School Enrolment/School Capacity
Committee of the Whole Board
June 4, 2012
A meeting of the School Enrolment/School Capacity Committee of the Whole Board was held on Monday, June 4, 2012, at the Limestone Education Centre, 220 Portsmouth Avenue, Kingston, at 7:05 p.m.
H. Chadwick, Chair
Ruth Bailey, PARC Facilitator
Jane Douglas, Communications Officer
David Fowler, Manager of Facility Services
Tammy Giles, Supervising Principal
Richard Holmes, Supervising Principal
Brenda Hunter, Director of
Darlene Kirkpatrick, Recording Secretary
Andre Labrie, Superintendent of Human Resources
Shawn Lehman, Supervising Principal
Norah Marsh, Superintendent of Education
Alison McDonnell, Supervising Principal
Roger Richard, Superintendent of Business Services
Chair Chadwick called the meeting to order.
Declaration of Conflict of Interest
No Trustee declared a conflict of interest.
Approval of Agenda
Chair Chadwick advised that an item, “Request for Tender – Construction of Harrowsmith Public School FDK Addition” is to be added to the agenda under “Other Business”.
MOVED BY Trustee Goodfellow, seconded by Trustee Jackson, that the agenda, as amended, be approved.–Carried
Kingston North PARC Report
Trustee Ruttan indicated that she wanted to bring forth some of the details from the meetings that she thought were important. She praised the Kingston North PARC members for their work, noting that they are passionate about their schools.
Trustee Ruttan stated that the PARC followed the process as outlined in Policy 15 (School Accommodation). She said that the PARC had suggested for future PARCs, that training be provided for community members who are part of a PARC, who are not familiar with Robert’s Rules of Order.
Trustee Ruttan reported that at the public meetings, the majority of speakers came from one school community. She noted that the other school communities also demonstrated a strong passion for their schools at the PARC committee meetings.
Trustee Ruttan stated that the recommendations were reviewed a number of times by the entire committee and the recommendations that came back were agreed to by a majority of PARC members; however, agreement to the recommendations was not unanimous. She said that there was some discussion of a minority report if some committee members were not satisfied with the report.
Ms. Bailey reviewed the Kingston North PARC Report. She stated that the Limestone District School Board, through Policy 15 (School Accommodation) developed in accordance with the Ministry of Education guidelines, provided for the formation of a Program and Accommodation Review Committee. Ms. Bailey advised that the Committee is to be appointed by the Board with the assigned task to prepare a school valuation report and recommendations.
Ms. Bailey reported that at the November 17, 2008 Board meeting the following motion was approved:
“That a Program and Accommodation Review Committee (PARC) be established for the Kingston North Area to begin meeting in March 2009.”
Ms. Bailey reported that on May 7, 2009, a meeting of the Kingston North PARC was held to inform the members of the PARC about the decision to delay the start of the review process in Kingston North due to the fact that:
- the Board did not expect to see any capital funding to address the Kingston North area at this time but have placed this area as a priority in the Board’s capital funding plan, and
- the Board had yet to receive information relating to the plans for full-day early learning for kindergarten-aged students.
Ms. Bailey advised that for the above-noted reasons, the Board had decided to delay the start of the Kingston North PARC until this information was forthcoming.
Ms. Bailey reported that the Board, at its regular meeting on Wednesday, May 18, 2011, approved the following motion:
“That a Program and Accommodation Review Committee for Kingston North be re-established and begin meeting in May/June 2011.”
Ms. Bailey indicated that the schools in the program and accommodation review included: Central Public School, First Avenue Public School, Frontenac Public School, J.G. Simcoe Public School and Rideau Heights Public School. She said that the Board, in arriving at its decision, took into account the following conditions that relate to the schools:
(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;
(vi) One or more of the schools is experiencing higher building maintenance expenses than the average for the system and/or is in needs of major capital improvements; and
(vii) The consolidation of schools is in the best interests of the overall school system.
