CORNWALL, Ontario – The Upper Canada District School Board (UCDSB) has issued the final draft of its Peer Accommodation Review (PAR). There have been some significant changes that have been made to the original document published by the board in September.
The original document recommended that 12 schools close by the end of June 2017. Char-Lan D.H.S., Longue Sault P.S., Rothwell-Osnabruck (secondary 7-12), Seaway D.H.S, Wolford P.S., Rideau Centennial E.S., Plantagenet P.S., Pakenham P.S., Oxford-on-Rideau P.S., North Elmsley P.S., Glent Tay P.S. and Benson P.S. were all recommended for closure in the original document.
The final version has considerably altered this list. The new document now recommends that Rothwell-Osnabruck (secondary 7-12), S.J. McLeod, Rideau Centennial E.S., Plantagenet P.S., Prince of Wales P.S., Wolford P.S., Oxford-on-Rideau P.S. and Toniata P.S. & Commonwealth P.S. all close by Sept. 2017.
Furthermore, pending Ministry of Education funding for upgrades and improvements to receiving schools, North Stormont P.S. would close pending an addition to Roxmore P.S. and Maynard P.S. would close pending an upgrade at Wellington.
St. Lawrence Secondary School and CCVS would both close pending funding for the construction of a new grade 7-12 school in Cornwall.
This new report sees 2,358 empty school spaces eliminated, the Board however in the originall draft document the school board stated that it had nearly 10, 000 empty spaces that it needed to fill or eliminate.
Due to a new funding scheme from the Ministry of Education that was instituted in March 2016, school boards no longer receive funding for empty student spaces and cannot get capital funding to build new schools as long as there are empty spaces in old ones.
The process of closing some of these schools will be costly for the UCDSB, ending the high school program at Rothwell-Osnabruck for instance and sending those students to Tagwi S.S. will cost the school board $430, 619 with $160, 000 of that coming from busing costs alone.
Overall, the school board will see a net loss of $62, 641 from this plan as it stands now.
The final draft of the UCDSB’s PAR will be presented to the Board of Trustees at a meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 15 where the trustees will vote on whether or not to receive the report. The final vote on the report is March 23.