Burlington High Schools Program & Accommodation Review (PAR)

Below please find the Oct 5th Board Agenda and Report #16132 Program Accommodation Review.

Public session starts at 7pm in the Board Room of the J.W. Singleton Education Centre, 2050 Guelph Line, Burlington.



… From these 19 options, a preferred Option 19 (Appendix 6) was selected in which staff recommends to close Lester B. Pearson HS and Burlington Central HS, as well as redefine Dr. Frank J. Hayden SS program and boundaries. Option 19 is staff recommended in order to address:

  • Low enrolments at Lester B. Pearson HS and low-utilization at M.M. Robinson HS by closing Lester B. Pearson HS;
  • Low enrolments at Aldershot HS, under-utilization at Burlington Central HS by closing Burlington Central HS and redistributing students to Nelson HS and Aldershot HS;
  • High enrolments at Dr. Frank J. Hayden SS by redistribution of students to Robert Bateman HS and the removal of the FI program and redirecting FI students to M.M. Robinson HS;
  • Low enrolments and low-utilization at Robert Bateman HS by adding a FI program and by redistribution of students from Nelson HS and Dr. Frank J. Hayden SS.

Lester B. Pearson HS

The preferred staff option (Option 19) is to close Lester B. Pearson HS effective the end of June 2018. All students currently at Lester B. Pearson HS (including students enrolled in Late FI) can be accommodated at M.M. Robinson HS. The distance between the two schools is 1.6 km.

Closing Lester B. Pearson HS does not impact the issue of under enrolments at schools south of the QEW. The Halton DSB still has 956 available pupil places, this includes the overcapacity of Dr. Frank J. Hayden HS. Taking into account only the schools located south of the QEW, there is an availability of 1200 pupil places.

Burlington Central HS

Also, it is staff’s preferred option that Burlington Central HS be closed effective the end of June 2018. All secondary students, west of Brant St., will be redirected to Aldershot HS and secondary students east of Brant St to be redirected to Nelson HS. This recommendation does not include the redirection of Grade 7 and 8 students from the Burlington Central Elementary PS. In the event that the decision is made to close this high school school, there is a potential that a Program and Accommodation Review may be required for the elementary schools that currently feed into Burlington Central PS for Grades 7 and 8.

Dr. Frank J. Hayden SS

Dr. Frank J. Hayden SS has exceeded total capacity. Current trends indicate growth will continue until 2021. Staff recommends changing its catchment and removing the FI program. English and FI students south of Upper Middle Rd. will be redirected to Robert Bateman HS. French Immersion students residing north of Upper Middle Rd.will be redirected to M.M. Robinson HS. As a result of this recommendation Dr. Frank Hayden SS enrolments are expected to be close to OTG capacity.

Aldershot HS

The Aldershot HS catchment will be expanded east to Brant St, as a result of closing Burlington Central HS. Enrolments indicate total capacity will exceed the secondary allotment of the OTG by 2018. The Aldershot facility size is 1018 pupil places. Ten portables can be placed on the site. Should this recommendation be approved, a PAR maybe required for the elementary schools in the Aldershot community.

M.M.Robinson HS

In the staff recommendation, M.M. Robinson HS English catchment is expanded to include the current Lester B. Pearson HS catchment. The Late French Immersion program currently at Lester B. Pearson HS will be redirected to M.M. Robinson HS. Staff recommends to expand the FI catchment to include the current Dr. Frank J. Hayden SS area north of Upper Middle Rd. M.M. Robinson HS utilization is projected to increase to 100% in 2018. SC-SPED programs will remain at M.M. Robinson HS.

Nelson HS

Under Option 19, Nelson HS English catchment expands east to Brant St. The FI program at Nelson HS will be divided along Appleby Line. Students that reside west of Appleby Line will remain at Nelson HS and students that reside east of Appleby Line to be redirected to Robert Bateman HS. There is no proposed changes to the Secondary Gifted Placement. Utilization should immediately increase to close to 85% then slowly decline and stabilize at 80% capacity.

Robert Bateman HS

It is staff recommended to establish a new FI program at Robert Bateman HS. The recommended boundary will expand Robert Bateman HS catchment English and French Immersion to north of the QEW, south of Upper Middle Rd and east of Appleby Line. The International Baccalaureate program and SC-SPED program will remain as status quo. Utilization is projected to increase to 73% in 2018.

This staff recommendation is based on a programming decision to create a more opportunities in education and extra-circular activities for the students the Burlington communities.

Ministry Changes to School Closures

On March 26, 2015 the Ministry of Education released a revised Pupil Accommodation Review Guideline (PARG) and Community Planning & Partnerships Guideline (CPPG). School boards are expected to amend their existing Pupil Accommodation Review and Facility Partnerships policies to reflect the changes incorporated into the new PARG and CPPG before announcing any new Pupil Accommodation Reviews. The Ministry of Education expects school boards to consult with local communities prior to adopting or subsequently amending these policies. The new PARG and CPPG are effective upon release and replace previous version.

