High school parents will not get to see the data collected at a public meeting for more than a month.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

December 13th, 2106



That data; captured at a public meeting with more than 350 people in the room.

You are not going to be allowed to see it – with the exception that the Gazette captured most of the data and has made it public.


Scott Podrebarac, Chair of the PARC.

Scott Podrebarac, Chair of the PARC and a Superintendent with the Halton District Public School Board has said that he has “not yet reviewed the raw response data from IPSOS and that he “will not release the information until it is presented as a formal report to the PARC members in advance of the first working meeting on January 26th.”

Ipsos is the company the Board of Education hired to “facilitate” the meetings. They are doing a lot more than facilitating – they are gathering the data, they are probably heavily involved in the phrasing of the questions, and they will in all probability do the analysis of the answers they got to the questions they wrote and present that analysis to the PARC which is expected to meet January 26th.

There is something fundamentally wrong with the approach the Chair of the PARC has taken.

In the meantime, the parents who are at risk of losing their high school, are left high and dry as the saying goes – unable to do their own analysis of the answers that were given at the December 8th meeting

It is evident now that the data is heavily skewed to what the Central high school students think because they were by far the largest group in the room.

Podrebarac adds that “I do not want our PARC members getting information from the media before they receive it.”


These people answered 25 questions at a public meeting. The answers they gave were flashed up on a large screen – made public. But the Board of Education does not want to release this raw data until it gets presented to a committee. The parents need that data to prepare their arguments that will go to the same committee.

The Gazette wonders which part of “public” Podrebarac is having a problem with?

In his response to our asking for the raw data to ensure that what we have published is correct Podrebarac said: “we will prepare and present this to them and post the full report as soon as it has been prepared. This is the process that was shared and agreed to with the PARC members.”

Podrebarac said he is “happy to make myself available throughout the process, so please do not hesitate to call me on my cell or in the office. He means well.

The school board has created the PARC as the body that will be the “official” body that is used to communicate with the public – PARC.

The Board has contracted with Ipsos to handle the “facilitation” of the meetings. The lead person from Ipsos, Kirk Perris, holds a doctorate as well as the title Director of Consultations, Canada

On can deduce that Perris will be doing the analysis of the data and presenting that analysis to the PARC at the end of January.


Central high school parents are going to have to be more than strong – they are going to have to fight to keep their school open with one hand tied behind their back.

Meanwhile the parents who stand a better than even chance of losing their high school have to sit and stew for more than a month.

The is (a) unfair, (b) not in the interests of the public

There isn’t a reason in the world for withholding the raw data that was gathered at a public meeting.

Several hundred parents who do not want to see their neighbourhood high school closed and who are out fundraising and preparing their arguments for the PARC and for the trustees, now have to wait until close to the end of January before they can review the data and come to their own conclusions as to what was the data really says. The kind of information gathered has to be analyzed and filtered – and this takes time.

The parents do have representation on the PARC – they appointed one of the two people on the PARC to represent them. The school board has created email addresses for the members of the PARC. A single email address is used to reach both people representing our school.

The addresses are shown below. Urge the members of the PARC to direct the chair of the committee to release the raw data now.


Email addresses for the members of the PARC representing the high schools in the city.

Director of Education Stuart Miller has said that the recommendation staff made to close Pearson and Central high schools was the starting point of a lengthy process.

Hammil + Miller

Director of Education Stuart Miller gets out to dozens of events where students are involved. The same cannot be aid for several of his predecessors.

He said that parents may well come up with ideas that will result in a solution that keeps everyone happy. And the Gazette believes Miller is sincere – what he does not appear to appreciate is that the parents who stand to lose a core part of their community are left to work with data that is incomplete and may have errors with at least one hand tied behind their back.

Miller was on-hand to greet people before the December 8th meeting started but said that he had been advised not to stay.  Miller needs to get better advisers.

Informed people can make informed decisions. In a world of almost instant communication data is king. Let the public have what their taxes  paid for.

Director Miller has a number of options. He can release the raw data to the public and the members of the PARC and then send Chair Podrebarac back to the civics class he seems to have missed.

The data the Gazette did manage to capture and report on

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