From the OCDSB: Near West Accommodation Review update

On January 28, 2014, the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board approved a number of motions arising from the Near West Accommodation Study. We’re sharing OCDSB’s information here.

Trustees voted to approve a new Junior Kindergarten to grade six Early French Immersion program at Connaught Public School commencing with a Junior Kindergarten to grade four offering in September 2014 and advancing one grade per year until the program is completely phased in.

Meanwhile, Elmdale Public School’s Junior Kindergarten to grade six English/Core French program will be redirected in block fashion to Cambridge Street Public School, Connaught Public School and Hilson Avenue Public School as detailed in Appendix E of Report 13-165.

Trustees also approved the revised attendance boundaries for Cambridge Street Public School, Connaught Public School, Hilson Avenue Public School, Elmdale Public School and Devonshire Community Public School as detailed in Appendix E of Report 13-165 with the following provisions:

  • New students in the revised Cambridge English/Core French boundary area east of the O-Train tracks and north of Somerset Street will be directed to Cambridge Street Public School beginning in September 2014. Current students residing in this area may remain at Connaught Public School;
  • Elmdale Early French Immersion students who live in the area between Holland Avenue and Hamilton Avenue (including any JK siblings for the 2014/15 school year) may remain at Elmdale Public School or move to Connaught Public School. All new students in this area will be directed to Connaught Public School;
  • Elmdale English/Core French students who will be attending grade 3 in September 2014 and who plan to enroll in the Middle French Immersion Program for September 2015 will be permitted to attend their designated Middle French Immersion school (Hilson Avenue Public School or Mutchmor Public School) for grade 3 English/Core French.

A Transition Team (or Teams) made up of the Superintendent of Instruction, the principal, teachers, students and school council chairs (or their designates) of the affected school(s) will be formed to guide the implementation of the Near West accommodation review recommendations in each school.

The Transition Team will consider and deal with the following concerns and or issues:

  • The needs of special needs and vulnerable students and;
  • The overseeing of communications with parents on school, bussing and other related issues
  • A social event will be planned and held during the summer or at the beginning of September 2014. This will provide an opportunity for community building and encourage open communication.
  • A buddy system will be in place for common classes for English/Core French and Early French Immersion students (e.g., Math and English together in grade 4 and above);

A start-up budget of at least $50,000 will be provided to Connaught Public School to cover the full cost of outfitting all Kindergarten to grade 6 classrooms, including but not limited to:

  • Necessary classroom materials and resources;
  • French materials for the library;
  • Technological resources to serve the needs of the English/Core French and
  • Early French Immersion programs;
  • Upgrades to other common areas as required.

Elmdale Public School and Connaught Public School will be retrofitted over the summer so that the additional classroom space is in place and ready for student learning by September 2014.

Staff will investigate the possibility that Full-Day Kindergarten Capital funding be combined with School Condition Improvement grants in order to build an addition to Elmdale Public School to accommodate both All Day Kindergarten and reduce portable use on the school yard. Staff will report back to the Board with the next Capital Plan.

Staff were directed to take immediate steps to reserve as large a land site as possible (up to 7 acres) for a future school in the West Wellington/ Hintonburg/ Dalhousie/ Centretown catchment areas (e.g., the Bayview/O-Train lands area, Tunney’s Pasture).

In addition staff were directed to examine the accommodation review process so that it could be updated in time for the next accommodation review. Areas to be addressed include an accommodation guide for use by working groups will be developed. This document would be designed to assist groups in establishing their process and to define the roles of the working groups, Board staff, the local Trustee and others.

Trustees want the working groups to be offered the assistance of professional facilitation at the outset, particularly to assist them in establishing their approach and processes, and in arriving at decisions on options.

Clear parameters need to be outlined so that the working group can assess the school’s capacity to undertake accommodation reviews including; an initial period of fact clarification and establishment of the process; staff led school tours and/or presentations to assist the members in becoming acquainted with each school; and to establish the number of classrooms that are available in each school. This should also include how the numbers were arrived at; and finally what the limitations of any are regarding the scope of the review.

For a complete timeline as well as full versions of all the documents involved in this review, go to the Near West Accommodation Review website.



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