Report confirms Board followed its process for Burlington PAR - school closure plans will now move at full speed.

News 100 blueBy Staff

January 11th, 2018

BURLINGTON, ON

 

With the headline : Report confirms Board followed its process for Burlington PAR, the school board gets on with the changes that were voted in by the school board trustees – close the Lester B. Pearson high school at the end of the 2018 school year and close the Bateman high school in 2020

“The Administrative Review report regarding the Burlington Secondary Program and Accommodation Review (PAR) process from the Ministry of Education concludes the Halton District School Board followed its process for the Program and Accommodation review of Burlington secondary schools.

“This report does not change the Board of Trustees’ decision from June 7, 2017 to close Lester B. Pearson High School and Robert Bateman High School.

“The report contains recommendations by the provincially-appointed, independent facilitator Margaret Wilson, who undertook a review of the Board’s Burlington secondary accommodation review process in November and December 2017.

Margaret Wilson PAR Admin Review

Margaret Wilson, Facilitator of the Administrative Review of the process used to close two of the city’s seven high schools apparently didn’t see any serious flaws in the process used.

“While there are suggestions for improving the process in the future, the report’s conclusion states: “Based on my review and consultations, I conclude that, while there were violations of the Board PAR Policy, they were such that they had no material effect on either the deliberations of the PARC or on the final decisions of the Board.”

Miller prep at Central

HDSB Director of Education Stuart Miller at a Central high school meeting.

“We appreciate the comprehensive nature of this review,” says Stuart Miller, Director of Education for the Halton District School Board. “We are pleased to see the recommendations in the report and we will review our Program and Accommodation Review Policy to ensure these recommendations are considered for the future.”

“With the conclusion of this review, we will continue our work toward building new school communities, and our focus on positive transitions for students, their families, staff and the community,” adds Miller. “We are committed to working with our school communities to ensure the smoothest possible transition.”

There are two very disappointed groups of parents in Burlington but the deal is done and the task now is to work to make the transition as smooth as possible.

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13 comments to Report confirms Board followed its process for Burlington PAR – school closure plans will now move at full speed.

  • Parent

    Collard could not motion to take John William Boich Public School, Orchard Park Public School or Alexander’s Public School out of Hayden because she would loose the parent’s votes in those areas, as she is the trustee for those feeder schools.

    Grebence could not motion to take Florence Meares P.S, Charles R Beaudoin P.S or C.H. Norton Public School out of Hayden because she would loose the parent votes from those schools, as she is the trustee for those schools.

    Alton Village Public School, is the only feeder school of Hayden, North of Dundas, Grebence is the trustee for this school. I understand why no one would motion to take this school out of Hayden.

  • George Ward

    No Material Effect

    I quote Ms. M. Wilson the Administrative Review Facilitator’s report final statement “Based upon my review and consultations, I conclude that, while there were violations of the Board PAR Policy, they were such that they had no material effect on either the deliberations of the PARC or on the final decisions of the Board”.

    This is quite a statement considering the Ontario Ministry of Education acknowledged the process as flawed and put a halt to all school closing until the process was fully reviewed and improved.

    Also, the Facilitator’s report contains many errors and apparent purposeful omissions of complete quotes cited, they are too many to be listed in this comment. However a few examples include the errors in votes for and against school closings along with abridged statements from citizens to misrepresenting their presentations.

    It is now up to the citizens of Burlington in the upcoming Provincial and Municipal Election results to assure there will be a “material effect” on Politicians both provincial, municipal including trustees.

  • George Ward

    No Material Effect

    The Administrative Review Facilitator’s report by Ms. Margaret Wilson final statement “Based upon my review and consultations, I conclude that, while there were violations of the Board PAR Policy, they were such that they had no material effect on either the deliberations of the PARC or on the final decisions of the Board”.

    This is quite a statement considering the Ontario Ministry of Education acknowledged the process as flawed and put a halt to all school closing until the process was fully reviewed and improved.

