December 13, 2016

Letter from Director of Education regarding modified Pupil Accommodation Review for five Caledon public schools

At the Regular Meeting of the Board on Dec. 12, trustees approved a modified Pupil Accommodation Review of Alloa, Alton, Belfountain, Caledon Central and Credit View Public Schools. The following letter is being shared with affected families:​

Dear Alloa, Alton, Belfountain, Caledon Central and Credit View families,

I am writing with an update to my letter dated Nov. 23, 2016, regarding the recently approved Pupil Accommodation Review (PAR) that impacts Alloa, Alton, Belfountain, Caledon Central and Credit View public schools. 

In my previous letter, I indicated that the next step of the PAR process would be the development of an Initial Staff Report, which includes specific Peel staff recommendations, timelines and process details. Last night, this report was submitted to Peel District School Board trustees at the Regular Meeting of the Board. This letter outlines these recommendations as well as next steps.

 

Initial Staff Report recommendations

The Initial Staff Report recommends closing Credit View Public School and relocating students to available space at Belfountain and Caledon Central Public Schools, effective September 2018 (or earlier, if staffing timelines permit). Redirection of students to Alloa P.S. and a boundary change between Alton and Belfountain Public Schools are also being recommended to better geographically align the boundaries between the schools. See attached maps to view recommended boundary changes.

It's important to note that these recommendations are just that—no firm decisions have been made.

 

Rationale for a PAR and school consolidation

Enrolment at Credit View has continued to decline to the point where, because enrolment is spread over 10 grades (JK-8), every grade is split, and no grade has more than 13 students, resulting in limited organizational opportunities and social interaction for students within their cohort. Six grades have less than 10 students. One grade has only two students.

When a school has low enrolment and substantial excess space, the school still requires funding for maintenance and operation. One of the key responsibilities of school boards is to ensure the effective and efficient use of space. The Peel board must make decisions about the best accommodation options for students relative to program needs and the funding that is available from the Ministry of Education. By bringing students together through a school consolidation, school boards are able to provide a more positive educational experience for all students.​

 

Timelines

It's important to note that the PAR recommendations will not be implemented during the 2016-17 school year. However, due to low utilization and enrolment rates, the Board of Trustees have decided to proceed with a modified PAR process. If staffing timelines permit, the modified PAR process may allow for the recommended changes to be implemented in time for the 2017-18 school year, and avoid another year of low enrolment and school organizational challenges at Credit View.

A modified PAR would take approximately four months to complete. Transition planning would commence following board approval of the Final Staff Report, and implementation would commence September 2018 (or earlier, if staffing timelines permit).

The proposed schedule of PAR activities is as follows:

December 12, 2016                           Initial Staff Report to Board recommending a Modified PAR

February 6, 2017                               Public Meeting to present Initial Staff Report (location and time TBD)

February 28, 2017                             Final Staff Report to Board for Receipt

March 22, 2017                                  Public Delegations to Regular Meeting of the Board

April 12, 2017                                     Final Staff Report to Board for Approval

 

Provide feedback on PAR recommendations

Community consultation is an important part of the PAR process. Families and communities will have the following opportunities to provide feedback, which the board will consider before making any decisions: ​​

  1. The Peel board's PAR policy requires that we hold one public meeting as part of the modified PAR process. The public meeting will take place on Feb. 6, 2017 at a location to be determined. Families will receive information about this meeting once all details, including location and time, have been confirmed.
  2. Once the Final Staff Report has been submitted to trustees, feedback can be provided through a delegation to trustees at the Regular Meeting of the Board on March 22, 2017.
  3. Throughout this entire process, feedback can also be submitted to par@peelsb.com.


Where can I find more information?

The complete policy, the Initial Staff Report approved by the Board of Trustees, and other information is available on the Peel board website at www.peelschools.org/PAR. The website will be an important source of information, and will have the latest updates and extensive background information.

I know you may have other questions—we are committed to providing you with all the information you need. Throughout the process, families and members of the public can submit related questions and feedback via email to par@peelsb.com. A response will be provided within 48 hours of receiving questions and/or feedback. The most frequently asked questions and answers will be posted on the Peel board website at www.peelschools.org/PAR.

Throughout the PAR process, the Peel board will work with its school communities to plan together to best meet the learning needs of the students in this area.

Tony Pontes

Director of Education

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