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April 11, 2013 - School Enrolment/School Capacity Minutes
School Enrolment/School Capacity Committee
April 11, 2013

A meeting of the School Enrolment/School Capacity Committee of the Whole Board was held in the Barry C. O’Connor Board Room at the Limestone District School Board Education Centre, 220 Portsmouth Avenue, Kingston, on Thursday, April 11, 2013 at 6:00 p.m.
Present Trustees:
L. French, Vice-Chair
G. Beavis
H. Chadwick
E.  Crawford
A. Goodfellow
D.  Jackson
P.  Murray
S.  Ruttan
Present Staff:
Ruth Bailey, Accommodation Review Facilitator
Dave Fowler, Manager of Facility Services
Barb Fraser-Stiff, Superintendent of Education
Richard Holmes, Supervising Principal
Brenda Hunter, Director of Education
Darlene Kirkpatrick, Recording Secretary
Shawn Lehman, Supervising Principal
Norah Marsh, Superintendent of Education
Alison McDonnell, Supervising Principal
Roger Richard, Superintendent of Business Services
Karen Smith, Communications Officer
Wayne Toms, Manager of ITS and Planning Officer

Vice-Chair French chaired the meeting.  She called the meeting to order reporting that regrets were received from Trustee Brown, and Student Trustees Milligan and Yun.

Vice-Chair French reminded the gallery that any School Enrolment/School Capacity Committee of the Whole Board meeting operates as a regular Committee of the Whole Board meeting, and therefore, the normal protocols for meeting conduct will apply.  She said that, therefore, there is no opportunity for public input at this evening’s meeting.  However, Vice-Chair French thanked the gallery for their commitment to the process.

Vice-Chair French indicated that the meeting would proceed until approximately 7:30 p.m., at which time Trustees will take a short break and decide how much further beyond that time they want to continue.

Conflict of Interest

        No Trustee declared a conflict of interest.

Approval of Agenda

        Trustee Murray indicated that she would like to add an item, “Future Topic Discussions” to the agenda, under the “Other Business” section.  

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

        Vice-Chair French called on Ms. Bailey.  

French Immersion/Extended Programming

        Ms. Bailey advised that at the end of last week’s meeting she provided data related to enrolment – Enrolment Overview, by Family of Schools, for all Board Schools Offering French Immersion/Extended Program(s), and Enrolment by School, for all Central Kingston Schools Offering French Immersion/Extended Program(s).  She indicated that information about French Immersion/Extended Programs can be found on page 39, Section 3.4.2 of the Senior Staff Report, and pages 22-24, Focus Area 11: French Immersion/Extended Programs of the Senior Staff Follow-Up Report.

        Ms. Bailey stated that Senior Staff believes that if additional French Immersion Programs were added, the net gain in enrolment would be minimal and it would be a shifting of the population.  She said that most of these students would come from other Limestone DSB schools and therefore, any expansion of the program would generate minimal, if any, new enrolment and revenue for the Board, but would correspondingly reduce the enrolment in other LDSB schools.

        Ms. Bailey stated that a discussion about French Immersion/Extended Program(s) has been held in each of the accommodation reviews the Board has done.  She said that parents have asked that their school area be considered.  She said that part of the issue is ensuring that we look at all programs in the district, both English and French.

        Ms. Bailey referred to Focus Area 11 of the Senior Staff Follow-Up Report and stated that for other special programs, Senior Staff wants to ensure that the Board has the ability to provide sufficient teachers and programs, and to ensure that enrolment is sufficiently large to ensure a robust program.

        Ms. Bailey referred to section 11.1 French Immersion in Kingston East (Senior Staff Follow-Up Report, page 23), indicating that information about French Immersion Grade Enrolments at École Sir John A. Macdonald Public School, and French Immersion and Extended Program Enrolments from Kingston East attending Module Vanier is included in that section.

        Trustee Chadwick referred to section 11.1 (Senior Staff Follow-Up Report).  She said that we know that there is insufficient French Immersion enrolment in each of Grades 4-8 in Kingston East to create populations large enough to form concrete secondary classes without multi-grades classes, and to withstand the levels of attrition that predictably occur as students move through secondary school.  She said that when we look at the number of students coming from Kingston East attending Module Vanier, the number is 25.  She said that this number would include students coming from École Sir John A. Macdonald Public School.  She said that there may be an opportunity for some growth there.  She said that we started with small numbers of immersion students coming from Amherstview Public School to Ernestown Secondary School, and how the immersion program grew from there.  She said that there may be some growth in Grades 7 and 8.

