REVISED| Aldershot high school may get a new purpose in life - public has been asked what they would like to see.

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

September 26, 2017



The Halton District Board of Education is always looking for opportunities to make the course offerings more creative and relative to the work force students will be going into when they graduate.

During the PARC discussions members of that committee wanted to see some innovation – they weren’t at all sure that the school board had the same understanding of just what innovation is in the eyes of the public sector and the way it was interpreted by the private sector.

BT YA cheque presentation Aldershot

Small school – they roar when they have to.

The Board had an addition problem – enrollment at the Aldershot high school was low – 358 now with a capacity for 558. One school board Superintendent summed it up pretty well when she said “there are elementary schools in Burlington with higher enrollments”

Aldershot is a grade 7–12 school. It was originally just a high school that had grades 7 and 8 added in 2001 to make use of spare capacity.

Aldershot was at risk during the PAR process – it was spared but the Board knew that it had to do something to increase enrollment.

The community is being asked by the school board what they would like to see added to the school’s curriculum.

Aldershot school for ideas graphicAll kinds of ideas have been floated – an alternative school, an arts school or a school that focused on entrepreneurship. What had become evident was that the school board did not have a clear idea or pedagogical objective – they seemed to be flailing about for the “right idea”.

Given the continued enrollment challenges at Aldershot High School, the School Board decided to explore possible theme/magnet/incubator programs that are in alignment with the Multi-Year Plan, will increase student enrollment, and enhance student choice.

The asking for ideas is being labelled the Aldershot High School Focus Exploration.

The decision to go looking for something that will boost enrollment came out of the Program accommodation Review process – the concern was the possibility of closing yet another high school and have all the Aldershot students bused to Central high school. The political flash back from that was more than anyone wanted to take on.

ADI Masonry - Station West

Early rendering of the Station West development proposed for the Aldershot GO station area.

Aldershot is in the awkward position of having an older population that is going through a process of transition. There are a number of developments that will add significantly to the student population which includes the ADI Station West project next to the Aldershot GO Station; the National Homes project that is being proposed for Brant Street, a project on Plains Road where there is currently a Bingo Hall and then the long term upgrade to the Georgian Court Community.

Add to that the long delayed Eagle Heights project that Paletta interests have been sitting on for more than a decade.

Lots of development in the pipeline – the School Board’s problem is that it has empty seats today and needs to do something.

It will be interesting to see what gets put into the ideas box,

The School Board has said it “will explore (and potentially develop) unique programs that currently exist provincially, nationally and internationally.

Whatever they recommend will align with the Ontario Ministry of Education curriculum expectations.

The request to the community for ideas ends on October 20th with the following meeting dates

Exploration Committee Meeting #1 – Oct. 24 (3 – 5 pm) @ Aldershot High School
Open House – Nov. 13 (5 – 7 pm) @ Aldershot High School
Exploration Committee Meeting #2 – Dec. 7 (3 – 5 pm) @ Aldershot High School
Exploration Committee Meeting #3 – Dec. 12 (3 – 5 pm) @ Aldershot High School

All those meetings are in the afternoon – doesn’t exactly encourage parent attendance. There are some really smart people in Aldershot that shouldn’t have to take time off work to participate.

portrait of Terri Blackwell

Superintendent  Terri Blackwell

portrait of Jacqueline Newton

Superintendent  Jacqueline Newton

portrait of Gord Truffen

Superintendent Gord Truffen

The ideas that come in are going to be sorted through by the committee formed to figure out what can be done with Aldershot. Committee members are Superintendent Jacqueline Newton, she handles the innovation file, Superintendent Gord Truffen – he oversees IT, School principal Maria McLellan, Student representation, Terri Blackwell, Superintendent of Education responsible for the Aldershot file and Superintendent Julie Hunt Gibbons

It will be interesting to see what they find in the Ideas Box.

In an earlier edition of this story we noted that the name of the ward trustee was not on the list.  The staff people we interviewed did not mention the name of the trustee.

They apologize for that error


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