At the June 5, 2018 Committee of the Whole Private Session Meeting, the Board of Trustees requested that the Director of Education, Jackie Young, prepare an update report on the 3:2 Consolidation that could be shared with the community.
The information contained within this report is intended to provide parents, students and all stakeholders with an update on the 3:2 Consolidation process.
The Board of Trustees, with the support of Senior Administration, will proceed with the 3:2 Consolidation identified in the Board Resolution Number: 17-09-12, as soon as is practicable. The next major milestone for the project will be the submission of a business case to the Ministry of Education to obtain the funding to complete capital and infrastructure projects, purchase equipment and address programming and student transition requirements. While the funding timelines, eligibility requirements and process has not been identified by the Ministry of Education, Senior Administration with the support of the Board of Trustees, have proceeded with the preparation of a preliminary business case to ensure that the Board is able to capitalize and move quickly when funding opportunities are announced.
Meanwhile, logistics with scheduling and programming requirements are being considered on a regular basis by the Board, Senior Administration, school administration and staff. While the project costs and timelines are all contingent on funding, all efforts are being made to ensure that the 3:2 Consolidation proceed in a fiscally responsible manner that focuses on the needs and comfort of our students.
As with any capital project contingent on ministry funding, there is the possibility that the funding will be less than anticipated and/or unavailable. While neither of these scenarios are anticipated, should either one occur, discussion would ensure with the Board of Trustees with respect to options and next steps.
Programming Costs and Budgetary Implications
The Board of Trustees and our Senior Administration understand that there is a desire for firm numbers, costing details and specifics regarding the consolidation and specifically school transitions. However as noted, that information has been prepared in a preliminary format only. To release cost estimates at this stage would be irresponsible and could expose the Board and this project to unnecessary risk and exposure.
As with all capital projects, the final cost and expenditures will depend on the guidelines, templates, timelines and funding as determined by the Ministry of Education.
The Board and Senior Administration will continue to communicate with students, staff, and stakeholders through a variety of mechanisms including the Board website, school visits, face to face meetings and periodic updates when more information becomes available.
In order to address the concerns voiced by the community and to ensure a means of providing timely, accurate and updated information, the Board has designed a page on our website. The information is accessible via Quick links on the Home Page and also under the Capital Planning page. Moving forward we will be preparing a timeline of events to share. The Board has also hired a new Information and Communications Officer, Mairghread Knought, who will be the communication point person on the 3:2 Consolidation.
There has been no change to the identified timeline and the Board and Senior Administration are moving forward in that respect. However; should the timelines set by the Ministry with respect to funding opportunities impact our ability to meet the set completion date, the Board would need to explore the impact on students and adjust timelines accordingly. The Widdifield Students will not be moved if the buildings are not appropriately ready to accept them.
UPDATE: The Near North District School Board has confirmed that the proposed timeframe for the closure of Widdifield Secondary School and relocation of those students to Chippewa Secondary School and West Ferris Secondary School will be delayed. It is anticipated that the closure will be delayed by a minimum of one year.
Student Engagement and Rebranding
The Director of Education has begun a series of meetings with our secondary school students to discuss the 3:2 Consolidation to obtain feedback with respect to their concerns, thoughts and recommendations as the process moves forward.
Senior Administration is committed to working with students as the drivers behind what they need and want rebranding (then staff and parents, in that order). The intention is to hear from all students and then design a survey available to all students/staff for their input. The data collected will be shared with parents through SAC.
The Near North District School Board is committed to ensuring that our students continue to receive the same high-quality education and support they have come to expect from us.
Director of Education
Fore more information please contact: