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June 14, 2010 - School Enrolment/School Capacity Minutes
School Enrolment/School Capacity Committee
June14, 2010

A meeting of the School Enrolment/School Capacity Committee of the Whole Board was held on Monday, June 14, 2010, at the Limestone Education Centre, 220 Portsmouth Avenue, Kingston, at 6:00 p.m.
Present Trustees:
H. Chadwick, Chair
G. Beavis, Vice-Chair
H. Brown
A. Goodfellow
D. Jackson
B. McLaren
P. Murray
Present Staff:
Ruth Bailey, PARC Facilitator
Jane Douglas, Communications Officer
Brenda Hunter, Director of Education
Darlene Kirkpatrick, Recording Secretary
Roger Richard, Superintendent of Business Services
Wayne Toms, Manager, ITS
Beth Woodley, Supervising Principal and Executive Assistant     
        Chair Chadwick called the meeting to order.  She reported that regrets were received from Trustee Crawford, who was at a Building Design Committee meeting for Kingston East, and from Trustee French, who was at a Building Design Committee meeting for Greater Napanee.

Approval of Agenda

        MOVED BY Trustee McLaren, seconded by Trustee Goodfellow, that the agenda, as distributed, be approved.–Carried

Receipt of the Kingston West and Loyalist Township PARC Report

        Trustee Goodfellow, on behalf of Trustees, thanked the members of the Kingston West and Loyalist Township PARC, parents, staff, and the community for their work on the committee.  She said that the PARC consisted of approximately 74 members, 10 alternates, and seven Senior Staff.  She further indicated that 68 members of the PARC were voting members.

        Trustee Goodfellow said that the PARC first met in November 2009, noting that 12 working committee meetings, and four public meeting were held.  She said that PARC members worked well together, and that they respected each other’s points of view.

        Mrs. Bailey said that it was her pleasure to present the report to the Board.  She reviewed the PARC report, indicating that 11 different schools were involved in the PARC process.  Mrs. Bailey stated that the specific mandate of the Kingston West and Loyalist PARC was to study, report and make recommendations that addressed the following criteria:

1.      The student population included in this review is to be relocated to:

        a)      reduce the overcrowding at J.R. Henderson Public School;
        b)      plan for space for the full time early learning programs;
        c)      optimize the excess capacity at the schools within the review;
        d)      where possible improve student programming.

        Mrs. Bailey said that in working towards solutions that met the above criteria, the PARC had to consider the overall impact on all of the students in the review area.

        Mrs. Bailey stated that the document includes a map of the area showing the approximate location of the schools in the accommodation review area, as well as the schools bordering the accommodation review area.  She said that Appendix A of the report shows the additional maps.

        Mrs. Bailey stated that listed on page 4 in the report are the names of the PARC members, as well as the resource staff.  She said that listed on page 6 is information about the PARC Working Committee Meetings.  She said that the dates, locations and key focus of the meetings are included in the report.  She indicated that the dates, locations and key focus of the public meetings are included on page 8 of the document.

        Mrs. Bailey advised that there was a change in direction from the Ministry with respect to the accommodation guidelines.  She reported that our second public meeting was different than in the past in that we were to present all of the options that the PARC considered.  She said that that meeting was well attended and that there was a lot of input at the meeting.  As well, written input has been included in the PARC report.

        Mrs. Bailey reviewed the work of the PARC, noting that the working committee meetings were well attended and all schools participated enthusiastically, treated all ideas and input with respect and demonstrated a strong dedication to finding the best solution that met the PARC mandate and supported the students and families in the area.  Mrs. Bailey reviewed the information and documentation that the PARC was presented with in order to carry out its mandate.