    Also, the Facilitator’s report contains many errors and apparent purposeful omissions of complete quotes cited, they are too many to be listed in this comment. However a few examples include the errors in votes for and against school closings along with abridged statements from citizens to misrepresenting their presentations.

    It is now up to the citizens of Burlington in the upcoming Provincial and Municipal Election results to assure there will be a “material effect” on Politicians including provincial, municipal including Halton School Board Trustees.

  • John Paul

    Very pleased to see this result and excited for my kids who will be going to Nelson. The director and trustees need to know that they did a great job and many of us agree it is for the best interests of the students.

    • Sharon

      John Paul can you be more explicit of who the many us are?

      • John Paul

        Friends and neighbours in the current Bateman catchment and friends and neighbours in the Nelson district. To be honest, friends throughout Burlington. If you surround yourself with only people that are against the changes and stay in your bubble of negativity you’ll find it hard to believe that a lot of people support the changes. Personally, I’ve been scared to say anything online for fear of the insults and backlash I’ve seen others have to deal with for voicing their support. I know many others feel the same. What a relief Ms. Wilson recognized our voice.

        • Kerri

          John Paul
          One of the items that struck me from Margaret Wilson’s report was this: “The Board has found it difficult to keep the IB numbers up and has kept the English Language program alive by refusing to approve students in the Bateman catchment area for Optional Attendance at Nelson although this is common practice across the Board. Over 100 students per year make this request. These students deserve a fair and equitable education. But their voices have been largely silent and their parents’ views have not been heard in the PARC process.”

          I think that supports what your feelings are around the process and the final decisions.

  • KJ

    Instead of the Ministry of Education investigating the PAR process, it should be the Halton Police or OPP investigating the process that led to Hayden being built, including who benefited from it.

  • Steve Atkinson

    “Board policies were violated but … ” Fitting bizarro logic for this fiasco. Now we truly know where the students and residents of Burlington stand with the HDSB, local elected officials, and the Trustees and Provincial politicians. Vote, Vote, Vote.

  • Sharon

    The deal is far from being done!

  • Andrew

    Time to move forward. This process has given me plenty to think about. I have been let down by all levels of public service and government. From Premier, Minister of Education, our MMP, Mayor, trustees, etc. I would have hoped that this contentious issue would have led to engagement from our representatives, and ensured data driven decisions. This would have ensured a adequate outcome that could be justifiable long term. This is coming from a Central parent. This as a flawed process and decision, and I believe there will be implications long term.
    On a positive note, I am much more involved in our local politics. I think that is true for many others.

  • Ken

    The PARC process has widely been nominated as the biggest $hit Show in 2017. I have to admit I’m not a parent of a child effected by the two school closures but I certainly am a victim of this process.

    The governance of the HDSB, like the City of Burlington, really smacks of Taxation without Representation. We pay all sorts of Education taxes in our Property tax and does anyone feel they been listened to?

    Our Invisible City Manager sat on PARC and to what effect did he have? This is all gobsmacking in light of the fact he wishes to intensify the City.

    The City of Burlington for its own sake is completely complicit in how the HDSB handles its resource planning. The City says it has no power in the matter yet it hands out permits for school additions, permits for parking lot expansions and permits for portables. When ever the HDSB wants to sell off a piece of land the City of Burlington totally stands clear of any development encumbrances. The City collects and remits Education taxes and yet has no say in the matter? Bullocks!

    I hope the next slate of City of Burlington Council nominees has a strong Education position because the last thing we need is more lip service on this matter.

    Me personally; School Board executives should have their offices in portables while your children go to school in BUILDINGS…

    Anybody???

  • Phillip

    The school board can move ahead at full pace but the final appeal may well be political. Will Patrick Brown hold to his promise of a moratorium on school closures if elected? Help find out by making sure McMahon–who has been completely AWOL in this community, is not reelected in June.

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