School Enrolment/School Capacity Committee
February 5, 2008
A meeting of the School Enrolment/School Capacity Committee was held on Tuesday, February 5, 2008, at 6:00 p.m. in Committee Room C.
A. Goodfellow, Chair
H. Chadwick, Vice-Chair
Brenda Hunter, Director of Education
Darlene Kirkpatrick, Recording Secretary
Roger Richard, Superintendent of Business Services
Wayne Toms, Manager,
Chair Goodfellow called the meeting to order.
Approval of Agenda
MOVED BY Trustee McLaren, seconded by Trustee Crawford, that the agenda, as distributed, be approved.–Carried
Director Hunter stated that there is a single recommendation contained in the latest revised report that was forwarded to Trustees the evening of February 4, 2008. She advised that the Sharbot Lake Family of Schools: Sharbot Lake High School, Sharbot Lake Intermediate School, Sharbot Lake Public School, Clarendon Central Public School, Land O’Lakes Public School and Hinchinbrooke Public School, is recommended for further study, through a PARC proposed to commence in September 2008.
The Director advised that in January 2008, the Board at its regular meeting, created Program and Accommodation Review Committees for groups of schools in Kingston East (J.E. Horton Public School and École Lundy’s Lane School) and Greater Napanee (Westdale Park Public School, H.H. Langford Public School and Sandhurst Public School), with the understanding that additional reports recommending the creation of subsequent PARCs for other areas around the district would be provided at subsequent meetings.
Director Hunter reported that Policy 15 (School Accommodation) refers to specific conditions for the need to review a school or group of schools. A school or group of schools may be considered for study if one or more of the following conditions apply:
(i) The school or groups of schools is unable to provide a suitable and equitable range of learning opportunities for students;
(ii) The school or group of schools has experienced or will experience an adverse impact on learning opportunities for students due to declining enrolment;
(iii) Reorganization involving the school or group of schools could enhance program and learning opportunities for students;
(iv) Teaching/learning spaces are not suitable to provide the programs needed to serve the community and retrofitting may be cost prohibitive;
(v) Under normal staffing allocation practices, it would be necessary to assign multiple (more than two) grades to one class in one or more of the schools;
(vi) One or more of the schools is experiencing higher building maintenance expenses than the average for the system and/or is in need of major capital improvements;
(vii) In respect of one or more of the schools there are safety and/or environmental concerns attached to the building, the school site or its locality;
(viii) The consolidation of schools is in the best interests of the overall school system;
(ix) It has been no less than five years since the inception of a study of the school by a Program and Accommodation Review Committee, except where extenuating circumstances warrant, such as an unexpected economic or demographic shift, or a change in a school’s physical condition.
Director Hunter commented that LDSB Planning staff prepared the projection data within a report in March 2007. The projections are based upon data for births, migration and participation provided by Baragar Systems in February 2007, and actual enrolment data from October 31, 2006. Where current enrolment data is present, it is based upon October 31, 2007 actual data. With the release of the 2006 census data still in progress, LDSB Planning staff are continuing to evaluate available data to determine the impact on enrolment projections. Updated projections for the affected schools will be provided through the PARC process.
Director Hunter stated that when evaluating the schools in the Sharbot Lake Family of Schools with respect to Policy 15, the recommendation for review is based on items (ii), (iii), (iv) (v), and (vi) as listed above.
Clarendon Central Public School exhibits a relatively stable projection of 45 to 50 students through to 2021; however, this year’s enrolment was seven students below that projection. The projection is well below building capacity, including portables, of 92 students.
Hinchinbrooke Public School’s enrolment was up slightly from projection for October 2007. The projection indicates a decline through to 2015 of about 5-10 students per year, levelling out and stabilizing until 2021 at about 95 students, well below capacity, including portables, of 158 students. A second portable on site is leased to the Frontenac County Public Library.
Land O’Lakes Public School’s enrolment is at current projection levels as of October 2007. Moving forward, the projection indicates an annual decline through to 2015 before stabilizing at about 125 students, well below capacity of 202 students.