        Mrs. Bailey reviewed the Selection and Study of Options section of the PARC report.  She said that at the PARC working committee meeting of January 19, 2010, the Committee was presented with six options developed by Board staff on behalf of the Board in accordance with the Ministry of Education Guidelines.  She advised that the options represented a wide range of possibilities such as the congregation of all the grade 7 and 8 students in the Bayridge Family of Schools, the movement of the school boundary on the west side of J.R. Henderson Public School, the creation of a single track French Immersion school and the closing of a school.  She said that the broad cross section of ideas was intended as a beginning point for the Committee to work from in adding additional options.

        Mrs. Bailey reported that at the February 2, 2010 Working Committee meeting, the PARC members added options 7 to 22.  This was increased to a total of 26 options by the February 16th meeting.

        Mrs. Bailey advised that the key focus of the March 9th meeting was the discussion of the 26 options in light of the input received from the public meetings and written correspondence.  Each school also made a brief presentation to the group highlighting concerns and the views of their parent community, as well as any principles related to the movement of students.  This was followed by an opportunity for the school groups to again discuss the options.

        Mrs. Bailey reported that following the group discussion members voted, by ballot, on their top preferred options.  When the ballots were counted the top five options were Options 1, 11, 15, 23 and 25.  In eliminating the other 21 options, the members knew that any one or part of one of these eliminated options could be returned to the table with a majority vote from the group.

        Mrs. Bailey said that a list of additional information that PARC members wanted to know about regarding the remaining five options was developed.  Significant parts of the March 30th and April 13th meetings were focused on this information which included such items as transportation ride times and costing for the options, movement of the special education programs, school staff, costs of moving portables and sample class organizations.

        Mrs. Bailey reported that at the April 13th meeting, a series of motions were brought forward and by the end of the meeting the group had decided:

  •         to support three dual track sites within the area, J.R. Henderson PS, Bayridge PS and Amherstview PS and revised Options 1, 15 and 25 to reflect this decision;
  •         to eliminate Options 11 and 23 from further discussion;
  •         to include an additional recommendation in the PARC report that addressed planning for future French Immersion growth.
        Mrs. Bailey advised that there was considerable discussion about revisions to the parts of the options that identified:

  •         to which school the Bayridge bused students would be relocated;
  •         to which school the J.R. Henderson PS West students or Grade 7 and 8 J.R. Henderson students would be relocated.
        The possible sites under discussion were: Collins Bay, R.G. Sinclair, Welborne Avenue and Truedell Public Schools.

        Mrs. Bailey said that the discussion continued at the April 20th meeting.  Motions were made and voted on that resulted in a decision to recommend that the Bayridge bused students be relocated to Truedell PS and the English J.R. Henderson West students attend Welborne Avenue PS.

        Mrs. Bailey stated that along the way to arriving at a preferred option the PARC thoroughly discussed concepts such as the congregation of grade 7 and 8 students and the establishment of a single track French Immersion school.  She reported that there was some division on the PARC concerning the congregation of grade 7 and 8 students at a site such as Bayridge Public School.  Many did not wish to have the students interspersed with the secondary students and the floor plan of the secondary school does not readily lend itself to a self-contained area.  As well, members believed that the elementary schools would lose a significant leadership resource and many students would miss out on opportunities to provide leadership and participate on school teams and events.  There was strong agreement that to move a group of grade 7 and 8 students to another elementary school to join an established group of intermediate students was creating a situation that would lead to many students feeling misplaced, alienated and graduating with a peer group with whom they had very few shared elementary experiences.

        Mrs. Bailey said that the last two public meetings focused on a single-track French Immersion school.  She said that concept received a lot of support; parents were interested in having a situation where their child would hear only French being spoken during the day.  Parents were in favour of that concept.  Mrs. Bailey stated that since the building of a new school in the area was not a possible option, it meant that to have a single-track French Immersion school, one of the schools would be required to relocate all of the English students to one or more other schools.  This would mean the end of the neighbourhood school for a large group of students and increase the number of students who would be require busing. The Committee members also believed that the removal of the exposure of some of the English language students to French Immersion was a cultural and experiential loss.  Mrs. Bailey said that the only existing school that would have enough space for a single-track French Immersion school would be James R. Henderson PS, and that would mean moving the English students in 2011 to another school.  In the end the Committee believed that it was important to have community schools to perform that function and French students should not replace English students, who live next to the school having to be bused to another school.