        Ms. Bailey stated that in looking at Grades 7 and 8, because we have Late French Immersion at Grades 7 and 8, we do not combine those students with Early Immersion Students because Early French Immersion students have taken French since Kindergarten, and Late French Immersion students have only taken Core French.  She said in looking at 2012-13, we have 16 students.  She said that it would be challenging to combine Early and Late and Grade 7 and 8 students in a single class.

        Vice-Chair French said that what happened at Amherstview Public School was that students migrated to Module de l’Acadie. She said that there is no French Immersion program for Grade 7 and 8 students at Amherstview Public School, and those students wishing to take French Immersion go to Module de l’Acadie.

Review of Focus Programs and Specific Classroom Requirements

        Ms. Bailey stated that at last week’s School Enrolment/School Capacity Committee of the Whole Board meeting, information about Focus programs was distributed.  She said that the report has been revised to include the following information on page 2:

  • The Focus programs are organized into a three or four credit package for each of the semesters of the program.  Some four credit packages can include a Co-operative Education credit or a related credit taught, in most cases, by a teacher other than the Focus program leader.
  • Some students take only the three credits of the Focus Program while others select a course, for the first period of the day, such as an English university credit at the grade 11 and 12 level which they take, along with other regular day school students (e.g. Creative Arts).  Some students have a fourth credit accommodated through the Focus Program teacher or the school’s regular timetabled courses (e.g. High Performance Athletics).
Ms. Bailey stated that the other revision is on page 3, noting that all non-Focus programs are listed there.  She said that previously they were located in the Focus programs on page 2.

Trustee Goodfellow asked why weren’t any approximate number of students listed for the Non-Focus Technology programs at KCVI, QECVI and LCVI.

Mr. Lehman stated that in looking at the KCVI Non-Focus programs, there is a variety of Non-Focus program courses run at KCVI in these classrooms.  He said that they include regular construction classes, Computer Technology or Business Technology classes, noting that which course runs in which classroom is decided semester to semester, and may change year by year  He said, therefore, it was decided not to put a concrete number of students associated with these courses in the chart.  He said that there are Non-Focus classes and courses not connected to Focus programs available in all three schools.

Trustee Jackson asked about the range in each of the three high schools.  Mr. Lehman stated that we have class caps for courses.  He said that in the Technology course there is a class cap of 20 students.

Trustee Jackson asked what the numbers are for the last 12 months.  Superintendent Marsh stated that the question that Senior Staff were asked to respond to at the last meeting was in relation to unique classroom space in each of the schools and wasn’t about the enrolment in the classes.  The chart is a list of all those classroom spaces that have unique features in each of the schools.

Trustee Chadwick stated that how we organize and pace these unique spaces merits consideration.  She stated that, in particular, QECVI has special Focus programs and she was wondering, especially when we hear that regular classroom space is not required for all of these programs, if there is another possible model for our Focus programs.  She said that QECVI has space for Creative Arts, Academy of Hair, and Senior Staff looked at that with a view of how to keep that space in use and what else has a potential for that site, if it is not a regular high school.  She said that if we do not have regular classes at a site, what are the other possibilities for that site? She asked if there are other possibilities that we could consider, such as the placements of Educational Services there, and possibly Second Chance.  She asked about how it would work space wise and operationally in terms of funding.

Director Hunter stated that she would provide further information about the costs and other implications if QECVI did not have regular program students and the unique space was retained for Focus programs and other structures such as Second Chance.

Trustee Goodfellow asked if the Ministry requires that boards have an autoshop or woodshop in secondary schools.  She said that she knows of an instance where a room such as this is being used for an English class.

Superintendent Marsh stated that there is a compulsory requirement that a student needs to have certain credits from groups of courses, including technology, business or arts to graduate, but there is no school-by-school requirement for a partial type of physical space.

