More questions are being raised about the Program & Accommodation Review process currently underway in Burlington that could see one or more high schools close, namely Burlington Central, Nelson, Bateman, or Pearson.
Nelson parent Brett Huttman has prepared a 17-page “deep dive” raising concerns about the process, which he sent to the PAR committee, board staff and trustees.
Key concerns include:
- The PAR process is flawed and divisive, not living up to the expectation of collaboration with communities or seeking out creative solutions
- Information being used in decision-making is old and inaccurate; there is also limited communication as to the source of data other than a vaguely outlined methodology
- The motivation to close a school in Burlington is questionable, given vague Provincial Ministry funding guidelines and an obvious need for capital by the HDSB to support growth in Milton
- Despite flat historical growth in enrolment numbers and relatively flat projections for future growth, the HDSB built Frank Hayden Secondary School, operational since 2013, which has single-handedly created a capacity imbalance in the city of Burlington
- There is recent history of questionable judgement – building Hayden suggests that the HDSB did not thoroughly understand the needs of the entire community Burlington, and have not been held accountable for this decision
“This is a call for renewed effort from the HDSB to critically and creatively evaluate options that allow Burlington to maintain ALL of its existing schools,” states Huttman.
Read the full document here: Burlington PAR – A Deeper Dive
My Take: This document is a must-read for all residents. We’re all affected in some way by what’s happening. Any school closing would be disruptive to that community, and current closure options under consideration create a domino effect of negative impacts on surrounding schools, such as overcrowding and portables, bussing and boundary changes. Even if all schools remain open, boundary changes will be required to address overcrowding at Hayden and underenrolment at Bateman, MM Robinson and Pearson.