        Mrs. Bailey commented that one of the areas of concern in developing and finally selecting a preferred option was the potential movement of District Special Education Programs and the Ontario Early Years Centre.  The movement of these programs was a necessary byproduct of the implementation of the relocation of students in order to meet the PARC mandate in a manner that allowed the enrolment that was in excess of the on-the-ground capacity at J.R. Henderson PS to be lowered to a level in line with other schools in the area.  As well, it was important that enough French Immersion students were moved to the new dual track site to ensure a viable program and to select a site that did not necessitate a large number of portables being moved to the school to accommodate the students.

        Mrs. Bailey remarked at the PARC Working Committee meeting of April 20, 2010, the Committee reviewed each of the remaining three options, considered the possible revisions to the options and arrived at the preferred option.  She said that pages 12 and 13 include the different components of the options.

        Mrs. Bailey said that page 18 includes the focus, key messages and frequency of the comments at the third and fourth public meetings.  She said that eight speakers spoke at public meeting #3 and three speakers spoke at public meeting #4.  She said that the committee worked through and listened to the public as to what they said.  She stated that although there is no possible way to make everyone happy, one can see from the final response the committee worked through and tried to listen to make changes that made sense and that displaced the fewest number of students.  She said that the last two public meetings focused mainly on the French issue.  Some of that related to moving French Immersion students to Amherstview Public School.  She commented that some people saw a magic divide between Amherstview Public School in Loyalist Township and the other schools which are located in the City of Kingston.  

        Mrs. Bailey said that there was some discussion about programs run by Loyalist Township and children living in Kingston attending Amherstview Public School being on waiting lists to participate in swimming, skating lessons, etc. in Loyalist Township.  People were told that there was a practice of the municipality, and the situation is the same in the City of Kingston in that children who reside in the City are given priority to enrol in programs offered by the municipality, and children from areas outside of the City being placed on waiting lists.

        Mrs. Bailey commented that it was nice to hear several parents speaking about choosing to send their children to Amherstview Public School.

        Mrs. Bailey said that the Kingston West and Loyalist Township PARC thanked the Board for giving them an opportunity to make recommendations concerning the important decision about school accommodation in their area.  They said it was not an easy task and that they appreciate the difficulty of the decision that the Board must make.  Mrs. Bailey said that PARC members took their job seriously and that they wanted to come up with the option that worked best for the students in their area.

        Trustee Goodfellow presented the following recommendations of the PARC:

1.      The establishment of a third dual track school for the area, at Bayridge Public School;

2.      The relocation of the French Immersion attendance boundaries as follows:
        a)      JR Henderson PS area to include the catchment areas for the present JR Henderson PS, RG Sinclair PS, Truedell PS and Welborne Avenue PS.
        b)      Bayridge PS area to include the catchment areas for Bayridge PS, Bayridge Bused area, Cataraqui Woods ES, RG Sinclair Bused area and Welborne Avenue Bused area.
        c)      Amherstview PS area to include the catchment area that it presently serves as well as that of Collins Bay PS, WJ Holsgrove PS and Lancaster Drive PS.

3.      Re-designate the Bayridge Bused students as Truedell PS students.

4.      Change the boundaries of Welborne Avenue PS and the JR Henderson PS to include the “JR Henderson West” area within the boundary of Welborne Avenue PS.

5.      Relocate the District Special Education Programs and the Ontario Early Years Centre, as needed, to provide space for students at Bayridge PS and Welborne Avenue PS.

6.      Relocate portables from some of the schools in the Kingston West area, as they are needed at other schools in the Board.

