Administrative Review Completed For Rainbow District School Board
McGuinty Government Accepts Independent Facilitator's Report
Independent facilitator Margaret Wilson has concluded in her report that the Rainbow District School Board followed its accommodation review policy in the Sudbury South area,
Wilson'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 it in the Sudbury South area. Wilson, a former Registrar and CEO of the Ontario College of Teachers, 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 Rainbow District School Board by more than 33 per cent and funded two new schools to support local students.
- Margaret Wilson concluded that, while there were some inconsistencies with how the board followed their policy, she also found that they had no material effect on either the deliberations of the accommodation review committee or the final decision of the board.
- Final decisions regarding school closures rest with the local board of trustees.
- 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.
- 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.
- Margaret Wilson has performed other independent reviews of school closure processes, providing valuable feedback to school boards, communities and the ministry.