Jeff Green | Apr 23, 2009
Back to HomeFeature Article - April 23, 2009 Accomodation Review Committee Considers its options
The program and accommodation review (PARC) by the Limestone District School Board for the Sharbot Lake family of schools has been going on for a few months, and it is now looking squarely at the future shape of education in the northern part of Frontenac County.
At their most recent meeting, the PARC, which includes representatives of the staff and parents from the five affected schools, as well as board and township officials, began looking at options.
“Under Ministry guidelines, the senior staff on behalf of the board gave us some options to start the process before the PARC meeting on April 14th,” said Ruth Bailey, the PARC facilitator, “and then all of the members of the PARC went through a brainstorming session until they had brought forward all of the ones they could think of in that moment.”
They came up with quite a few, but narrowed them down to 6 main options, 3 of which also had variations.
There are 7 other options (see options printed below) that were less popular with the committee, but rather than discarding them entirely, they have been included in a so-called “parking lot list”.
While there are differences among the options that are being actively considered, they all include building a new school somewhere in the region and closing at least one of the existing schools.
“The committee will return on April 30th to fine tune the list, and bring any new ideas that come to them during the intervening time. Once they settle on a few options, I will then be able to go out and price them to bring to another meeting. Ideally, the committee will eventually settle on a preferred option that we can bring forward to the public meetings in June,” said Ruth Bailey.
The entire PARC exercise will have no real meat on its bones, however, unless the Ministry of Education comes forward with a commitment to build a new school.
Most of the options that are still under consideration at this point talk about building a new school on the Sharbot Lake High School site or another appropriate site, pointing to the fact that the committee has not settled on the location of any new school at this point.
“The Ministry has been in touch with me periodically throughout the process, “ said Ruth Bailey. “An official phoned me a few weeks ago, and asked where we were at. Now that the PARC has made it clear they would like to see a new school built, I will tell that to the Ministry the next time they phone. We hope the Ministry will make a commitment before the end of the PARC process, but the timing of provincial announcements is a real mystery to me,” said Ruth Bailey.
In the case of the two other PARC’s that the Limestone Board has undertaken, the ministry has made a commitment of funding for a new school, but there were strings attached. The ministry required projections of student enrolment for each school location over the long term before the money was granted. This could further constrain the PARC for the Sharbot Lake Family of schools as they focus in on a final recommendation over the next month or so.
The next working meeting of the PARC will take place at Hinchinbrooke Public School on Thursday April 30 at 6:30 pm.
Public meetings will take place in June.
Preferred options identified the Sharbot Lake family of schools Program and Accomodation Review Committee as of their April 14 meeting.
(Key – PS – Public School, IS – Intermediate School, HS – High School, K – kindergarten, K-12 – Kindergarten to grade 12)
Hinchinbrook PS is located in Parham, Land O’Lakes PS is in Mountain Grove, and Clarendon Central is in Plevna.
1. Close Sharbot Lake PS, Hinchinbrooke PS, Sharbot Lake IS/HS and relocate the students, as appropriate for bussing purposes, to Prince
Charles PS and to a new K-12 school on the Sharbot Lake IS/HS site or another appropriate site. Maintain Land O’Lakes P.S. and Clarendon P.S. as possible.
1.1 Instead of a K-12 building separate into an elementary school and a secondary school or at least separate wings to prevent the mixing of students.
2. Close Sharbot Lake PS, Hinchinbrooke PS, Sharbot Lake IS/HS and relocate the students, to a new K-12 school on the Sharbot Lake IS/HS site or another appropriate site. Maintain Land O’Lakes P.S. and Clarendon P.S. as possible as JK to Grade 6 schools. All Grade 7 and 8 students to attend the new school. The new school to be K-12 building but with separate wings for elementary and secondary students which prevented mixing of the students.
3. Close Hinchinbrooke PS, Land O’Lakes PS, Sharbot Lake PS and Sharbot Lake IS/HS and build a new K-12 school on the Sharbot Lake HS site or another appropriate site for all of the students. Maintain Clarendon as possible.
3.1 Instead of a K-12 building separate into an elementary and a secondary school.
4. Status quo for all schools except Sharbot Lake Public School. Build a new K – Grade 8 school to house all Sharbot Lake P.S. students and Sharbot Lake Intermediate School students.
5. Status quo for all schools except Sharbot Lake Public, Intermediate and High School. Close those schools and build a new K-12 school for the students.
6. Close Land O’Lakes, Hinchinbrooke and Sharbot Lake Public School.
Build a new K-6 school and move all of the grade 7 and 8 students to Sharbot Lake Intermediate School. Maintain Clarendon as possible.
6.1 Build a new K – 8 school
Complete documentation from the Sharbot Lake PARC is available at www.limestone.on.ca (under the banner Accomodation, the first section is Sharbot Lake Family of Schools, and there is a clickable heading documentation which leads to a selection of 12 documents that are being used by the committee.