This impacts the proposed HDSB Program & Accommodation Review (PAR) of Burlington High Schools. There is a shift in emphasis toward student achievement and away from considering the impact of closing a school on the well-being of a community and it’s local economy.  Continue reading

Revised Sex Ed Curriculum Long Overdue

Congrats to Premier Kathleen Wynne, Minister of Ed Liz Sandals and Liberal MPPs for demonstrating the courage Premier Dalton McGuinty lacked in 2010. Ontario’s physical & health curriculum has not been revised since 1998. There have been many changes in children’s lives over those 17 years, such as the introduction of Facebook, iPhones, Tinder, and Instagram, as well as the HPV vaccine. The new Physical Education and Health curriculum for Grades 1 to 12 is long overdue. Indeed, I brought a motion to the Jun18th Board meeting that passed unanimously urging the Ministry of Education to replace the outdated curriculum: HDSB #14107 Health and Physical Education Curriculum (J. Hlusko)

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Specialist High Skills Major Programs Expanded

Education Minister Liz Sandals reveals expanded skills program in Burlington

Burlington Post | Tim Whitnell | Sep 04, 2014

…Education Minister Liz Sandals visited Notre Dame SS yesterday to [announce] that Ontario’s Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) has expanded by 2,000 students and 125 programs for the 2014-15 school year bringing those totals to more than 44,000 students enrolled in 1,685 such programs.

For 2014-15, the Ministry of Education is investing $25.3 million in SHSMs.

The Halton District School Board has projected 1,734 SHSM students participating in 58 SHSM programs in 19 schools over 14 learning sectors.

The Halton Catholic board has projected 330 SHSM students in 20 SHSM programs in 8 schools over 9 learning sectors…

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ON Students Need an Updated Health & Phys-Ed Curriculum

My Jun18th motion, HDSB #14107 Health and Physical Education Curriculum, was sent to the Ministry and all school boards. Ontario’s 15-year-old Health & Physical Education curriculum is the oldest in Canada. We all need to advocate for our young people.

Teaching for the times: Ontario students need updated health and phys ed curriculum

If current levels of child and youth obesity continue, today’s kids are looking at a shorter life expectancy than their parents for the first time in generations …
A revised H&PE curriculum isn’t just about sexual health education; it addresses a comprehensive range of concepts and areas of learning including physical activity; safety and injury prevention; healthy eating; substance use, addictions and related behaviours; mental health, and human development. It is the only curriculum that integrates the learning of important living skills such as critical thinking, personal skills and interpersonal skills. Ontario kids have a right to a current, research-based curriculum …
If you agree, please write the

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Time for the Ministry to get with the times on sex-ed

I brought a motion to the Board meeting Jun18th that passed unanimously urging the Ministry of Education to replace the outdated curriculum: HDSB #14107 Health and Physical Education Curriculum (J. Hlusko)

Four years of foreplay and afterthoughts on sex-ed: Cohn

Toronto Star |  | Jul 23, 2014

… McGuinty’s diversions and Wynne’s evasions [about fixing Ontario’s outdated educational curriculum] have exasperated educators across the province. And short-changed Ontario’s 2 million students [who] are paying a price for delay: Cyberbullying, teen suicides, and sexting have pushed the envelope of relationships.

Some 9,000 pregnancies for young women and girls under age 20 were reported in 2010, with more than half of them aborted. There were 775 new cases of HIV in 2012.

… Ontario’s current sex-ed teaching guidelines date from the 1990s, long before Facebook, smart phones and same-sex marriage …

Survey research by Ophea and a coalition of 50 organizations, conducted by Environics Research, shows nine in 10 parents want an updated sex-ed curriculum.

Embedding Political Literacy into the Curriculum?

Curriculum is controlled by the Ministry of Education. In addition to the grade 10 civics course, ‘government’ is taught in grade 5. I have been a guest speaker in many grade 5 classes over the past 11years. I totally agree with Ms. Teitel’s criticism about embedding it in education. Indeed, I have written every school that Ward 6 students attend asking the principals to consider registering to participate in the Jun 12th Student Vote Thank you to the schools that squeezed this into their program.

Get to Voters While They’re Young

MacLeans | Emma Teitel | Jun 7, 2014

Only 43.8% of Canadians aged 18 to 24 voted in the federal election in 2006, followed by 37.4% in 2008, and 38.8% in 2011. Given that voter turnout is even worse in provincial elections than federal—we’ll be lucky if we see so much as an infinitesimal Gen Y turnout on June 12.  Continue reading