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Have your say on Catholic school closures March 8, April 5

 

hcdsb-logo-1The Halton Catholic District School Board is proceeding with plans for a Pupil Accommodation Review, including South Burlington. This could lead to school closures and/or changes of programming offered at schools.

The schools in Burlington that are affected area as follows:

Burlington, Southwest of the QEW:

  • St. John (Burlington) Catholic Elementary School (Brant St)
  • St. Paul Catholic Elementary School (Cumberland St)

Burlington, Southeast of the QEW:

  • Ascension Catholic Elementary School (New St)
  • St. Patrick Catholic Elementary School (Kenwood Ave)
  • St. Raphael Catholic Elementary School (New St)

The current recommendation for the area Southwest of the QEW (which includes Ward 2) calls for constructing a 4-6 classroom addition at St. John, for the 2017-2018 school year; closing St. Paul’s and re-directing the student population to St. John; and retaining the St. Paul school facility as a board holding to review options for combining the lands with Assumption Catholic Secondary School for a potential future project.

The current recommendation for the area Southeast of the QEW calls for demolishing Ascension Catholic Elementary School and constructing a 648-pupil facility on this site for the 2017-18 school year; closing St. Patrick and St. Raphael and redirecting these school populations to Ascension; relocating Burlington Thomas Merton Adult Learning Centre (currently leased in commercial space) to the existing St. Raphael Catholic Elementary School; and selling St. Patrick Catholic Elementary School and using the proceeds for future renewal projects.

Review the staff presentation here: Recommendations on school closures

Reviews are also taking place in North Georgetown, and Oakville, south of the QEW.

Parents and members of the community will have an opportunity to provide their input and share their concerns at a Community Consultation Meeting as follows:

Burlington Southwest QEW on Tuesday, March 8, 2016 at Assumption Catholic Secondary School​​.

All Community Consultation Meetings will begin at 7:00 p.m. In order to make appropriate arrangements to accommodate all those interested in attending, please pre-register here​.

The board will present its final recommendations at a special board meeting March 22, 7:30 pm. at the board offices 802 Drury Lane. Residents can share their views with the board at its meeting April 5. Trustees will vote on the recommendations April 19.

For more information, contact your Catholic School Board Trustee. The Ward 2 trustee is:

Arlene Iantomasi
Burlington Trustee Wards 1 & 2
& Vice Chair of the Board

905-632-6314 x. 7182
iantomasia@hcdsb.org

A full list of trustees is here: Board of Trustees

You can also find information on the HCDSB website here:

HCDSB Schools Accommodation Reviews

Frequently Asked Questions: Modified Pupil Accommodation Reviews

The review is taking place in accordance with Operating Policy I-09 School Accommodation Review – Consolidation/Closure and Administrative Procedure VI-35 School Accommodation Review – Consolidation/Closure

My Take: Though I appreciate the challenges of declining enrolment, neighbourhoods constantly change and evolve; in time, new families will move into our older neighbourhoods. At one time Lakeshore Public School was slated for closure because of declining enrolment; today, due to more families moving in, it is a thriving school that my son graduated from. Schools are the heart of a community.  Closing schools is irreversible. I appreciate the recommendations by the board to retain and temporarily repurpose some of their properties; perhaps similar plans could be employed at schools currently slated for closure. If we want kids to walk to school, retaining smaller locals schools is key.

 

Presentation to the board April 5: HCDSB Presentation MMW April 5 2016-2

 

 

I was inspired to seek public office because I believe, like so many of you, “I can do something about that” on the issues we face. As councilor, my role is to take a stand on what’s best for residents and go to bat for it. Pushback is inevitable from those who don’t have the community’s interests at heart. I will stand with you and for you, to achieve the best interests of our city, without caving to unacceptable compromise in the name of consensus.

4 Comments

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  1. Hi Marianne, Thank you for posting the information in your newsletter regarding the proposed school consolidations and closures in South Burlington, as well as elsewhere in Halton. In response to an election question in October 2014 regarded the rumoured closure of Burlington Central, you stated that “As a parent of children attending both Aldershot and Burlington Central schools, I’m dedicated to ensuring these schools are successful and remain open. The community, and my office, would oppose closure not just for these schools, but elsewhere in Burlington.” What is your office doing to oppose the closure of 3 schools in South Burlington?

    • Maria,
      Thank you for the question. I have been in touch with a number of residents and have offered them my assistance. Myself and Ward 4 Councillor Dennison are meeting with residents this week to discuss how we can assist.

  2. With respect to the proposed consolidation of St. John School and St. Paul School in Ward 2 (current St. John school site), there are many concerns regarding traffic congestion and the Board’s plan to use Courtland Drive as a school bus lane. In response to these concerns, the Board has replied that “there are no current traffic studies for this location. Should this plan be approved, a traffic study as well as a number of other requirements will be completed as part of the Municipality’s approval process”. A similar response was provided with respect to traffic concerns related to the Burlington Southeast school consolidation proposal. Is this the normal process? Isn’t this backwards? What happens if the Ministry approves the proposal and traffic studies show this not be a viable option from a traffic perspective? What then?

What's your take?