Administrative Review Completed For District School Board Of Niagara
McGuinty Government Accepts Independent Facilitator's Report
Independent facilitator Joan Green has concluded that the District School Board of Niagara followed its accommodation review process in the East Welland Area.
Green's report was accepted by the Ministry of Education.
The ministry approved the community's request for an administrative review of the board's process after local concerns were raised about the process in the East Welland Area. 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 community consultation, transparency and local accountability. Administrative reviews help communities and boards fulfill those core principles.
- Since 2002-03, the McGuinty government has increased funding to the District School Board of Niagara by 26 per cent and funded one new school and the ongoing construction of another to support local students.
- 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 encourages students, parents and community members to get involved in the accommodation review process as local feedback is key to a thorough review.
- Ms. Green also concluded that the location of the planned local academy program did not interfere with or compromise the accommodation review process.
- Final decisions regarding school closures rest with the local board of trustees.
- Joan Green has performed other independent reviews of school closure processes, providing valuable feedback to school boards, communities and the ministry.