritarian administration (Even some parents agree) and about $12000/year too much. What a waste of my parent's money.
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Old Posted Jan 29, 2009, 7:05 PM
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My own personal view is that the school does not make the person. I have some cousins that went to Stratchcona Tweedsmuir and they haven't done much with their life. Another cousin of mine had her son go to James Fowler high - not known as an academic powerhouse of any kind - and he did well, and really did well in University winning an award and graduating with honors.
Yeah, and I can top this up with about 1000 more anecdotes. When I was in university (two periods over a span of 13 years) I made it a habit to find out where people went to elementary and high school. I never once noticed any correlation between specific school and university performance, let alone private vs public.

Grade schools are about teaching socialization and (hopefully) some very basic skills. If that's all you're doing with your education, where you go won't matter worth a damn. And if you're going post-secondary, well, university and college have long been known as "the great equalizer".

Same goes for French immersion programs - for those of us not moving to Quebec, or taking jobs with the federal government, they're a waste. They do not make little Johnny or Susie perform any better in school. In fact having taken 2 different science degrees, I've noticed that on average French immersion kids struggle for a year or three - they're fine in most classes as they learn both English and French words for things. But math and the hard sciences? The jargon here just doesn't come up in everyday (outside of school) life for most people. They have to entirely re-learn the jargon, much like an ESL student does. French immersion works out to be more of a hinderance than anything else. The only French-schooled kids I knew who did well in sciences were those whose parents were nerds, so they had plenty of exposure to the English jargon.

In summary: parents, your child is not a unique and precious snowflake, and all the money you spend on schooling isn't going to amount to beans - until they're adults.

Then again, even undergraduate schooling is getting like this for many fields. Maclean's eastern-biased studies aside, most Bachelor-level degrees are just about equal no matter where you go.
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  #18  
Old Posted Jan 30, 2009, 3:07 AM
Vascilli Vascilli is offline
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My own personal view is that the school does not make the person. I have some cousins that went to Stratchcona Tweedsmuir and they haven't done much with their life. Another cousin of mine had her son go to James Fowler high - not known as an academic powerhouse of any kind - and he did well, and really did well in University winning an award and graduating with honors.
Well said. I think too many people assume that going to a good school will entitle them to a well paying job and entrance to a heavenly university. You know, because drive and determination (Yay buzzwords) have nothing to do with it. *facepalm*
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Old Posted Feb 6, 2009, 11:08 AM
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Figured this might be a good thread to discuss MRC -> MRU.
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Old Posted Feb 6, 2009, 11:14 AM
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We discussed this a few months back and Socguy PM'd me the (draft) campus plan for Mount Royal College. It's dated Sept. 11, 2008. Lots of stuff in there. I meant to post it to the Calgary Construction Thread, but kind of forgot about it in my PM box until the recent talk about MRC came up.

Mount Royal College Draft Campus Plan (~40MB)

Here's a couple images from the document, showing all phases. Yellow is existing, red is first phase, or short term, and orange is later phases, or longer term.



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