7.      Move two portables to Bayridge PS to support the enrolment projected for 2011.

        Trustee Goodfellow presented the additional recommendations, as follows:

1.      Monitoring French Immersion Enrolment:
That the enrolment of the French Immersion schools is monitored carefully and that additional dual track sites are opened before the schools become highly overcrowded.

2.      Single Track French Immersion Site:
That in the future, when the Limestone District School Board conducts a review of French Immersion programs, that it research and strongly consider a single track French Immersion school at that time.

3.      Time line:
That the Limestone District School Board implement the preferred option for September 2011.

4.      Integration Committee:
        a)      That in addition to the Integration Committee members, established by the Director, as per Board Policy 15(4.2), the Integration Committee have the following representation, as appropriate, from each of the schools of the students directly impacted by the Board decision:
  •         A parent with a child in the group of students being relocated,
  •         A teaching staff member,
  •         JR Henderson PS be represented by one or two additional parents to ensure that both English and French Immersion views are represented and that there is a representative of the students being relocated to Bayridge and those going to Amherstview,
  •         JR Henderson PS be represented by one additional teaching staff member to ensure that both English and French Immersion views are represented.
                b)      That the first meeting be called within 30 days of the Board decision.

5.      Staff Relocation Process:
a)      That the Human Resources Department of the Limestone District School Board establish and communicate, as soon as possible, the process that will be used to manage the relocation of staff and the available positions created by the Board decision.
        b)      That the Human Resources Department be requested to communicate not only with the teaching staff but also the parents in the affected schools by providing a brief communiqué that could be sent home in a flyer or placed in a school newsletter.

6.      French Immersion Resources:
        a)      That, as soon as possible, an inventory be completed of the French Immersion Resources at JR Henderson PS and Amherstview PS and that this inventory be forwarded to the Superintendent of Education responsible for French Immersion programs.

        b)      That the Superintendent of Education, in consultation with the school Principals of JR Henderson PS, Bayridge PS and Amherstview PS, review the inventory, decide on any redistribution of resources and establish a list of resources to be purchased through the Superintendent’s office.

7.      Furniture:

        a)      That the Principals of the schools identified to receive students assess the classroom furniture needs and the Principals of the sending schools identify any surplus furniture early in 2011.
        b)      That the Superintendents/Supervising Principals with supervision responsibilities for the schools assist the school Principals in ensuring that appropriate furniture is in place for September 2011 and make provision for the purchase of furniture where necessary.
        MOVED BY Goodfellow, seconded by Trustee McLaren, that the report of the Kingston West and Loyalist Township Program and Accommodation Review Committee, be received.–Carried

        Trustee Murray asked about residency issues for children who live outside a municipality participating in programs run by another municipality.  Chair Chadwick advised that Trustee Murray should wait until Senior Staff presents its report in order to ask that question.  She said that Trustees are only receiving the PARC report this evening, and that questions could only be asked for clarification purposes at this time.

        Trustee Murray commented on EQAO results being included in the school profiles, and noted that the EQAO assessment is not administered in French.  Chair Chadwick advised that Trustee Murray should also wait until Senior Staff presents its report to comment on that matter.  She said that Trustees are only receiving the PARC report this evening, and that questions could only be asked for clarification purposes at this time.

        Trustee Jackson stated that the report does not include much on capital and operating budget expenses.  The Director stated that Trustee Jackson should wait until after Senior Staff responds to the report.  Chair Chadwick said that once Senior Staff’s report is received, Trustee Jackson could suggest recommendations with regard to the operating and capital budget, if he wanted to do so at that time.

Committee to Rise and Report

        MOVED BY Trustee Brown, seconded by Trustee Murray, that the School Enrolment/School Capacity Committee of the Whole Board rise and report, and the resolution of the School Enrolment/School Capacity Committee of the Whole Board, as noted above, be a resolution of the Board and made public .–Carried


        MOVED BY Trustee Jackson, seconded by Trustee Goodfellow, that the meeting adjourn at 6:35 p.m.–Carried