Director of Education writes all the high school students.

News 100 red



Pretty sure this is a first for high school students – a letter from the Director of Education explaining the possibility that their high school might close.  Interesting decision.

October 27, 2016
Open letter to all Burlington high school students

Dear Students,
As you have no doubt heard, the Board of Trustees of the Halton District School Board voted last week to begin a process to look at student accommodation issues in our Burlington high schools. The process is called a Program Accommodation Review or PAR. I am writing to explain a bit about this process, but more importantly, to let you know that your input will be important in this process.

Stuart MillerWhy do we need a “PAR” process?
The Halton District School Board has initiated the Program Accommodation Review because we have schools with declining enrollment. As the Director of Education, I have a responsibility to provide excellent programs and environments for learning. I need to ensure all secondary school students in our Board have access to the best possible education we can deliver.

According to the Board’s Program Accommodation Review policy, the Director’s Preliminary Report must include a staff recommended option. This recommendation is not a final decision, but a starting point for consultation in this PAR. Staff has recommended Option 19 which proposes various boundary and program changes across Burlington secondary schools, as well as the closure of Lester B. Pearson High School and Burlington Central High School.

The PAR process will begin in November with information sessions held at each Burlington high school. You are welcome to attend these sessions and learn more about this process and help you formulate your own opinions. These evening meetings are on November 1, 3, 14 and 15. Refer to the HDSB website at for more details. If you are unable to attend, the presentation will be posted on the Board’s website.

On November 21 at 7 p.m., Board staff will join me in hosting a live online question and answer session. Log on at . Your questions are most welcome.

The Board of Trustees will make their decision in May 2017; however the earliest date that any changes could take place is September 2018.

As high school students your opinion is valued. The decisions made by the PAR committee will profoundly impact your school experience and those who follow you. In the New Year, the PAR committee will gather feedback from Burlington high school students. We want to hear your voice!

As a parent and educator I understand many of you are deeply loyal to your school, your teachers, and the school traditions that have developed over many years.

central-high-schoolHowever, as the Director of Education, I need to ensure all Burlington high school students have equitable access to programs that allow them to explore and enhance their true potential. The PAR process will look at this issue and investigate various options to address the challenge that many Burlington high school students are experiencing.

I encourage you to stay informed and engaged in the PAR process. We will keep you informed through ongoing information posted on our website at

We will provide more details about how you can share your input in the New Year.

Stuart Miller, Director of Education, Halton District School Board

Return to the Front page
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

3 comments to Director of Education writes all the high school students.

  • Yatindra Sharma

    I do not want Pearson High School to close. Moving the Pearson students to M.M. Robinson will prove to be a safety hazard since they would have to cross busy Guelph Line several times a day. There are other innovative ways to address the issue of low enrolment at Pearson. Abruptly closing a good school in this way appears to be a brute force solution of the problem. Other alternatives should be studied before taking this drastic step.

  • Diane Miller

    Yes, please do “listen” to the students. Make sure they have all the facts. Do a parallel study on the bus issues; on boundaries which have impacted the enrollment at schools; on school size (smaller is not less productive than a larger school – it has benefits too); parents and the community.
    A school is about much more than just programs. It is about the heart of a community. Every decision you make impacts not only the students but the staff and the community (including the parks associated with the schools).

    We talk about fitness in schools. Yet now we want to close local schools and bus individuals to outside of their local community. We already have shortages with bus drivers, etc.

    Past boundary decisions have impacted the attendance at local schools.

    The funding formula the Ministry utilizes is flawed.

    I hope as part of the PAR both students, parents, teachers, principals, custodians, people that utilize the school with nursery schools, elementary parents (in the schools that have Gr 7 and 8), local community groups that utilize either the school or parkland, will also be included. Otherwise the PAR is flawed in not taking all affected groups into account.

    While Burlington may not be expanding boundary wise, we are growing “up” with condo’s, apartment complexes, etc. We greatly close the doors to those seeking to purchase/rent in an area with access (walking distance) to a school when we do not take this into account.

    As I have attended the meetings, I know one of the responses was a bus study isn’t done in conjunction with a PAR as then it looks like a conclusion has been made. But how does one do a viable study without taking busing needs and boundary needs into account? This is also flawed and skews the decision making process.

  • I do not want Pearson high school to close. My two daughters go to Pearson and are able to walk there . If they
    Are to change high schools they will require busing as other high schools inBurlington are too far away from home.
    My daughters will also go through the anxiety of a new high school midway through their high school education. Pearson is
    A nice smaller school and in good condition for its 36 years with the exception of its field track. There are petitions with at
    Least 750 names and hopefully that will continue to increase.