Sharbot Lake Public School’s enrolment is at current projection levels as of 2007. The projection moving forward indicates a significant decline through to 2013 to 52 students, then slowly increasing to 65 by 2021, still well below building capacity of 135 students.
Sharbot Lake Intermediate’s actual enrolment for October 2007 was slightly below the projection. The projection moving forward indicates a continual decline through to 2018 before stabilizing at about 23 students until the end of the projection in 2021. The intermediate school is physically located within the facility for the secondary school; however, the capacity data is listed separately.
Sharbot Lake High School was slightly above projected enrolment for October 2007; however, the projection indicates a continual decline through to 2021, leaving the school well below capacity.
The Director stated that with all of the schools in this area, except Land O’Lakes Public School, qualifying as Prohibitive to Repair (PTR), there is significant potential for provincial funding to address this area through new construction.
MOVED BY Trustee Chadwick, seconded by Trustee McLaren, that the Board of Trustees direct the formation of a Program and Accommodation Review Committee (PARC) to review accommodation issues and make recommendations to the Board for the Sharbot Lake Public School, Sharbot Lake Intermediate School, Sharbot Lake High School, Clarendon Central Public School, Hinchinbrooke Public School and Land O’Lakes Public School group of schools, to commence in September 2008.
Trustee Jackson stated that he has reviewed the report closely and he continues to have concerns with regard to the process we are using. He said that he is mindful that in the north, we are experiencing declining enrolment, and change is necessary. He commented that his basic concern is with the process. Trustee Jackson remarked that he is not saying that our schools do not need to be examined. He said that the Board needs to prepare and complete strategic systemic reporting for the District prior to the consideration of a PARC Committee, and that the reporting should include the following:
• Updated information from the Statistics Canada 2006 Census and Baragar Systems reports for the geographic and statistical area served by the Board and specifically for Sharbot Lake Family of Schools;
• A detailed list of priorities and rationale for repair and replacement of all school properties in the District, and specifically for the Sharbot Lake Family of Schools;
• Photos and mapping of the schools and surrounding areas served by schools for both the District and Sharbot Lake Family of Schools;
• Census mapping showing population changes over the previous two censuses with projections for both the District and Sharbot Lake Family of Schools;
• References to identify where source information upon which the reports were prepared can be located for both the District and Sharbot Lake Family of Schools;
• Identification of all assumptions made in planning projections or mapping with respect to planning for both the District and Sharbot Lake Family of Schools;
• Agendas and supporting documents with respect to planning for the Sharbot Lake Family of Schools be provided to the School Enrolment/School Capacity Committee for consideration of both the Board of Trustees and the public;
• Bus transportation mapping information showing the general area location of where students are transported from to individual schools along with the cost of this bus transportation service for the Sharbot Lake Family of Schools; and
• The Director of Education’s November 30, 2007 Annual Accommodation Report that advises the Board of Trustees and the public on future accommodation planning as outlined in Policy 15 (School Accommodation) of the Limestone District School Board.
Trustee Jackson commented that we have made a commitment that the process be open and transparent, and that the information provided this evening has only been seen by Trustees and Senior Staff; the information was not made available to the public. He said that he believes it is inappropriate for the Board to establish a PARC Committee and review accommodation issues until we have a report from the Director as to where we are going.
Trustee Goodfellow withdrew from the Chair and Trustee Chadwick assumed the Chair.
Trustee Goodfellow stated that she welcomes the establishment of a PARC Committee to review accommodation issues in the Sharbot Lake area. She said that we have to review accommodation issues in rural areas as well, and we want to be able to supply students in the north with the same types of programs as offered in other areas in the district, such as the Challenge and French Immersion programs. Trustee Goodfellow stated that every school in this area with the exception of Land O’Lakes Public School, has qualified as Prohibitive to Repair. She said that the PARC Committee will investigate information relating to bus transportation. She said that she believes in the study of this area, we will see how long students have to ride on their bus, and how we can best serve students with regard to programming.
