Community Comes Together in Latest Round of ARC Decisions

Trustees of the DSBN are continuing to enact strategies to combat the effects of declining enrolment and create the conditions for long-term student success in Niagara. At their regular meeting on April 22, Trustees determined the outcome of elementary school accommodation reviews in St. Catharines and Niagara-on-the-Lake. In both instances, Trustees determined that consolidating schools would best support student learning.

St. Catharines:

Beginning in September, 2014, students at Meadowvale Public school will join their fellow students at Sheridan Park Public School. With capacity for nearly three hundred students, Sheridan Park has ample space to accommodate the incoming students without the use of portables.

As a K-6 school, many Meadowvale students would transition to Sheridan Park to complete their elementary education. “This existing relationship between the two schools will support a positive transition for students since they already share many events and work together as a larger school community,” said Marian Reimer-Friesen, Superintendent of Schools.

Academically, students will benefit from expanded program and extra-curricular options resulting from the increased enrolment.

The decision to consolidate Meadowvale into Sheridan Park was also supported by an option presented to Trustees by the Accommodation Review Committee.

Niagara-on-the-Lake:

Students at Parliament Oak Public School will soon join their counterparts at an expanded Crossroads Public School. At the meeting, Trustees voted to accept the Senior Staff recommendation to construct a four classroom addition at Crossroads to accommodate the incoming students from Parliament Oak in September, 2015.

With 90 students enrolled in the English track at Parliament Oak, triple split grades have become the reality for students at the school. With projections showing enrolment will remain below 100 students for the foreseeable future, Trustees felt students would benefit from the opportunity to join the Crossroads community. By consolidating both schools, Trustees will eliminate 222 surplus spaces, which are spaces for which the Board receives no government funding.

By bringing students together, Trustees will have eliminated triple-split grade classes and provided students with expanded access to educational, athletic and extra-curricular activities. Now that the decision has been made, the DSBN will bring together a Transition Team made up of parents, staff members and school administrators. The team will identify the needs of students and support a positive and successful transition for all students.