Ms. Bailey said that the specific mandate of the Kingston North Program and Accommodation Review committee was presented to the PARC at its first meeting on June 21, 2011. The mandate stated the following:
1. In working toward solutions that meet the criteria below, the PARC should consider the overall impact on all students in the review area and the Board. Recommendations put forward should also reflect the legislative requirements and the Board’s commitment to full accessibility for people with disabilities.
2. Develop recommendations to address the following:
a. the enhancement, where possible, of the program and learning opportunities for students;
b. the reduction of building maintenance and operating expenses and the need for major capital improvements;
c. the reduction of excess student capacity at the schools within the review;
d. the clarification of the boundaries for each school in order to:
- ensure that all schools will have sufficient capacity to accommodate the Full Day Early Learning Kindergarten program, as well as any future projected enrolments; and
ii. adjust the catchment areas where more than one school is identified for attendance purposes to ensure that each school has only one English and one French Immersion catchment area.
Ms. Bailey advised that in accordance with Policy 15 (School Accommodation), the following were asked to participate as members of the PARC:
- Two Trustees, at least one of whom represents the area under study;
- The appropriate School Superintendent or Supervising Principal;
- From each affected school:
i. The School Principal
ii. One teacher
iii. One non-teaching staff member
iv. Three parents, one of whom will be the School Council Chair or designate.
Ms. Bailey stated that once the PARC was constituted, it invited a municipal councillor or delegate and a member of the business community to join the committee. No members of the business community responded to the invitation.
Ms. Bailey reported that throughout the process, there were some changes in the PARC membership for a variety of personal reasons.
Ms. Bailey advised that the Kingston North Program and Accommodation Review Committee met for eleven working meetings, noting that the meeting location rotated to schools in the study area. All meetings were held in the evening, starting at 6:30 p.m. She commented that all of the PARC working committee meetings were open to the public to observe. Each meeting was advertised on the main Accommodation page of the Board’s website. The agenda for each meeting was also accessed there. The agenda and minutes were posted on a second page accessed from the main Accommodation page and key documents used by the PARC were placed in the Documents section, also accessed from the Accommodation page. A list of dates and locations for all of
the upcoming meetings was posted on the Accommodation section of the website and on the calendar under Tentatively Scheduled Meetings.
Ms. Bailey reported that the Kingston North PARC held four public meetings. The meetings were advertised in local newspapers, on the Board’s website, in school newsletters and through flyers sent home with students.
Ms. Bailey said that the 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.
Ms. Bailey indicated that during the working meetings, presentations were given to the whole group and work and discussion sessions were done in school groups with five or six people to a table group. Some formal whole group sharing of ideas was done, but much of the inter-school discussion was informal.
Ms. Bailey reviewed the key areas that formed the work of the PARC, as listed in the Kingston North PARC Report.
Ms. Bailey reported that at the PARC Working Committee Meeting on September 27, 2011, the committee was presented with seven options developed by Board staff on behalf of the Limestone District School Board as in accordance with the Ministry of Education Guidelines. She said that the options represented a range of possibilities, with at least one option addressing the consolidation of each of the schools and some focusing on the consolidation of two sets of schools. As well, the options included the possibility of the building of a new school that would consolidate the students from two of the review schools. The cross section of ideas was intended as a beginning point for the Committee to work from in adding additional options.
Ms. Bailey advised that at the October 25, 2011 Working Group Meeting, the PARC members added Options 7 to 11. Option 11 was later determined to be the same as option 7 and was dropped from consideration.
Ms. Bailey indicated that all of the options were provided on the Board’s website and a handout with a description of the options was distributed and explained at the public meeting on November 22, 2011.
Ms. Bailey stated that the key focus of the December 6, 2011 meeting, was the discussion of the 10 options in light of the input received from the public meetings and written correspondence. The group discussed the advantages and disadvantages of each option.
Ms. Bailey commented that following the group discussion, members voted, by ballot, on the five options that they would like to set aside. When the ballots were counted, the options removed were Options 1, 2, 5, 7 and 9. In eliminating these 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.
