Yellowknife Education District 1 will be getting feedback from parents on accommodation plans for J.H. Sissons School students in early April.

Superintendent Metro Huculak says he is currently talking with staff about accommodation planning for the 16 classrooms that will have to move during construction of a new school. He gave the update during a YK1 board meeting Tuesday.

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“The proper way to do this is to first of all meet with staff, consult with staff. Because they’ll be involved in the move.”

After staff give feedback, meetings with parents will happen in April. Huculak says planning is happening with the goal of keeping students together as much as possible and limiting the stress on parents who may have multiple children to get to school each morning.

To keep the integrity of the younger grades, Huculak is looking at having four portables at William McDonald Middle School for Sissons’ Junior Kindergarten to Grade 7 students. Grade 8s will go to Sir John Franklin High School. This will all depend on what he hears from parents and staff, and whether YK1 gets approval for the four portables.

Each portable has an estimated cost of around $400,000 and Huculak says he is in discussion with the Department of Education, Culture and Employment on the portables.

“The cost of portables up here is ridiculous. If I was in Alberta or B.C. I could put up a portable for $70-80,000.”

The timeline to get a plan to the education department has been pushed back to the end of May this year. Huculak says this is so the department can move forward with cost estimates.

“The timelines have sure changed though. To begin with, I thought it was going to be March of the following year, then it was the end of June. Today I found out it has to be by the end of May.”

The idea of hiring an accommodations facilitator was raised at a January 10th town hall meeting on the rebuild. Trustee Al McDonald brought it up again Tuesday night.

“I’m wondering if it’s possible to go back one more time to ECE to see if this type of individual is available,” McDonald says, adding if the education department won’t pay for it he is committed to raising it with the finance committee to see if there is a way YK1 can afford it.

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Huculak says he will ask the department about this position and whether they would fund it. As it stands, he says it is unclear where the funding for such a position would come from.

He added he will also ask the department when this position would start. His initial understanding was the person would be involved in accommodations planning, but the department told him this position would be managing the move after the planning for it had been done.

By Friday, February 22nd, Huculak says information about the spaces available in each school will be shared on YK1 websites, to give parents more information ahead of April.