Trustee Murray asked if there is a hairdressing course offered at LCVI.  Superintendent Marsh indicated that there is.  The two-year Hairdressing Apprenticeship Program was at one time housed with year 1 at LCVI, year 2 at QECVI.  She said that the hairdressing room at LCVI is now used for students optional courses.

In response to a question from Trustee Murray, Superintendent Marsh stated that the unique spaces in the three highschools are captured in the chart that was distributed.

Trustee Jackson stated that LCVI has some space usage within its building, KCVI seems full, and QECVI has a smaller enrolment, but the building is large, noting that we have classrooms that are underutilized or not utilized at all in that building.  He asked about how we could reduce that footprint.

Trustee Jackson stated that he would like to know how much of that space we could use with fewer students.  He said that QECVI has been designed for 1,000 students, and that a lot of the space is not fully occupied.  He asked if we could use the space in a different way.  He said that if there is new construction funding available, then we are looking at different solutions for buildings.

Trustee Chadwick stated that she does not believe that helps with programming.  She said that she is not convinced that by making a footprint smaller, we will resolve programming for students, which is the heart of the issue.

Trustee Murray asked if there were different programs placed in that facility, would it address the programming issue?

Trustee Jackson stated that if we assume the status quo, he is assuming programs will be delivered in a different way.  He said that overall we have fewer students; therefore, we need less space.

Review of Alternative Programs and E-Learning in LDSB

        Ms. Bailey stated that information about alternative programs can be found in the Senior Staff Follow-Up Report on page 33.  She said that one of the questions raised at a previous meeting was about the total cost the Board expends to lease space for Street Smart and for Second Chance.  She said that the cost is $80,000 for Street Smart and $106,000 for Second Chance.  She said that these programs are to serve those students who find themselves in difficult situations and are unable to work productively within a school environment.  She said that these programs are proving to be successful for many students.

        Ms. Bailey stated that Senior Staff looked at information related to alternative programs to see if there were different ways to present the programs, in either location or focus.  She said information about this can be found on page 33 of the Senior Staff Follow-Up Report.

        In response to a question from Vice-Chair French, Mr. Lehman stated the review of alternative programs is intended to look at how the Board delivers continuing education.  He said that there is a committee reviewing the Alternative and Continuing Education model at this time.  He said that information will be shared once the final report has been received at the end of June.

        Trustee Ruttan stated that her question is around the value of having programs off site and if the Board would lose students if they were brought into regular schools for alternative programs.  She said that this way we might only be keeping some of these students engaged in the school system.  She asked if it was preferable to have alternative education sites in any of the schools, or located closer to where students are living and functioning.

        The Director said that more the Board consolidated schools, the more important it may be to provide students with alternative sites closer to where they live to make it possible for them to attend school.  She cautioned that if we make an alternative education site look like a school, then we might not have success with all of the students there.

        Trustee Murray stated that she supports the notion of alternative program information coming forward before the end of June.

        Trustee Goodfellow commented that the review of alternative programming is not a review of locations, but of programs.  She said that she believes some of these programs have to be off site to retain students.

        Mr. Lehman stated that the purpose of the review is to look at the programs offered at each site, how the programs are offered (e.g. ILC, blended learning, e-Learning, teacher facilitated) as well as the location of programs.  He said that as part of the review, staff who work at alternative sites were surveyed, as well as students.  This provided feedback to the work team involved in the review.

        Trustee Beavis commented that he thought Street Smart was located where it is to make the students who attend that program feel more comfortable, rather than having the program located in an academic space, where the students may not feel as comfortable.  He said that location is a big factor.

        Trustee Jackson asked if there was a way of consolidating programs in a different way.  He suggested that programs might be located in one of the existing buildings on a much smaller scale.  He asked about how we could reconfigure what we have on a smaller scale in one of our existing locations.

        Director Hunter asked Trustee Jackson if he was talking about regular programs or alternative programs.

        Trustee Jackson said that he was talking about the existing students in schools and thinking more of shrinking down the programs in a smaller setting.  He said that there are lots of examples of these sites that are operational with student numbers of 100-200 being more successful.

        Trustee Crawford advised that when Second Chance first started, it was in the QECVI building and it was quite successful.  She said that when we look at declining enrolment and the money expended by the Board to lease space for the Second Chance program, she believes that something can be done at the school to accommodate the program, such as alternate entrances in the QECVI building to accommodate the students enrolled in this program.

