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Secondary School Revitalization


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Updated on November 30, 2016

HWDSB has received the feasibility studies for our secondary schools. Over the next five years, HWDSB will be investing $11 million annually in our secondary schools. Renovations will focus on the following areas:

  • Science Labs
  • Playing Fields
  • Learning Commons
  • Gymnasium Floors

What has been done:

  • New school boulevard sign
  • Tennis court renovations

Work in progress or to be completed in 2016/2017:

  • Natural turf sports field with irrigation system
  • Bleachers
  • Scoreboard

Outstanding work to be completed:

  • Science Labs
  • Learning Commons
  • Gymnasium Floors


Our Secondary Program Strategy is giving us an opportunity to update our schools with the technologies, tools and environments that students will need for learning, working and living in the 21st century. Our program strategy is making all schools great schools, giving students choice in their local schools, expanding access to specialized programs, and ensuring students achieve and graduate in HWDSB.

We want all students to find what they need in every one of our schools – and we value and support each post-graduation pathway: apprenticeship, college, community, university and work. Some programs are of interest to few students at a limited number of school sites. These require specialized facilities, equipment or funding, and are located based on existing infrastructure, the goal of balancing school enrolments, and evenly distributing specialized programs across the system.

Learn more about our specialized programs on our school website.

How is the Board paying for the renovations to Westdale Secondary School?

In March 2014, HWDSB received Ministry approval for the construction of the new Nora Frances Henderson Secondary School. With Ministry funding to support this construction, the Board is able to reinvest the proceeds of disposition originally allocated to build Nora Frances Henderson ($27M) into our remaining secondary facilities. This influx of funds allows us to accelerate our ability to address the outstanding renewal needs at our remaining secondary schools.

What will enrolment be at Westdale Secondary School?

The projected enrolment for Westdale Secondary School is:

Capacity 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
1,521 1,163 1,340 1,272 1,288 1,390 1,394

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 years 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.

The Board of Trustees is committed to revitalizing HWDSB secondary schools. We want our students to have great learning facilities equipped for 21st-century learning. To do this, we need to ensure we are reviewing the needs and allocating resources effectively at our secondary schools. HWDSB is conducting feasibility studies at 10 secondary schools across the district. These reports focus on the costs associated with renovating science labs, technology in classrooms, specialized support programs as well as spaces such as learning commons, gymnasiums, washrooms and work rooms. Costs associated with asbestos removal and abatement are also included in the report. The scope of the reports typically involves upgrades to school electrical systems, HVAC systems and windows. These reports will guide the Board in making capital decisions at our secondary schools.

 Learn more about the Westdale Feasibility Study and Westdale Feasibility Costs

Updated on Wednesday, November 30, 2016.
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