Summer is flying by and back-to-school time is fast approaching for Calgary families.

It’s a busy and exciting time I know well and look forward to as a father of two elementary school aged children. As a realtor, I also know it’s a great time to reflect on and appreciate the number and diversity of school choices available across Calgary communities. These enhance local real estate and contribute substantially to the quality of life in our great city.

When do classes start?

First day of school for the Catholic system school division in Thursday, Sept. 1 and for he Calgary Board of Education school division on Tuesday Sept. 6.

Looking for a school?

For those new to Calgary, in a new community or about to move who are looking for a school, a great resource is this page on the city’s Life In Calgary website.

It covers everything you need to know including information on child care / preschools, the major public school systems, charter and private options and post-secondary options.

New schools enhancing communities

Proximity to schools is obviously an advantage that enhances the value communities for families with school-age children. Some new areas of the city have been in catch up mode in recent years, awaiting the development of new schools to accommodate the city’s major population growth.

A lot of the catch up is now nearing completion with many new schools planned for introduction during 2016 and 2017 – particularly in Calgary suburbs. In all about 30 new schools are being added over the next few years.

Examples include the new Auburn Bay Elementary School, a K-4, opening in September; Cranston Middle School, a Grade 4-8 opening in January 2017; a West Springs middle school targeted to open January 2017; an Aspen Woods elementary school (public) aimed for opening in January 2017 and K-9 (Catholic) in September 2017; and a new Springbank Hill elementary / junior high school targeted to open September 2017

See a complete list of planned new school openings here for CBE and here for CCSD.

Schools and real estate

Schools are a big part of what makes great family friendly neighborhoods in Calgary. They add a lot in stability and strength to local real estate value, with proximity and number of schools, daycares, preschools and after-school care programs consistently ranking high on many families’ wish lists when considering moving to a new community.

Other specific “kid-friendly” factors are proximity to park space, playgrounds and pathways; demographics featuring lots of other kids / young families in the neighborhood; and the presence of city amenities such as libraries and recreation centres.

Finding the right community for your family may include these factors along with many others. A great way to know the latest information and find the right fit is to get help from a professional realtor.

Please feel free to contact me anytime. Whether to have a simple chat on the market, address any questions on your mind, or to look more closely at how I might be able to help. I love getting to know people and hearing their stories. I can also help provide any information on schools and other attractive family priorities that are available in the neighborhoods you may be considering.