        Trustee Ruttan stated that she would like to see a multi-use building for alternative programs, taking the regular school programming out of the building to be used for alternative programs.

        Trustee Chadwick asked if students are coming to alternate schools because of the building or because of other students.  She said that this would change its purpose, and it would be a different purpose facility.  

        The Director stated that Senior Staff will try to look at the various configurations with both program and financial implications.  

        Ms. Bailey distributed information regarding LDSB eLearning.  She said that the Board primarily provides e-Learning courses through its participation in the Ontario e-Learning Consortium.  The Ontario eLearning Consortium is a grassroots partnership of District School Boards who, since 2001, have worked together to develop and deliver online courses, resources and modules, train teachers, perform quality assurance, and increase learning opportunities for students province-wide.  Currently the Consortium supports 19 member boards, both Public and Catholic, representing close to 900,000 students who reside in both metropolitan and rural areas throughout Ontario.

        Ms. Bailey said that each Board offers a selection of courses and enrolls students from its own Board and from other Boards in the Consortium.  Students from a member Board may register to take an eLearning course from any of the participating Boards.

        Ms. Bailey advised that no fees are charged or exchanged among the Boards during the school year.  Summer School students taking eLearning courses are placed on the Summer School register of the Board offering the course.  To ensure a fair exchange of course offerings and student participation across the Consortium Boards, a quid pro quo arrangement has been developed.  For example, in 2011-2012 LDSB offered five courses in the school year.  During the year 170 students from outside our Board participated in these courses giving 170 students from LDSB an opportunity to take eLearning courses from other Boards in the Consortium during the 2012-2013 school year.

        Ms. Bailey stated that the LDSB strategy within the Consortium is to avoid duplicating courses offered by our partner boards.  Instead, LDSB offers specialized courses that don’t traditionally run in smaller schools with the aim being to maximize our Out of Board students, and therefore, give LDSB students priority access to all other Consortium offerings.  This strategy allows schools greater access to courses a student may need in order to complete his or her pathway.

        Ms. Bailey stated that in 2011-2012, there were 190 potential offerings from which the students could select an eLearning opportunity.  Most courses were at the 11 or 12 grade level but some courses such as English, Geography and Science were offered at the Grade 9 and 10 level.  The course types were primarily University, College/University or College with eight courses for workplace preparation.

        In response to a question from Trustee Chadwick, Ms. Bailey stated that the number of LDSB students participating would be 170 or fewer.

        Trustee Chadwick stated that 170 students does not seem like very many to her.  She said that she would be interested to get the number of how many students actually took eLearning courses last year.

        Ms. Bailey stated that in 2011-2012, in relation to LDSB, 24 LDSB students took one of the LDSB courses, 23 in some, 92 LDSB students took courses from other Consortium Boards.  A total of 170 students from other Consortium Boards took a LDSB course.  She said that there are not a lot of students who take eLearning courses.  She said that most students would try to get into a course with a teacher.

        Trustee Chadwick stated that in the short term eLearning is not a viable solution, as our low numbers reflect.  She said that when it comes to eLearning she does not believe that is a choice.

        Trustee Jackson commented on what some universities and colleges are using (electronic format), and suggested that might be more beneficial.  He said that we may need to consider this as part of the solution.  He said that we need to think of different models and pilot them.

        Trustee Ruttan referred to a presentation given by Superintendent Labrie at a previous Education/Human Resources Committee on eLearning, and stated that we have tried some of this, and are trying a variety of 21st century learning models.

        Superintendent Marsh stated that the Board has piloted video conferencing, but in the feedback, we found a number of challenges.  She said that additional staff has to be provided where a smaller group still have to be supervised.  She said that the larger challenge was engagement, for both students and teachers.

Review of Enrolments and Boundaries

        Ms. Bailey reviewed maps showing all KCVI, LCVI and QECVI students under 21, including Street Smart and Second Chance, for 2012-2013.  

        In response to a question from Trustee Chadwick regarding transportation, Ms. Bailey stated that Tri-Board Student Transportation Services reviews all applications for transportation.  She said that parents know that transportation will not necessarily be provided, but if there is space on a bus going by where the student lives, Tri-Board tries to accommodate students in our Board to get them to a school they wish to attend.

