Update on the Halton District School Board Long Term Accomodation Plan

The HDSB held a public meeting in Oakville on October 2nd, 2008 for review of its Long Term Accommodation Plan.

The plan seems to be more of the same for Halton public elementary schools with schools designed for approximately 500 students being upsized with classrooms to hold about 700 students … and then portables added to accommodate excess enrolment. This puts stress on the ability of schools to deliver programs (overcrowding infringes on ability to have special use classrooms such as music, art, technology) and denies students a desired level of access to common facilities (gymnasium, library, computers). This plan seems to be driven by the monetary consideration that it is more efficient cost-wise to run more students through the same common facilities: the Superintendent of Business Services expressed how little it costs HDSB for construction if he takes a school for 500 students and adds on classrooms to fit in another 200 students.

There is a cost-quality equation. As parents we’d like programs to be delivered to our children and for them to receive reasonable access to school facilities: we don’t think programs and access to facilities should be compromised because our families live in new developments. The HDSB has not communicated whether they have other priorities or if there is a lack of funding that is at odds with delivering this quality of education to new schools, maybe it’s both.

Note on Full-time Kindergarten

The Superintendent of Business Services indicated that the Province has asked the HDSB to revise its submission for new elementary schools by increasing school size to accommodate full-time kindergarten. The impression left was that this was a good indicator of where the Province is headed on this issue. He also noted that the HDSB had yet to decide (or perhaps it will be the Province’s decision) whether full-time kindergarten would be administered under the Day Nurseries Act or the Education Act: this would affect student-teacher ratios and space per student, among other things.

Presently, there are 32 kindergarten classes in the HDSB and HCDSB schools that serve Ward 6 Oakville: 9 Joshua Creek PS, 4 Falgarwood PS, 5 Sheridan PS (18 HDSB); 5 St. Marguerite d’Youville CS, 6 St. Andrew CS, 3 Holy Family CS (14 HCDSB). This means 16 new classes for our schools. Given that most of these schools already have portables, this means many more portables and more stress on program delivery and denial of access to common facilities.

If full-time kindergarten is phased in, schools like Joshua Creek PS may be put near the end of the list as it may not have room for additional portables, or else further boundary changes would be needed. Other schools with portables may also be put near the end of the list as the additional classes from implementation in these schools mean additional portables which are an additional cost compared to implementing in underutilized schools in other communities within Halton. For parents who want full-time kindergarten this would mean another programming shortfall.

For more information and feedback forms please click on the link below:

Coronation Drive School Site Update

Summary from Town meeting of October 1, 2008 regarding application to rezone and subdivide school site on Coronation Drive

Related posts:
Email from HCDSB Trustee Pauline Houlahan
Presentation by Our Residents’ Association
Application to Rezone and Subdivide and Our Petition to the Town

The Town meeting was well attended. Our residents’ association was represented. We voiced:
- Opposition to the application to rezone and subdivide the school site;
- The need for more school capacity in our community;
- Support of the HCDSB retaining its rights to this school site;
- Our hope that the HCDSB would build a school at this site; and
- Support for these positions by submitting 490 signed petitions from our community.

A few notes for information:
- The school site consists of two lots owned by two different developers.
- The smaller portion is nearer North Ridge Trail (the “north lot”). It was communicated that this north lot is owned by the HCDSB and that they are commencing arbitration late October 2008 to set the price that the HCDSB will pay that developer.
- The developer who owns the larger portion (the “south lot”) has applied for its lot to be subdivided and rezoned. The developer indicated that it has attempted to sell the south lot to the HCDSB and is still eager to sell it to the HCDSB. If the HCDSB doesn’t want the lot, the developer would like it released for housing rather than let it stagnate: summarized by the wish that the HCDSB “fish or cut bait”.
- The HCDSB has communicated to the Town that they are not releasing their rights to purchase the south lot and that they intend to purchase it.
- It was stated that the HCDSB intends to construct a school on this site in 2010-2011. Please note that the HCDSB will want to know that they will have the students to use the school before they’ll build a school. While there is no guarantee of a school even if the HCDSB purchases the site, there definitely won’t be a school if they don’t.

- There are two more steps in the Town process.

o Next step is a statuary public meeting where Town staff will report to Town councillors on the application.

o Following that, at a later meeting Town councillors will vote on the application.

o The dates for these meetings is not known (perhaps several months to the next and again to the last). Additional petitions will be collected and submitted at the next Town meeting to add to our total.

- Earlier this year the developer filed an appeal with the Ontario Municipal Board concerning this application. This could be heard as early as mid-November 2008 but perhaps not until sometime in 2009. The OMB has the authority to overrule a decision by the Town.

