Administrative Review Completed For Wells Street Public School
McGuinty Government Accepts Independent Facilitator's Report
Independent facilitator Dave Cooke has concluded that the York Region District School Board followed its accommodation review process in deciding to close Wells Street Public School in Aurora.
Cooke's report was accepted by the Ministry of Education.
In December 2009, the ministry approved the community's request for an administrative review of the board's process that recommended the elementary school be closed. Cooke, a former Ontario Education Minister, 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.
- All boards were asked to update their policies to reflect the ministry's June 2009 revised guideline.
- The ministry has no authority to overturn 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.
“I offer my thanks and appreciation to everyone who co-operated with Mr. Cooke in this review. Public education is a partnership between parents and the community - a partnership that must be taken seriously and responsibly to ensure the best possible accommodations and programs for its students.”
“It is my conclusion that the York Region District School Board followed its board-approved accommodation review policy. I want to thank board staff, the trustees, the members of the Accommodation Review Committee and the petitioners for their input and advice during my review.”