Q & A
What is an accommodation review committee?
An accommodation review committee is a community group that looks at the future of a school or group of schools and provides direction to the school board in its decision-making. The decision is made with the full involvement of an informed community and is based on a broad range of criteria focused on the learning experience for students.
Why is my school part of the Elementary Accommodation Review?
HWDSB is committed to creating innovative learning environments that support student achievement. An accommodation review occurs after a school board considers the current and projected enrolment at a group of schools, as well as the current physical condition of the school(s) and repairs or upgrades required. The goal of this process is to create innovative learning environments that support student achievement. Public consultation is a big part of this process. The review could result in recommendations including:
- The closure or consolidation of a school
- Changes to grades and programs offered at a school
- New facilities and/or upgrades
- School boundary changes
- Partnerships and/or joint use opportunities
- Status quo (no changes)
What is being reviewed by the Elementary Accommodation Review Committees?
Trustees approved the initiation of four elementary review committees. Those committees are broken down into the following areas:
Central Mountain: Cardinal Heights, Eastmount Park, Franklin Road, G.L. Armstrong, Linden Park, Pauline Johnson, Queensdale, Ridgemount
East Hamilton City Area 1: Hillcrest, Parkdale, Rosedale, Roxborough Park, W.H. Ballard, Woodward, Viscount Montgomery
West Flamborough: Beverly Central, Dr. John Seaton, Greensville, Millgrove, Spencer Valley
West Glanbrook: Bell-Stone, Mount Hope
How does the Elementary Accommodation Review work?
Public consultation is at the heart of the accommodation review process. A minimum of four public meetings are to be held by each of the accommodation review committees, as well as a number of additional working meetings. The goal is to engage a wide range of school and community groups to participate in the consultation in order to make recommendations to trustees. Committee members include principals, school staff, parents and Board planning staff.
Does this mean our school will close?
All schools remain open for our students to continue to learn and obtain the best education possible. At this time, no HWDSB school in the ARCs has been identified for closure. All schools are open to provide the high standards of education that parents and students expect.
Should students still register at schools?
Yes. While we understand there may be speculation throughout this process, we will continue to inform students and parents about all new developments from the Elementary Accommodation Review.
Does an accommodation review mean a school will close?
We know that facility needs and neighbourhoods change over time. School boards are responsible for providing schools and facilities for their students and for operating and maintaining schools as effectively and efficiently as possible to support student achievement. Sometimes accommodation reviews do recommend a school closure.
Who chairs the Elementary Accommodation Review Committees?
According to the Pupil Accommodation Review Policy, the committee is chaired by a Board superintendent.
At what point in the process is the staff accommodation scenario presented to the committee?
The staff recommendation would be presented to each of the area review committees at the first public meeting. This recommendation provides a foundation for the committee’s discussions. The committee may also create alternative accommodation options, which should be consistent with the objectives and criteria outlined in committee’s terms of reference.
How do I get involved in my area’s accommodation review committee?
Accommodation review committees have representation from parents, principals and staff, all working towards one goal to provide a report to the Board of Trustees on the best way to address the learning needs of students in their community. Talk to your principal about how you can get involved.
How is the information from the accommodation review committees shared with the public?
All committee meetings are open to the public and materials such as agendas and minutes are shared through the Board’s website (www.hwdsb.on.ca). Schools may also want to share a link to the website through their school newsletter or website, to ensure stakeholders have the most up-to-date and accurate information related to the ARC in their area.
When can individuals present their views if they aren’t on the committee?
All meetings are open to the public. Each ARC also has four meetings that provide the opportunity for individuals and groups to ask questions from the committee members.
Who makes the final decision in the accommodation review process?
The role of the accommodation review committee is to serve as an advisory body to Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board trustees, by producing a report to the Board that takes into account location, space and programming. Trustees make the final decision on these recommendations.