There’s a lot that’s new at Holy Trinity Catholic School this year.
For example, two modular classrooms have arrived and are being outfitted to accommodate students in grades 6 and 7. The Grade 6 class is currently utilizing the foods lab and the Grade 8 class is in the library.
“They’ve got to do all the wiring, the plumbing, all of that kind of stuff with it,” Holy Trinity principal Ken Meraw says.
“Our hope is — I’ve been told by central office — that by the end of the month, by the end of September, we’ll have those two classrooms open and available to go.”
Meraw says the modular classrooms — first announced last spring — were necessary because the school’s population continues to explode.
When the school began, it was located in Uptowne, where the office of Olds-Didsbury-Three Hills MLA Nathan Cooper is now and had about 50 students.
The permanent school building, located at 6610 57 St., was constructed in 2010 and opened in 2011.
Its population has grown every year since then. Meraw anticipates it will hit about 290 this year.
“If we keep growing at this rate, my hope is that eventually we get a couple of more modulars in and just keep on growing,” he says. “We’re off to a great start here.”
Meraw says it looks like the growth won’t be slowing down any time soon.
He notes that this year, Holy Trinity Catholic School has two classes each from kindergarten through Grade 5. Grades 6, 7 and 8 are single classes.
Next year, after the Grade 8s have moved on, there’ll be two classes up to Grade 6, and so on.
There are also three new teachers this year. Two are teaching Grade 2 (one is experienced, but but new to the school).
The school has also filled a new position: an elementary phys-ed teacher, to help spell off current phys ed teacher Joe Faught.
Meraw says the plan is for Faught to look after middle school phys-ed while the new teacher will take care of elementary school phys-ed.
“With our size, one teacher couldn’t do it all, unless we put Joe in the gym all day, every day,” Meraw says.
He says there’s another advantage to having two phys-ed teachers.
“It gives them a chance to make sure that the lessons are consistent,” Meraw says. “Let’s say for example they’re doing games with implements — let’s say pickleball, or something like that. Then both of them will work in harmony that it’s being run from Grade 1 right up to Grade 8.”
It will also enable Faught to continue teaching grade 7 and 8 science.
“Instead of being in the gym all day, we want to use his gifts in the classroom as well, because he is a great teacher as well,” Meraw says.
“I’m a firm believer that a good teacher can teach anything.”
He says in addition to the current middle school intramural program, Holy Trinity will now also be able to offer an elementary school intramural program “which is something we didn’t have last year.”
Also, over the summer, a new parking lot was created on the west side, which Meraw estimates can accommodate up to about 30 vehicles. That should alleviate some of the parking congestion in the original parking lot.
“In any school, parking always seems to be an issue, so this should really help that,” he says.