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Frequently Asked Questions

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Last updated on Monday, December 07, 2015.

When will Dundas Valley Secondary School open?

For 2014-15, Highland and Parkside will unite and operate as one school, called Dundas Valley Secondary School.

When is Parkside scheduled to close?

Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board is investing no less than $15 million in extensive renovations to the Highland site and will close Parkside in June 2014.

What are the transition plans to bring the two schools together?

Parents, students and staff have been meeting to develop a transition plan to bring the two school communities together. The Dundas Transition Advisory Committee has representation from Highland and Parkside as well as associated elementary schools. The committee plays a key role as we move from two schools to one. A number of subcommittees have formed, such as school recognition, mascot/logo development, community partnerships , communications, student events and staff collaboration.

When are the renovations for Dundas Valley Secondary School scheduled to take place?

Draft drawings are complete! We anticipate renovations will begin in spring 2014 and completed in fall 2015. The renovations will include a 7,000-square-foot gymnasium, an expanded cafeteria, six new science labs, and interior enhancements. The former Parkside facility will be required for classes due to the extensive construction that will occur on the Highland site.

Will there be portables on the Highland site during construction?

The use of the former Parkside site will provide for the greatest flexibility of programming during renovations; it will eliminate the need to install portables on the Highland site; and it will allow the Highland renovations to unfold with minimal disruption.

How will students travel between the two sites?

Students will be able to take a shuttle bus between the two locations during the school day. All buses will stop in both locations before and after the school day.

Will students be able to graduate from the school they are currently attending?

There will be two separate ceremonies for students graduating in 2014. Students graduating after that date will graduate from Dundas Valley Secondary School.

Where are the proposed transportation boundaries for the Dundas secondary school?

Current board policy states students living farther than 3.2 kilometres are eligible for transportation. Transportation also extends to students living outside of developed urban areas when the walking distance exceeds .8 kilometres. Please click on the map for the walking boundary for students attending the Dundas secondary school. Walking Distances Dundas School

What will the combined Dundas school enrolment be in 2022?

The projected enrolment is expected to drop to 793 students by 2022 according to HWDSB’s enrolment projections. Please see below for how enrolment projections are calculated.

How does HWDSB staff determine enrolment numbers?

The enrolment projections are made up of two separate components that include the existing school community and students generated by new development. The existing community projections are developed by advancing students through the grades based on historical, by-grade retention rates. The retention rates are grade specific and capture any gains or losses in enrolment that a school may experience as students move from one grade to another. Retention rate methodology is a common practice in Ontario School Boards.

By applying historical student enrolment (by unit type) to municipally approved development forecasts, planning staff have the ability to project the number of students generated by new development. These two components combined make up the enrolment projections. Enrolment projections can be done for a variety of time frames. One year, five year or 10 year projections are typical time frames used by the Accommodation and Planning Division.

There are a number of school specific assumptions that are also captured in the projections. These assumptions can be related to specific programs, board policies that may affect enrolment numbers like out of catchment or new Ministry initiatives such as full-day kindergarten.

Projections are then cross-referenced against historical enrolment trends, population forecasts, Census data and live birth data in order to judge alignment of enrolment numbers against these sources.

Will there still be a high school in Dundas if enrolment falls below 1,000 students?

HWDSB is committed to investing in secondary education in the Dundas community. A no less than $15 million investment will provide a renovated school for current and future Dundas students.

What is the role of the Transition Advisory Committee?

The role of the Transition Advisory Committee is to provide advice to the Superintendent of Student Achievement. The committee plays a key role as the school transitions from two school communities to one. Meetings are open to the public. All minutes and agendas are posted. Learn more about the committee’s Terms of Reference.

Why can’t a renovated school in Dundas offer a French Immersion program?

The Board of Trustees recently passed its secondary program strategy. French Immersion is currently offered at Westdale and a second site will begin at Sherwood in 2015.  A critical mass of 350 students is necessary to offer a variety of courses beyond the minimum compulsory subjects and sites are strategically located across Hamilton. There are not enough Dundas French Immersion students to offer a secondary French Immersion program in Dundas. See HWDSB’s projected French Immersion enrolment on our Program Strategy site.

How is the Board paying for the renovations to the new Dundas Valley Secondary School?

Funding has been committed and renovations are scheduled to begin in May 2014. The funding for the renovations will be paid for by proceeds of disposition. What that means is that the Board of Trustees will pay for the project through the sale of extra land it owns throughout the City of Hamilton.

How will traffic be addressed on Governor’s Road?

The City will review the potential impact that Dundas Valley Secondary School could have on the traffic flow patterns along Governor’s Road as part of the site plan approval process.  Off-site traffic management falls under the jurisdiction of the City.  If, as a condition of site plan approval, the City determines additional traffic calming measures are required as a result the work being proposed at Dundas Valley Secondary School, HWDSB is committed to working with the City to address any traffic concerns.  We recently experienced a similar situation during the site plan approval process for the new Education Centre.  As part of that site plan approval process the City requested a traffic study which will result in the installation of a traffic light on Upper Wentworth.