School Renewal Plan Set in Motion

At this evening’s Regular Board Meeting, the Lakehead District School Board received a staff report from Administration detailing a proposed school renewal plan which builds on the Board’s ongoing commitment to the success and well-being of every student. North Side and South Side Renewal Plans, as well as a proposed renewal plan for Hyde Park/Kingsway Park, include school consolidations, renovations and new facility construction.

The report recommends the initiation of a pupil accommodation review and the establishment of two Accommodation Review Committees (ARCs) to gather input and feedback for the North Side and South Side Renewal Plans. The pupil accommodation review process is conducted in accordance with the recently revised Ministry of Education Pupil Accommodation Review Guidelines and the Lakehead District School Board Pupil Accommodation Review Policy 9010.

“Declining enrolment combined with recent changes to funding has led to a situation that requires our attention,” says Ian MacRae, Director of Education. “This plan is a bold step and an opportunity to address underutilized space and to renew the Lakehead Public Schools system in order to support our organizational commitment to student achievement and well-being.”

The proposed school renewal plan is based solidly on:

  • Academic excellence, personal success and well-being for every student;
  • Safe, equitable and inclusive school communities;
  • Cutting-edge technology in every classroom;
  • Significant investments in learning environments and facilities.

“The Board has been provided with comprehensive renewal plans that are built on attainable timelines and provide ample opportunity for our valued stakeholders to receive more information and to provide feedback,” says MacRae. “We believe that these are the best options for the long term viability of our organization.”

South Side Renewal Plan

  • Transition to a Junior Kindergarten to Grade 8 model in the elementary panel.
  • Close Sir Winston Churchill Collegiate and Vocational Institute. Renovate and update Westgate Collegiate and Vocational Institute to receive all south side secondary students in September 2017.
  • Close Agnew H. Johnston Public School and Edgewater Park Public School. Construct a new elementary school on the Sir Winston Churchill Collegiate and Vocational Institute site to accommodate students from the closing schools in September 2018.

North Side Renewal Plan

  • Transition to a Junior Kindergarten to Grade 8 model in the elementary panel.
  • Stakeholder input for the North Side Renewal Plan will be gathered for the following two options:
    • Option 1
      • Close Hammarskjold High School. Construct an addition at Superior Collegiate and Vocational Institute to receive all north side secondary students in September 2017.
      • Close C.D. Howe Public School and St. James Public School. Renovate and construct an addition at Vance Chapman Public School to receive students from the closing schools in September 2017.
    • Option 2
      • Close Superior Collegiate and Vocational Institute. Renovate and update Hammarskjold High School to receive all north side secondary students in September 2017.
      • Close C.D. Howe Public School, St. James Public School and Vance Chapman Public School. Renovate Superior Collegiate and Vocational Institute into an elementary school to receive students from the three closing schools in September 2018.

Hyde Park/Kingsway Park Renewal Plan

  • Renovate and construct an addition, which includes a full-sized gymnasium, at Kingsway Park Public School to accommodate students from Hyde Park Public School and Kingsway Park Public School in one building in September 2017.

The North Side and South Side Renewal Plans will provide for a critical mass of secondary students to ensure that schools will continue to offer a full breadth of programming with increased sections of core courses to reduce course conflicts and to provide multiple pathways to success for all students. Elementary students will benefit from fewer transitions as they remain in their home schools from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 8.

“Our stakeholders expect that funding is directed towards programs and supports for students and not towards maintaining empty and underutilized space in schools,” says MacRae.

The Lakehead District School Board will consider the recommendations contained in the Staff Report at a Special Board Meeting on Tuesday, February 16.

Stakeholders can obtain information about the School Renewal Plans and the Pupil Accommodation Review Process here. Questions about the pupil accommodation review can be sent by e-mail to info@lakeheadschools.ca.