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New Elementary School

Last updated on Monday, March 20, 2017.

As you know, in June 2014 HWDSB Trustees approved the closure of Greensville and Spencer Valley and the construction of a new school on the Greensville school site. This was done to ensure efficient use of space and resources.

On October 24, 2016, the Board of Trustees moved that HWDSB staff engage and inform your school communities regarding recommendations to temporarily accommodate Greensville students at Spencer Valley, which would let construction of a new Greensville school start by September 2017.

Beginning in September 2017, Greensville students will temporarily be accommodated with Spencer Valley students at Spencer Valley Elementary School.

Transitioning the students together on one site would allow the two schools to merge into one prior to the completed construction of the new elementary school and allow for the demolition of the current Greensville School.

Beginning January 9, 2017, Spencer Valley and Greensville have merged into one school. Kelly McCrory is the principal for both sites and is working primarily at Spencer Valley. Brent Monkley is serving as acting vice-principal based at Greensville. Grades 6 to 8 students from the Millgrove catchment area will continue to attend Spencer Valley during construction.

Please view the New School Flyer for more information.

Why is HWDSB spending money to fix Spencer Valley to house students and then not use that facility in a year?

The construction of the new school on the current Greensville site requires the demolition of the existing school. Therefore, we need to temporarily accommodate the current Greensville students at Spencer Valley, which brings with it some modifications.

Who makes the decision to move Special Education? Is it a values or geography decision?

Special education classes, like the two classes at Spencer Valley, are “system” classes which means that the students in the class can come from anywhere in Hamilton. They are opened, located and closed under the supervision of the Superintendent of Leadership and Learning responsible for Specialized Services.

Can the existing number of washrooms support an increase in students?

Spencer Valley meets and exceeds the number of washroom fixtures for the estimated 400 students that will be attending in September 2017. Through the Ontario Building code formula, we require 16 fixtures and the school currently has 21 available.

We are continuing to work on the potability of the water and when we have a viable solution, we will notify the school community.

Will students within the walking distance criteria receive busing, as the road ways can be unsafe?

Busing eligibility will be assessed on a case by case basis.

HWDSB’s Transportation Policy reads “Extraordinary circumstances related to safety hazards, including lack of a safe walkway to and from school, may warrant an exception to the walking distances for the determination of transportation service eligibility.”

Will playground equipment from Greensville be brought to Spencer Valley?

HWDSB staff will consider the playground equipment over the winter and spring. Safety and costs are the concerns that may not allow all the outdoor playground equipment be moved.

Will fencing be installed at Spencer Valley?

HWDSB staff is considering fencing needs at Spencer Valley. Again, the safety and costs may limit the amount of fencing installed at the school. However, there will be fencing installed for Kindergarten students.

What are the school hours? Will it be nutrition breaks or a traditional day?

The Transition Committee will advise the Principal and Superintendent of Student Achievement on this question. The committee will look at transportation and child care and how they may impact the structure of the day.

If construction will be delayed, will the transition of students not happen in September?

Any delays in starting construction will not impact the demolition of the school. Therefore, students will still need to transition in September 2017.

How will we address heritage aspects of the two schools?

The Transition Committee will consider historical pieces of both schools and will work with HWDSB’s archivist, who can support the committee and the schools on heritage aspects. Heritage items can be stored in HWDSB Archives.

When do we officially become one school?

On January 9, 2017, Spencer Valley and Greensville will have merged into one school. Kelly McCrory is the principal for both sites and is working primarily at Spencer Valley. Brent Monkley is serving as acting vice-principal based at Greensville. Grades 6 to 8 students from the Millgrove catchment area will continue to attend Spencer Valley during construction.

What is the impact on staff? Will they have to reapply for their jobs?

Staffing for all employee groups will be addressed through their respective collective agreements. Their employee groups are involved to ensure fair and transparent staffing processes.

What will be the name for the newly built school?

HWDSB’s Naming of School’s Policy will guide this process.

Who will be in the portables needed?

The decision regarding which classes use the portables will not be made until the spring. The number of portables will be dependent on the number of classes needed and the available space.

Can Grade 6 students stay at Millgrove?

Grade 6 students from Millgrove will continue to transition to Spencer Valley.

Is it a strain on HWDSB resources to have simultaneous builds?

Ministry funding has been secured for the Greensville and Beverly sites. The work of building the schools falls to contractors not HWDSB staff.

Where will Umbrella Daycare be housed?

That decision will be made in collaboration with Umbrella Daycare. However, there is an expectation that classrooms will continue to be used for before and after school programming.

How will gym usage be handled?

The gymnasium is not currently being used every period. Some of the current usage is set aside for drama classes.  Next year, we hope to do strategic scheduling, which would see the gym used every period of the day, with the drama classes moving into classrooms, the impact will not be that great. Grades 1-5 should have approximately two gym periods and Grades 6-8 possibly three periods. Kindergarten students would continue to have daily outdoor and classroom play.

Is the gym at full capacity now?

In the current timetable at Spencer Valley, there are six unassigned periods in the gym. Currently each regular class has three periods of physical education per cycle and one period of Drama/Dance scheduled in the gym. Special classes use the unassigned time as desired.

How is the transition committee selected and when?

The parent component of the Transition Committee will be selected through the School Councils. School staff can select their own representatives. Students will be selected by the principals.

We are currently seeking interested parents to participate as transition committee members. Please see the following letter on how you can participate.

How much of the site is left for greenspace?

Approximately 49 per cent of the total land will be left as “Landscaped area”, which includes greenspace.

How much greenspace is allotted for each child in a new build?

Greenspace isn’t considered on a per student basis.

How many floors is the new school?

The new elementary school will be two floors.

How will the layout be determined and where will the classrooms be?

We are currently working with our consultants and the City of Hamilton to develop the complete layout. We know that kindergarten, special education, two typical classrooms and the daycare will be located on the ground floor. All remaining classes will be on the second floor.

What is the Square footage of the new school? What is the difference compared to the current school?

The square footage of the new development is 54,121.

The existing school is 22,593 square feet.

Will the well and septic systems be working better than at existing schools?

As this will be a new school, all its systems will be designed to meet the necessary Ministry and Municipal requirements.

Is the Niagara Escarpment Commission involved?

The involvement of the Niagara Escarpment Commission, if any, will be confirmed by the City of Hamilton during the Site Plan Approval process.

How many parking spaces will there be?

There will be 35 total parking spaces for the school.

What about parking for the community library and recreation centre?

To accommodate the library and recreation centre, there will be an additional 26 parking spaces.

Is there room for portables on the new school site if needed in the future?

Yes

Is there a life skills class in the new building plan?

There is a space for at least one system special education class.

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