The Horizon School Division will soon by growing by one.

A merger deal was announced on September 7 between the HSD and Englefeld Protestant Separate School Division, which will see the Englefeld School move into Horizon.

"We have come to the realization that the operational costs of supporting our school division have been growing disproportionately with the enrolment of our school," explained EPSSD Board Chair Deanna Miskolczi. "Being a one-school school division, we recognize that we are unable to sustain the level of services necessary to provide the excellent quality of education that our children deserve."

Miskolczi says that the division was created in 1998 when the community was thriving and population was growing.

"There was a group of community members who felt there was a need for a school in the community. There was a provision in the Education Act that provided an opportunity to create a school division that aligned with the values of our community."

While Miskolczi admits that the ruling out of Theodore earlier this year would have impacted Englefeld, it did not factor in to their ultimate decision to join Horizon.

On April 20, court ruled that funding for non-Catholic students in a Catholic school would be rescinded.

Weeks later, the government halted that ruling, invoking the notwithstanding clause, which overrides the ruling for a five-year term.

Miskolczi says that joining the HSD will allow them to continue to grow and provide learning services for the future.

"We feel that the amalgamation with Horizon will provide us long term sustainability and will streamline student services, learning supports and administrative supports that are available to our students and staff."

In a statement, Horizon Board Chair Jim Hack says that they are pleased with the amalgamation.

"We enjoy a very positive relationship with EPSSD and we are excited to welcome the students, staff and community members of Englefeld School to the Horizon family."

Englefeld School will join Horizon ahead of the 2018-19 school year.

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