School board taking a closer look at growth in Milton and North Oakville - might result in some consolidation of schools in Burlington.

News 100 blueBy Walter Byj

April 17, 2015


The Halton District School Board was in a longer than usual Closed Session – close to an hour this time. No sword on what they talked about – the sense I got was that they may have been talking about a possible high school strike for Halton.

Once the doors opened the meeting moved briskly through a number of issues. The school calendar for the 2015/2016 was approved unanimously.

Bateman school sign

Are there too many high schools in the eastern side of the city?

The board then passed a motion that has the Halton Student Transportation Services hiring consultants to undertake a bell time analysis for both secondary and elementary students in an effort to find efficiencies and cost savings. Bell time is the buzz word for when schools start their day.

This program is awaiting the Catholic board approval on the same motion next week. The parameters and cost of the study would then be determined.

A motion to have time set aside for recognition of excellent achievement within the Halton board, student or staff, was forwarded to the next meeting pending further clarification.

The Long Term Accommodation Plan was then presented by Domenico Renzella, Senior Manager of Planning and Lucy Veerman, Superintendent of Business Services. The LTAP, references what the board is going to need in terms of facilities based on enrollment projections. The enrollment projections from 2015 to 2024 and the identifying of new capital project initiatives for the Board from 2016/17 to 2019/2020 were part of the report which the Gazette will cover in more detail soon.

The key takeaway was the explosion of enrolment and new schools in the Milton area and northeast Oakville with the corresponding decline in enrolment in Burlington and parts of Oakville. This could lead to potential school consolidations in the near future. The trustees were advised that there would be public consultation.

The Halton Student Transportation Services annual report for the fiscal year of 2013/14, said there were a total of 448 routes which covered 34,058 daily kilometres and transported 29,268 students for the Halton board and the Catholic board combined. The Halton board transported 18,834 students at a cost of slightly more than $19 million.

Mark Zonneveld, Superintendent of Education (Student Services), presented the Gifted Screening Interim Report which outlined the procedures of identifying, nominating and then accepting students into the gifted program within Halton.

Of the students that are initially identified as gifted, only 35% enter the program after further testing. Over the past five years, the number of students identified as gifted by grade four has risen to 4.3% For the 2013/14 year, 61 students were placed in the Gifted Programme in East Halton, 29 in the West and 30 in the North

The meeting concluded with Stuart Miller, Associate Director of Education, giving a Program Viability update. Over the past years, the French Immersion program has impacted somewhat negatively on the English program and the Program Viability Committee was formed to study this matter.

The committee has met three times to date and is reviewing the situation within the Halton area along with studying how other boards are affected along with potential solutions. The committee will meet again on April  20th, hopefully a more detailed report will be available to the next board meeting.  The public is not invited to take part in these meetings,

Return to the Front page
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

1 comment to School board taking a closer look at growth in Milton and North Oakville – might result in some consolidation of schools in Burlington.