Ms. Bailey remarked that a list of additional information that PARC members wanted to know about that could influence the remaining options was developed. The major focus of the January 31, 2012 working Committee meeting was spent reviewing the requested information, which included the following topics:
- Grade configuration related to grade 7 & 8 students;
- Immigration in Kingston;
- Use of personal cars and buses;
- The impact of a grocery store closure and Better Beginnings statistics;
- Appraisal of site values.
Ms. Bailey advised that since the Central Kingston Intermediate and Secondary Schools PARC was also operating at this time and could potentially consider options that would impact the schools in the Kingston North PARC, it was decided to delay the next set of meetings. This would allow the Kingston North PARC to consider and comment, if desired, in the PARC Report, on any options impacting the Kingston North review schools.
Ms. Bailey indicated that information concerning the options presented to the Central Kingston Intermediate and Secondary Schools PARC, on behalf of the Board and by PARC members was shared with the Kingston North PARC members by e-mail and presented for questions and discussion at the March 20, 2012 Working Committee meeting.
Ms. Bailey reported that at the March 20, 2012 meeting, following a small group discussion period, the PARC voted by secret ballot. The result of the vote was that:
- Option 3 would be the preferred option if the Limestone District School Board did not receive capital funding from the Ministry of Education for the building of a new school; and
- Option 10 would be the preferred option if the Board received capital funding from the Ministry of Education.
Ms. Bailey stated that at the March 29, 2012 meeting, the draft recommendations were reviewed, discussed and revisions made. Specific areas reviewed were:
- the inclusion of the former Option #8;
- Adding to the currently selected options the consolidation of J.G. Simcoe P.S. and Rideau Heights P.S. into the Rideau Heights P.S. building;
- Designation of the catchment area for the Grade 7 and 8 students from Central P.S. and the Central P.S./Frontenac P.S. South Option area;
- Placement of the Grade 7 and 8 students in the secondary school;
- Clarification of the placement of the District Programs, including the Technology Program, that are presently operated in schools designated for closure in the presented options;
- The inclusion of Frontenac P.S. as a site for consideration for the location of a new school building.
Ms. Bailey advised that the Kingston North PARC members reviewed and discussed input from Public Meetings #3 and #4 at the Working Committee meeting on April 24, 2012. The members discussed and voted on several changes to the PARC draft report. Ms. Bailey stated that pages 15 to 23 of the report give information received at public meetings #3 and #4, pages 24-26 give information related to questions, and page 27 lists the appendices. She said that Appendix 8 is the Minority Report, and that it was submitted by one of the schools. She said that the Minority Report gives an outline of their view related to the options and their preferences.
Ms. Bailey said that the changes receiving approval by the committee were:
- The addition of a third option which addressed the possibility of keeping all schools open and finding savings elsewhere; and
- The addition of a condition to the option concerning a new school that asked the Board to review boundaries with a view to the walkability to all of the schools.
Trustee Ruttan reviewed the Kingston North unranked option preferences, as follows:
1. That the Limestone District School Board maintain all five elementary schools in the Kingston North area and that the Board explore cost savings in other areas of the Board through private or public partnerships.
2. That, if the Ministry of Education does not provide capital funding to the Limestone District School Board as a part of the accommodation solution in the Kingston North area:
2.1 The students from Central Public School, Frontenac Public School, and the Frontenac Public School/Central Public School North and South Option catchment areas be consolidated in the Frontenac Public School building;
2.2. Central Public School be closed;
2.3 First Avenue Public School, J.G. Simcoe Public School and Rideau Heights Public School be maintained; and
2.4 The Frontenac Public School/First Avenue Public School Option area be included in the First Avenue Public School catchment area.
