Administrative Review Completed At District School Board Of Niagara
Ministry of Education Accepts Independent Facilitator's Report
The Ministry of Education accepts independent facilitator Joan Green's report examining the accommodation review process at a secondary school at the District School Board of Niagara.
The report states that the board did follow its locally developed accommodation review process for Niagara District Secondary School in Niagara-on-the-Lake.
The ministry approved the request for an administrative review of the board's process. Green, the founding CEO of the Ontario Education Quality and Accountability Office, consulted with the local accommodation review committee, the school board and people who participated in the process.
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 Guideline, which emphasizes consultation, transparency and local accountability. Administrative reviews help communities and boards fulfill those core principles.
- The ministry's Pupil Accommodation Review Guideline mandates minimum timelines for consultation and an evaluation process based on the value of a school to its students and the community.
- The guideline helps direct boards during pupil accommodation reviews, which are required in most circumstances when a school closure is considered.
- The ministry has no authority to overturn school closure decisions or delay their implementation.
- Joan Green has performed other independent reviews of school closure processes, providing valuable feedback to school boards, communities and the ministry.
“I want to thank everyone who co-operated with Ms. Green in this review. The board and the community clearly care deeply about their school community – they were open to share their views and dedicated to their duties to engage the community and create optimal learning environments for students.”
“School accommodation reviews are always challenging and rarely result in decisions that satisfy everyone. I have concluded that the District School Board of Niagara followed its own policy in the Accommodation Review process. I'm confident that the board will continue to work with the community to ensure that the needs of all students in the district are met and that they experience rich learning environments.”