Administrative Review To Begin In Ottawa Catholic School Board
McGuinty Government Appoints Dave Cooke to Examine Process
Dave Cooke has been appointed as independent facilitator to examine the accommodation review process in the Ottawa Catholic School Board.
Cooke, a former Ontario Education Minister, will consult with local accommodation review committees, the school board and people who participated in the process. An administrative review's mandate is to determine if the board followed its locally developed accommodation review process.
The Ministry of Education approved requests for administrative review of the board's accommodation review process related to St. Thomas Elementary School in Ottawa. Cooke will begin work in November and upon completion of his review, will provide Education Minister Kathleen Wynne with a final report. Wynne will release the report's findings to the school board and the public.
Decisions about student accommodations -- including school closures -- are the responsibility of locally elected school boards. Boards were required to develop accommodation review processes that comply with the government's Pupil Accommodation Review Guidelines which emphasize consultation, transparency and local accountability. Administrative reviews help communities and boards fulfill those core principles.
- The ministry’s Pupil Accommodation Review Guidelines mandate minimum timelines for consultation and an evaluation process based on the value of a school to its students and the community.
- The guidelines help direct boards during pupil accommodation reviews, which are required in most circumstances when a school closure is considered.
- The ministry has no authority to over-turn school closure decisions or delay their implementation.
- Dave Cooke has performed other independent reviews of school closure processes, providing valuable feedback to school boards, communities and the ministry.