High school parents meet with an appointed facilitator to set out their concerns with the way the PAR process that resulted in the closure of two city high schools was handled.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

November 23rd, 2017



The first of the public delegations made to the Administrative Review facilitator Margaret Wilson takes place this evening.

Margaret Wilson PAR Admin Review

Margaret Wilson

Ms Wilson met with the members of the Program Accommodation Review Committee (PARC) last night; not all of the 14 members showed up. Trustee Donna Danielli who was part of the PARC attended. James Ridge, Burlington city manager didn’t make it.

It was a private meeting – difficult to get much in the way of comment however there were people who attended who felt it was “cathartic” and that Wilson really listened and is reported to have said she watched a lot of Board meeting videos.

There was, apparently, good open dialogue between the PARC people and Ms Wilson. Tom Ward, a Ministry of Education official who is responsible for how the Halton and Peel Regions meet their obligations, sat in on the meeting and explained the procedure that will be followed.

Ms Wilson expects to have her report completed before Christmas.

Her report is given to the Minister of Education.

Her report is not public unless the Ministry decides to make it public.

The Ministry will then decide if the Program Accommodation Review (PAR) that the Board held was done according to the Ministry Guidelines.

PARC anxious parent

Observing, listening or praying?

If it wasn’t – then the Ministry can direct the Board to hold a second PAR.

There was a rather significant point made during the private meeting having to do with the timing of the PAR meetings.

The Board has its delegation procedure; the Ministry had its own delegation procedures which trump those of the Board.

PARC with options on the walls

Fourteen citizens, pulled together to serve as the communications channel between the Board of Education and the community, while a Program Accommodation Review recommendation was being debated by the trustees.

There were, Apparently, a couple of significant Ministry policy violations – one relating to the number of days between the last of the delegations and when the trustees met to vote on the recommendation that had come from the Director of Education.

Was that violation significant enough to make a difference – many parents think so.

What most parents think is that the Ministry Guidelines were so flawed that a sound public review of the recommendations given to the trustees was not possible.

Four trustees

Four of the 11 Board of Education trustees sitting in on one of the PARC meetings.

What didn’t help was that the majority of the trustees were way in over their heads; they didn’t have the experience or the understanding to properly do the job they had taken on. I wasn’t an easy job.

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