Trustee Chadwick withdrew from the Chair, and Trustee Goodfellow resumed the Chair.
Trustee McLaren stated that she believes the Board needs to move forward. She said that the Director has provided a report outlining the Board’s priorities already. She said that she thinks public input at this point in time would be inappropriate, and that the public will be able to provide input at the PARC Committee meetings.
Trustee Murray stated that the role of the PARC Committee is clear, and she believes a lot of questions will be answered during the PARC Committee meetings.
Trustee Brown stated that she believes a PARC Committee allows the Board to be transparent, and it allows for public input by the community. She said that a lot of information, such as transportation data, will come out during PARC Committee meetings. She said that we want ideas brought forward by the public also. If a request comes from a community member, he/she will be provided with data during PARC meetings.
Trustee Chadwick stated that the time and resources involved in a system report is a huge undertaking and will delay the process. We have to break the process down into reasonable sizes. She commented that the Director brought a school accommodation report with recommendations forward previously. Trustee Chadwick stated that the School Enrolment/School Capacity Committee meetings are open to the public. She said that the Board is following its protocol with regard to advising the public about these meetings.
Trustee French stated that at our last meeting regarding the establishment of PARC committees for groups of schools in Greater Napanee and Kingston East, there was lots of press coverage. She said that she has not had one person call her about that meeting. She said she knows there will be great participation from the public at PARC meetings. Trustee French stated that the Trustees, other than Trustee Jackson, are supporting the process being followed. She said that she believes the public would be offended if the Director provided a regional report. She said that if there is further analysis completed in advance, it will take away from the public’s opportunity to be involved. She said that information should not be provided in advance.
Trustee Beavis stated that this is an important process and we need to take “baby steps”; one size does not fit all. He said that once information is sent home and advertised regarding the PARC Committees, there will be participation and involvement from the public.
Trustees French, Chadwick and Murray said that the process encourages communities to be involved.
The Director stated that at the end of the PARC process, recommendations will come back to the Board, and perhaps at that time, Trustees will require additional information. She said that the PARCs will deliver their final report to her, and Senior Staff will prepare a report, including both the report and recommendations of the PARCs as per Policy 15 (School Accommodation). The report will be presented to the SE/SCC and then to the Board for approval.
Trustee Jackson stated that he does not disagree with the PARC process; he is concerned with the lack of detailed information as we go into the PARC process.
Trustee French said that the information requested by Trustee Jackson is not appropriate at this time. She said that some other boards in the province are establishing Accommodation Review Committees, but the LDSB is establishing PARCs so that we look at our options for providing good programs for our students as well, not just our accommodation issues.
Trustee Jackson requested a recorded vote which was as follows:
YEAS: Trustee Beavis, Trustee Brown, Trustee Chadwick, Trustee Crawford,
Trustee French, Trustee Goodfellow, Trustee McLaren, Trustee Murray (8)
NAYS: Trustee Jackson (1)
The original motion was called and Carried (8:1).
MOVED BY Trustee Crawford, seconded by Trustee Brown, that the School Enrolment/School Capacity Committee recess to Private Session.–Carried
MOVED BY Trustee McLaren, seconded by Trustee Crawford, that the School Enrolment/School Capacity Committee recess to Public Session.–Carried
Date of Next Meeting
The date of the next meeting is to be determined.
MOVED BY Trustee Crawford, seconded by Trustee Beavis, that the meeting adjourn at 7:10 p.m.–Carried
Accommodation Review Facilitator
MOVED BY Trustee French, seconded by Trustee McLaren, that the Board approve the hiring of an Accommodation Review Facilitator on a temporary, half-time basis for a one-year term or equivalent time as required, with the option for the Board to renew on an as needed basis.–Carried
MOVED BY Trustee McLaren, seconded by Trustee Crawford, that the School Enrolment/School Capacity Committee recess to Public Session.–Carried