3. That, if the Ministry of Education provides capital funding to the Limestone District School Board as a part of the accommodation solution in the Kingston North area:
3.1 The new school accommodate the consolidation of the students in the catchment areas for Frontenac Public School, First Avenue Public School, the Frontenac Public School/First Avenue Public School Option area and the Frontenac Public School/Central Public School North Option area;
3.2 Frontenac Public School and First Avenue Public School be closed;
3.3 The Frontenac Public School/Central South Option area be included in the Central Public School catchment area;
3.4 The grade 7 and 8 students within the Central Public School catchment area, described in 2.3, become part of the Sydenham Public School catchment area;
3.5 Central Public School, J.G. Simcoe Public School and Rideau Heights Public School be maintained; and
3.6 The boundaries for all of the elementary schools in the Kingston North PARC be reviewed with consideration being given to the walkability of students to each of the schools.
Trustee Ruttan reviewed the additional recommendations, as follows:
1. The Limestone District School Board approach the Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School Board concerning establishing a partnership to approach the Ministry of Education about capital funding for a shared school facility in north Kingston;
2. The Limestone District School Board approach the municipality and community agencies about the possibility of establishing partnerships to provide a wide range of services if a new school building is constructed;
3. Any district Special Education program, technology program or program offered by other community agencies, presently operating in the schools to be consolidated, be continued in the new school building or in Frontenac Public School programs operating in the schools to be maintained, continue in their current location;
4. The following sites be considered for the location of a new school building:
- First Avenue P.S.;
- The grounds at QECVI;
- The Memorial Centre grounds;
- Frontenac Public School.
5. All of the Grade 7 and 8 students remain in their current school locations.
Trustee French asked if the Minority Report was written by the Central Public School PARC members. Ms. Bailey stated that it was her understanding that it had been written by one of the Central Public School PARC members. She said that it was her understanding that the report was not written by all of the Central Public School PARC members and that not everyone who was a Central Public School team member had seen the report prior to it being sent to her.
Trustee Jackson asked if the Corporation of the City of Kingston had indicated that the Memorial Centre grounds be considered as a site for a future school, or was that something for future exploration. Ms. Bailey said that the suggestion for consideration of the Memorial Centre grounds as a possible site for an elementary school came from the PARC members and not from the City of Kingston. It was her understanding that PARC members felt the location would be a good location because of a sports field already being established there. Committee members suggested that site be explored, and so included it in their recommendations.
In response to a question from Trustee Murray regarding the Minority Report, Ms. Bailey stated that in reading PARC reports from other districts, she has seen Minority Reports included, noting that it is not uncommon in a large committee to have diverse ideas, and for the committee to write a Minority Report. She said that a Minority Report is a mechanism for others to have their voices heard.
Ms. Bailey stated that the Kingston North PARC report is posted on the Board’s website and all components of the report are also there. She said that an e-mail was sent to all PARC members indicating that a School Enrolment/School Capacity Committee of the Whole Board meeting was being held this evening, to receive the Kingston North PARC Report. She said that PARC members were provided with a copy of the body of the Kingston North PARC Report again.
MOVED BY Trustee Ruttan, seconded by Trustee Goodfellow, that the Kingston North Program and Accommodation Review Report, be received.–Carried
Correspondence from Kingston City Council
Chair Chadwick advised that correspondence from the City of Kingston, dated May 2, 2012, advising of a motion passed at its regular meeting held on May 2, 2012, wherein the City requests that the Board delay any decisions concerning school closings covered by the Central Kingston (secondary school) PARC and the North Kingston (elementary school) PARC, pending discussions among the Board, the City and other identifiable stakeholders, including other PARCs and the Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic DSB on possible ways and means to avoid school closings, or mitigate the effects of schools closings to the benefit of neighbourhood communities and the City as a whole, through initiatives related to systemic operational and capital funding efficiencies related to the City and the school boards, in
areas of space and program development and sharing including, but not limited to, recreation (e.g. fields), housing, cultural hubs, government and agency services, business and economic development (such as space for micro-businesses, artisans, artists, and alternative business in health, food and furniture), home care and senior care was received at the May 16, 2012 Limestone District School Board meeting. She indicated that the correspondence was referred to a future SE/SCC Committee of the Whole Board meeting.