        Trustee Jackson asked if Trustees could be provided with a hard and digital copy of the maps Superintendent Bailey displayed.  Ms. Bailey said that she would provide this information.
In response to a question from Trustee Chadwick, Ms. Bailey stated that there are more dots outside as related to French Immersion because of Focus programs.  She said that many students come from Napanee, Sydenham, etc., and those students would not be incorporated on the map displayed.

        Trustee Chadwick suggested that Trustees need to be mindful of that, and indicated that accurate information was included in a chart that Trustees had been provided with previously.

Transportation and Walkability

        Ms. Bailey advised that the information on walkability is included in Appendix G, page 231, of the Senior Staff Follow-Up Report.  She briefly reviewed the information in the appendix.

        Trustee Chadwick stated that it may be useful to know the distance from the sites to LCVI.

        Trustee Jackson stated that when we talk about walkability and look at alternative sites we have to talk about zone changes, site servicing, etc., as this would be a significant issue.  Director Hunter stated that Senior Staff have not yet conducted such work.

        Trustee Ruttan stated that in the Kingscourt Association submission, they talked about the challenges of walkability for QECVI students.  She said that she was wondering if some of the students would be within the 3.2 km range, noting that for some of the students even this distance might be too far.

        Trustee Jackson stated that we would also have to consider the safety of students who walk.

        Ms. Bailey stated that the information in Appendix G was placed there in reference to streets travelled by students.

        Trustee Goodfellow asked how much property was required for a secondary school.  Superintendent Richard stated that it depends on the size of the school and the type of school.  He said that we would be looking in the range of 8 to 10 acres.  He said that if there was a safety issue, the Board would take providing transportation into account.

        Vice-Chair French called for a five-minute recess at 7:25 p.m.

        The meeting reconvened at 7:30 p.m.
        Vice-Chair French stated that a review of financial information (operations savings, capital renewal, capital priorities grants (including application process), would be discussed at the next meeting.

Other Business

        Trustee Murray referred to section 8.2 of the Senior Staff Follow-Up Report and asked that facility conditions and size information be provided for LCVI, KCVI and QECVI.

        Vice-Chair French asked that references to where the information can be found in the Senior Staff Report or Senior Staff Follow-Up Report be provided.

        Trustee Jackson commented on funding for new construction vs. rehabilitation funding.  Superintendent Richard stated that we know that there is little funding for maintenance and repairs.  He said that the only way it would work is if it was part of a business plan.  He said that we could say we want new money to rehabilitate existing schools, where we propose to eliminate one of the schools.  He stated that money for new construction must be used for that purpose; it cannot be used to rehabilitate a school.

        Trustee Chadwick stated that we are forced to use operating capital for renewal funding for urgent repairs, such as for the replacement of the roof at Selby Public School.  Superintendent Richard stated that it is nice to have a 10 Year Capital Plan, but more and more a fairly large amount of money goes to high and urgent needs.  
        Trustee Jackson suggested that we consider a broad business case for each scenario, new construction and rehabilitation of buildings.

         Vice-Chair French commented that she would like to take part in the discussion, noting that in checking with OPSBA parliamentary proceedings, she would have the Director manage the speakers’ list.

        Following discussion, the following motion was brought forward:

        MOVED BY Trustee Ruttan, seconded by Trustee Crawford, that in accordance with Robert’s Rules of Order, the Chair be pro tem.

        Vice-Chair French called a five-minute recess to let staff review the appropriate sections referenced in Robert’s Rules of Order.

        Following the recess, the meeting reconvened.

MOVED BY Trustee Chadwick, seconded by Trustee Beavis, that this matter be deferred to the April 15, 2013 School Enrolment/School Capacity Committee of the Whole Board meeting.--Carried

School Enrolment/School Capacity Committee of the Whole Board to Rise and Report

MOVED BY Trustee Chadwick, seconded by Trustee Crawford, that the School Enrolment/School Capacity Committee of the Whole Board rise and report.–Carried


MOVED BY Trustee Jackson, seconded by Trustee Crawford, that the meeting adjourn at 8:15 p.m.–Carried