At HWDSB, we believe that cooperative and collaborative relationships between school boards and community partners are part of the foundation for a strong, vibrant and sustainable publicly funded education system.
We also believe that sharing facilities can be beneficial to our students and the community, which is why we want to provide opportunities for our community partners to establish facility partnerships in our schools. By sharing space, we can work together to improve services, programs and supports for our students as well as maximize the use of public infrastructure through increased flexibility and use. When we work together, everybody wins.
For more information, please visit the Ministry of Education’s Community Planning and Partnerships Guideline.
Facility Partnership Meeting:
June 4, 2019 – Meeting Presentation
What is community planning and facility partnerships?
The purpose of community planning and facility partnerships is to encourage school boards to reach out to community organizations to share planning information on a regular basis.
The community planning process allows boards to share planning information with community partners so that they may have enough time to respond to the presented opportunities. These opportunities may include:
- participation in a facility partnership
- contribution to land-use or green space/park plans
- the opportunity to co-build when considering building a new school or undertaking a significant addition or renovation
This information sharing allows school boards to work with their community partners to the benefit of boards, students and the community, and to optimize the use of public assets owned by school boards. The above opportunities provide an opportunity to reduce facility costs and/or improve educational opportunities for students.
What are the benefits of community planning and facility partnerships?
The twin challenges of local enrolment changes and making the best use of education funding to support student achievement create an incentive and opportunity to maximize the use of our school facilities and properties. Offering space in schools to partners can also strengthen the role of schools in communities, provide a place for programs and facilitate the coordination of, and improve access to, services for students and the wider community.
What organizations qualify for facility partnerships?
Before entering into a facility partnership, there is a need to determine the expectations for the partnering organization and how it aligns with HWDSB’s strategic directions. Partnerships must be appropriate for the school setting and not compromise the student achievement strategy. For instance, organizations that provide competing education services such as tutoring services, JK-12 private schools or private colleges, and credit offering entities that are not government funded are not eligible partners. Above all, the health and safety of students must be protected.
Does a facility partnership mean that organizations can use board facilities at no cost?
Facility partnerships operate on a cost-recovery basis. Facility partners at a minimum will pay the full cost of operating their space, unless otherwise decided upon by the Board of Trustees.
The fees charged to partners should cover the operations and capital cost, including administrative costs and property taxes (if applicable), to the board for the space occupied by the partner. Additional costs to perform minor renovations to protect student safety, provide appropriate washrooms, and otherwise make the space suitable for use by facility partners will be at the expense of the partner.
How do community groups signal their interest in partnering at an HWDSB facility?
Interested partners are invited to fill out the following online form. The form includes the reason for the organization’s interest in partnering with HWDSB, nature of the service and how much space the organization requires. The forms will be reviewed by the Manager of Planning, Accommodation and Rentals.
For more information, or to have your questions answered, please contact the Manager of Planning, Accommodation and Rentals at firstname.lastname@example.org.