Trustee French indicated that at the Central Kingston PARC meetings, reference to a report from the City keeps coming up. She said that if the Board is not expecting anything further from the City to please let her know, as she needs to clarify this information for PARC members.
Chair Chadwick indicated that she would ask staff to clarify that information.
Trustee Jackson stated that he senses the PARC is looking for information as to what our process is regarding partnerships, and how we will proceed with this area of inquiry.
Chair Chadwick stated that Director Hunter is consulting with individuals and organizations about partnerships, as communicated to the PARC.
The Director indicated that the Board has received the North Kingston PARC Report, and that the Central Kingston Intermediate and Secondary Schools PARC Report is expected within a few weeks. She said the exploration of partnership opportunities will need to take into consideration the recommendations of both PARC’s reports.
Director Hunter stated that there have been a great number of creative suggestions to date related to various partnership ideas. She said that she would be happy to report to the Board on initial discussions she has had, but that the entire investigation of partnership opportunities would likely require a multi-stage reporting process, dependent on Board direction. She indicated she did not foresee any RFPs issued prior to the Board indicating interest in moving forward in specific directions.
Trustee French stated that we need to continue to explore partnership opportunities, and any reports on this topic could be considered as part of our process. She also said that Kingston City Council’s report is included as a communication received by the Facilitator and shared with the PARC.
Trustee Jackson stated that we have the North Kingston PARC report and soon we will have the Central Kingston Intermediate and Secondary Schools PARC, and that it would be helpful if we clarified the various stages of the process more broadly.
Trustee Goodfellow stated that we need to reinforce information about our timeline. She said that the Central Kingston Intermediate and Secondary Schools PARC is ongoing. She said that we are still gathering all of the information. She said that it may be another year before a decision comes forward.
Trustee French stated that she hopes partnerships are not just about the North Kingston and Central Kingston Intermediate and Secondary Schools PARCs. The concept of partnerships should be addressed in light of possibilities across the Board. She indicated that it may be helpful to share more information about that concept. She said that the matter could be addressed in a broader way in support of Limestone DSB students.
Trustee Goodfellow stated that the Board has been entrusted with the safety of students first, and in any partnerships that come forward, we need to keep the safety of students in mind.
Director Hunter stated that part of the confusion around accommodation timelines has been the publication of inaccurate information by the media. She said that the process with regard to partnerships is open ended. She said that the PARC stage of the process would end, but the Board’s process regarding partnerships could go on as long as Trustees need in order to make a decision.
MOVED BY Trustee French, seconded by Trustee Goodfellow, that the correspondence received from the City of Kingston, dated May 2, 2012, be received.–Carried
Request for Tender – Construction of Harrowsmith Public School FDK Addition
Superintendent Richard reviewed an administrative report regarding the Request for Tender for the construction of a one room addition at Harrowsmith Public School. He advised that the Board approved an addition to Harrowsmith Public School to accommodate the school’s full day kindergarten program.
MOVED BY Trustee Goodfellow, seconded by Trustee Jackson, that the tender received from Tom Belch and Sons Building Contractors Limited, in the amount of $519,400, for the construction of a one room addition at Harrowsmith Public School, be approved; it being the lowest tender meeting the specifications of the call for tender.–Carried
FDK Addition at Centennial Public School
Trustee Crawford asked if the FDK addition at Centennial Public School will be ready for September school startup. Superintendent Richard stated that it is our intention to have the addition completed by September school startup. He indicated that we would have a contingency plan in place, if there was a short delay.
Committee to Rise and Report
MOVED BY Trustee Crawford, seconded by Trustee Jackson, that the School Enrolment/School Capacity Committee of the Whole Board rise and report.–Carried
MOVED BY Trustee Ruttan, seconded by Trustee Jackson, that the meeting adjourn at 8:15 p.m.–Carried