There are three things running together: the arbitration on the north lot; the Town process; and the appeal to the OMB. The arbitration on the north lot is relevant as it will be an indicator for determining the price of the larger south lot.

It is easy to say that the HCDSB should just buy the south lot and be done with it, but that is too narrow a look. The whole subdivision was divvied up many years ago for various uses and the school boards were given the right to purchase specific lots from the developers and the developers were able to build on other lots. Our subdivision is nearing completion but there are still a large number of residents yet to move into their homes or for their homes to still be completed or even started. Beyond legal rights, it is just plain reasonable that if HCDSB needs more time to determine whether they want a school on this site, they should be given some more time. After all, it is a long term decision and we don’t want our school boards being forced to make premature decisions that might lead to school sites being released that should have been retained.

There is no need for antagonism towards any party. The HCDSB is looking after its interests. The developer is looking after its interests. Our community is looking after its interests. The Town and the Province have processes for these matters to be resolved. Our residents’ association will continue to participate in these processes. We encourage all residents to participate in these processes.

In the meantime, please take up Trustee Pauline Houlahan’s invitation to contact her and her fellow Oakville Trustees with your comments. We will gladly assist the HCDSB in demonstrating the need for a Catholic elementary school so that they can move beyond acquiring a school site and onto building a school.

Email to NEO-RA from HCDSB Trustee Pauline Houlahan

Please click below for the Email from HCDSB Trustee Pauline Houlahan:

HCDSB Trustees for Oakville Email Addresses are as follows:

Pauline Houlahan houlahanp@hcdsb.org
Anthony Danko dankoa@hcdsb.org
Ed Viana vianae@hcdsb.org
Alice Anne LeMay lemaya@hcdsb.org

Coronation Dr. School Lot Presentation by NEO-RA to the Town of Oakville on October 1st, 2008

Please click below for the Presentation by Our Residents’ Association:

Petition Regarding The Coronation Dr. School Lot

The Town of Oakville hosted a Public Information Meeting on October 1st, 2008 with regards to the Coronation Drive school lot rezoning and subdivision applicatoin. Please check back for information about the next Town of Oakville public meeting with regards to this application.

For more information regarding the application
Please click on the notice below.

NEO-RA is circulating a petition to be sent to the Town of Oakville opposing the application to have the Coronation Drive lot currently zoned for schools subdivided to allow the construction of 28 homes and rezoned to allow greater density. Please sign this petition (email, mail and fax instructions are on the petition).

Join the Association!

Join with your friends and neighbours to help address issues vital to our community. We welcome involvement at all levels. If you simply wish to become a member, you can sign up for a two-year membership for $20 per household (or more if you wish). Funds collected from membership are used to support the group's activities including meeting facilities, material costs, printing and other activities.

To join NEO-RA you need to reside within the area bounded by: Burnhamthorpe Road, Trafalgar Road, Queen Elizabeth Way and Ninth Line. Please visit http://www.oakville.ca/resassoc.htm for our associations boundaries.

Please email us at membership@neora.org or simply mail us a cheque for $20 payable to North-East Oakville Residents’ Association along with your name, address and email address to:

North-East Oakville Residents’ Association
c/o Michael Hawkins
2203 North Ridge Trail
Oakville, Ontario
L6H 6W2

NEO-RA Purpose

The North-East Oakville Residents' Association was formed on May 13, 2008. The purpose of NEO-RA is to further the community interests of North-East Oakville. For complete details please click on our purpose policy....

To Lose Driving Range at Joshuas Creek Drive & Upper Middle Road

Public Information Meeting October 6th, 2008

The Town of Oakville held a public information meeting regarding the application to amend the Town's Official Plan and Zoning By-Law to permit employment uses on the lands located south-east of Upper Middle Road and Joshuas Creek Drive.

The meeting was hosted by the Town of Oakville's Planning and Development Council on Monday October 6th, 2008.

For more information regarding the application please visit: http://www.oakville.ca/16905.htm

Please click on the notice below.

Review of The Halton District School Board's Long-Term Accommodation Plan

The Halton District School Board hosted a public meeting to review and provide feedback on the Long-Term Accommodation Plan for Oakville on October 2, 2008 at the Iroquois Ridge High School. This plan addresses the accommodation needs of students in elementary and secondary schools.

For more information and feedback forms please visit:
*****Revised Information*****

Do you think Oakville’s Ward boundaries should change for 2010 elections or after?

For more information regarding Ward changes please click on: