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The course has been set for a strengthened and more sustainable model for public education in the Owen Sound area. At the Regular Meeting of the Board on April 19, 2016, after a six month long consultative process, Bluewater District School Board trustees approved the following recommendations related to the Accommodation Review – Owen Sound Area Group of Schools:
1. That Owen Sound Collegiate and Vocational institute students be consolidated with West Hill Secondary School students on the site of the current West Hill Secondary School for the 2016-17 school year, effective September 2016; and That the Owen Sound Collegiate and Vocational lnstitute (OSCVI) facility be renovated to accommodate K-8 programming commencing the 2017-18 school year.
2. That Bayview Public School and Sydenham Community School be closed effective June 30,2017; and That the elementary programs from Bayview Public School and Sydenham Community School, including French immersion, be re-located to the renovated OSCVI facility, commencing September 2017.
3. That Dufferin Elementary School be closed effective June 30, 2017; and That the students at Dufferin Elementary School be re-located to Hillcrest Elementary School and Keppel-Sarawak Elementary School commencing September 2017 based on adjusted boundaries (as per Report AR 2015.16-02a Appendix ll) and available school capacity for out of boundary requests (as per Administrative Procedure AP 6212-D).
4. That Derby Public School be closed effective June 30, 2016; and, That the students at Derby Public School be re-located to Arran Tara Elementary School, Hillcrest Elementary School, and Hepworth Central Public School commencing September 2016 based on adjusted boundaries (as per Report AR 2015.16-02a Appendix II) and available school capacity for out of boundary requests (as per Administrative Procedure AP 6212-D).
5. That a plan be presented to the Policy Standing Committee regarding the possible reduction of Owen Sound urban walk distances for secondary students.
6. That a business case be submitted to the Ministry of Education to seek funding for a secondary school to replace the Owen Sound secondary school (to be named) to meet the future enrolment expectations in the Owen Sound area.
7. That a business case be submitted to the Ministry of Education to seek funding for an elementary school to replace Hillcrest Elementary School to meet future enrolment expectations.
“While this consolidation signals the end of an era for those schools that will close, we are confident that each of their unique histories will be preserved as new school communities begin new traditions of excellence. It is the people, not bricks and mortar, who define a school community. We hope that families and the community will join us in embracing these changes and the many positive program and learning opportunities that they will generate for our students for years to come,” says Bluewater District School Board Chair Ron Motz.
“We truly appreciate the many ideas and perspectives that emerged during this accommodation review process. The input we received throughout the process has helped us to arrive at what we feel is the best possible solution to ensure viable and enhanced program pathways for all our students in the Owen Sound area,” says Superintendent of Education Jean Stephenson.
“The uniting of these two exemplary secondary schools will provide amazing program and extra-curricular opportunities for all of our students. Combining the staff expertise, students and school communities will serve us well into the future,” says West Hill Secondary School Principal Lucy Hilts.
“We are very excited to be part of the creation of a new school in Owen Sound that will serve the needs of all the students of our area, while honouring significant historical contributions,” says OSCVI Principal Matt Pickett. To view the Final Staff Report and other information regarding the Accommodation Review – Owen Sound Area Group of Schools, please visit the 2015-16 Accommodation Reviews section of the board website:www.bwdsb.on.ca
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Wednesday, April 20, 2016