Board receives facilitatorâ€™s administrative review reportThursday, December 12, 2013 by: Steve Hardy
Near North District School Board
Board Receives Facilitator’s Administrative Review Report
Today, the Ministry of Education released facilitator Margaret Wilson’s report on the process the Near North District School Board followed for its accommodation review of schools in North Bay area.
Chairperson Kathy Hewitt is pleased that the report identifies that “the intention of the Board to create a fair and transparent accommodation review process is laudable.
The meetings of the ARC were exemplary in this respect.”
A number of the facilitator’s suggestions for improved process, such as posting all documents on the website, have been incorporated in the current accommodation review process already underway in the Burk’s Falls area.
The Board has completed three accommodation reviews:
1) the West Ferris ARC involving the West Ferris area schools in the City of North Bay;
2) the North Bay ARC involving schools in the central area of the City of North Bay; and,
3) Parry Sound ARC involving schools in the Town of Parry Sound and surrounding communities.
The Burk’s Falls area ARC will present its final report to the Board of Trustees for consideration in March, 2014.
At the beginning of each ARC, a “preferred option” was presented, which is mandated under Ministry guidelines.
This option is only a starting point for the ARC committee.
The ARC Committee is tasked with the responsibility of reviewing the preferred option as well as developing and reviewing alternative, viable options, based on community consultation.
It is important to note that ARC recommendations have a strong influence on Trustee decisions.
In two of the three ARC recommendations, the Board voted in favour of the ARC recommendation.
In the West Ferris ARC, the recommendation was the same as the Board preferred option. However, in the Parry Sound ARC, the Board voted to accept the alternative option which was different from the preferred option.
On October 31, 2013, two capital priority submissions were made to the Ministry of Education:
1) funding for a new Junior Kindergarten to Grade 6 facility on the Pinewood site in North Bay and
2) funding for a new Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12 facility in Parry Sound that will house separate elementary and separate secondary learning areas with some common facilities.
ARC processes are difficult and emotional. The Near North District School Board is committed to engaging its communities in an open, authentic and transparent accommodation review process in order to make the best decisions for all of students in the District.