GSACRD releases survey on non-faith-based education

By Staff

Morinville – The Greater St. Albert Catholic Regional Division (GSACRD) announced Thursday afternoon it had begun the research to determine interest in a non-faith based education in Morinville.

In response to a request for a secular school option from a number of local parents, and after discussions with Minister of Education Dave Hancock, the public Catholic school board entered into an agreement with Pivotal research Inc. to conduct a two -phased approach to determining need. Surveys have been sent to all Morinville parents who currently have children in GSACRD schools. Additionally, approximately 400 Morinville residents will be contacted by phone to gauge public interest in secular education.

“This data will tell us the number of students and families for whom a non-faith based education is preferred,” said GSACRD superintendent David Keohane in a release Thursday. “We also recognize the importance of public opinion regarding this issue so a telephone poll will be conducted with a random sample of residents in Morinville that represent the demographic of the whole community. Together, these two data collection strategies will provide statistically accurate results and a strong foundation upon which to make future decisions.”

Surveys are to be completed by May 16 and can be completed online or by return mail. GSACRD anticipates releasing the results of the survey by the end of May.

The school board has been talking to other boards who may offer the non-faith-based education option, as GSACRD has said it is not prepared nor can it provide the option under its mandate of Catholic education.

“Our work at the division continues as we meet with school divisions interested in providing a non-faith education and ensuring regular contact with the Minister of Education to work together to provide an option for Morinville
parents in September 2011,” said Board Chair Lauri-Ann Turnbull in the same release.

The survey has come under criticism from the parent group, the chair of Sturgeon School Division and a number of residents, all of whom believe the question should be put to the whole of the community and not just those residents who have children in GSACRD schools and a number of randomly chosen residents.

GSACRD and the independent consultant hired to do the survey counter that the 400 residents provide a statistically significant sampling to accurately reflect the views of the community.

The full survey may be viewed by clicking here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. This is supposed to be fair and impartial. Catholic Permeation has been softened with Catholic “values”. “Elements of faith” it says. maybe it should say what the registration forms says. “Every course of study and educational program, all instructional materials, instruction and exercises will at all times include subject matter that
    deals primarily and explicitly with religion.” What a joke. Let’s do a survey and see how many people want to continue to allow a group of people rights be violated.

  2. Interesting survey…but I’m still waiting for the clear and impartial survey to be conducted as this one clearly is not.

    GSACRD is still talking to other school divisions interested in providing a secular education? SSD has made it clear they are interested and is the most logical choice. So, why continue to have discussions with other school boards?

    I have to wonder if there will be something in place by Sept 2011 when a service provider hasn’t even been selected. Perhaps the school board’s short term goal isn’t to have a secular education option in the fall but rather it is to bus our children out of town.

  3. Of my almost $3000 tax bill, $717 of it went towards education, but I have to hope that I am one of those selected for the survey. They should have included the surveys with the tax bills!

    You can sign me, UNIMPRESSED!

Comments are closed.