Updated May 17, 2016
The Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board will update Frequently Asked Questions as questions arise from the community through the trustees and staff related to the East Credit Pupil Accommodation Review process. Points of clarification will also be addressed in the FAQs. Correspondence received by trustees will be included as part of the Final Report submitted to the Board of Trustees for consideration on May 24, 2016.
Research shows that children with special needs who transition from one school to another school poses additional challenges as well as can delay the learning that is designed for the child. How many Special Needs students attend schools in the East Credit Review area?
The number of students enrolled in special education resource classes are identified in each of the School Information Profiles. The Board has a practice in ensuring smooth transitions for all students, in particular, for those students who may require special supports. Students with special needs will continue to be supported to reach their fullest potential, regardless of the school in which they are registered.
Why does St Gertrude Elementary School not appear on the list of schools suspected of containing asbestos and constructed before the year 2000?
St. Gertrude was not included on the list because it had undergone a partial survey prior to renovation work done in the past. Following the board’s Asbestos Management Protocol, it was deemed that it was unlikely the remainder of the school contained asbestos. Nevertheless, following protocol, should any renovation or construction work be initiated at St. Gertrude in the future, the board would again conduct a survey prior to any work being done.
Why were original staff options 1 and 3 from the Initial Staff Report not considered and developed further to be presented as alternative for new staff options?
Keeping school communities together is the most important rationale identified by the community at large through Survey #2. With respect to Initial Staff Option 1, none of the schools in the East Credit review area would be able to accommodate the entire St Gertrude population as a whole (regular track and French Immersion), nor can St Gertrude accommodate any other school communities as a whole without the need for a significant number of portables. In Initial Staff Option 3, the distribution of the remaining receiving schools is such that the new boundaries created cross over major roads such as Britannia Road and Eglinton Avenue. This rationale is also true for regular track students being directed from St Gertrude to St Valentine school in Option 1, potentially requiring some students to cross Mavis Road. Furthermore, the distribution of the remaining schools in Option 3 does not represent an even distribution of schools within the review area.
What is the cost of installing and maintaining portables? What about surveillance of portables for student safety?
The board has a surplus of portables. The relocation of portables could be approximately $20,000/unit, depending on the site, the scope of work required and the number of portables needed. It is not the board’s practice to provide surveillance of portables.
Appendix 1 of the Interim Staff Report indicates that ARC Option 5 “Maintains Catholic Presence: ALL Areas of East Credit)”, however this option eliminates any presence west of Creditview Road and east of Mavis Rd. Can you explain?
The wording in Appendix 1 is directly extracted from the ARC Options as they were identified by the individual ARC groups that selected the option and as presented at Public Open House #2. Catholic presence is subject to interpretation in all options.
How are transportation costs calculated?
A number of factors are used to calculate transportation costs: the annual cost to operate a large school bus (approximately $45,000/year), the number of students being transported, where students live, bus routes and the number of runs a single bus can achieve during the morning and afternoon drives. Transportation costs are NOT calculated on a per pupil basis.
Why is a newer school like St Valentine being proposed to close, with students being directed to an older and smaller school like St Herbert?
St Valentine was built in 2001 with a capacity of 651. Recommended Modified Staff Option A proposes directing all existing students to St Herbert which was built in 2000 with a capacity of 533. The final boundaries would redirect any new students moving into the St Valentine area who live north of Bristol Road to St Raymond. St Raymond was built in the same year (2001) and has the same capacity (651) as St Valentine. These three schools are the youngest schools in East Credit. Directing students to St Herbert and St Raymond makes the most sense when determining an accommodation solution for the entire East Credit review area because they are the schools directly to the west of the St Valentine catchment area and central to the new proposed catchment areas.
How will St Herbert be able to accommodate additional traffic from new students?
St Valentine has a unique site and traffic circulation because of the narrow frontage; the site has limited bus accommodation, allowing for up to 3 busses at one time. St Herbert is a more typical site design which would accommodate up to 5 busses at one time. St Valentine and St Herbert both have 59 on-site parking spaces.
St Valentine is a newer, larger, fully air-conditioned school – why would it be a logical solution to consolidate children to St Herbert?
| School|| Year Built|| OTG|| Building Size (GFA)|| Board Air Conditioning|
| St Valentine|| 2001|| 651|| 5,041 m2|| Yes|
| St Herbert|| 2000|| 533|| 5,614 m2|| Yes|
St Herbert already has limited parking for the current population. How will it accommodate the new student population?
St Herbert and St Valentine each have 59 on-site parking spaces. The design of the school is such that the number of parking spaces meet municipal by-law requirements and can accommodate staff and visitor parking for the capacity of the building and beyond.
In the "New Staff Option #1", St. Valentine is supposed to be moved to St. Herbert. BUT St. Valentine is the only school with significant growth in the 10-year enrolment projections. If St. Valentine students are directed to St. Herbert, immediately, the school will be 18% overpopulated. In 10 years, this school will be 30% overpopulated. It will require portables to house 158 students - that's about 6 portables. Why is this option even being considered?
While the status quo enrolment projections for St Valentine are projected to increase, the projections shown in Modified Staff Option A actually show projected enrolments declining at St Herbert after consolidation with St Valentine. St Herbert is projected to be over-capacity by 11% in 10-years, or over-capacity by 59 students, with the potential for 2 portables based strictly on a mathematical formula. Staff has identified that while portables are based on a mathematical formula, there are other factors that determine the number of portables required at a school such as class size requirements and classroom organization.
Was an evaluation completed with respect to the traffic congestion from parent drop-off and pick-up in the St Herbert area, with two other public schools in the area?
The design of the school is such that the parking lot and Kiss and Ride can accommodate busses for the capacity of the building and beyond. The start times of St Herbert, Fallingbrook Middle and Sherwood Mills are purposely staggered to alleviate traffic congestion in the interest of student safety. St Herbert is designed with a standard Kiss and Ride to accommodate busses and student drop-off and pick-up.
What forecasting numbers in new enrolment does the board anticipate for St Herbert?
St Herbert enrolment is projected to be relatively stable over the next 10 years between 230 to 247 students.
St Valentine is a new school compared to St Herbert, and is eco-friendly. Is this a consideration for non-closure?
St Valentine is one year newer than St Herbert. According to Ontario Eco-School Standards, all schools in the East Credit Review area are 100% eco-certified.
What are the transportation costs for busing St. Gertrude students to St. Valentine?
The net transportation costs associated with the closure of St. Gertrude is approximately $70,000 and will be included in the 2017-2017 operating budget.
Grade K-6 students will be bused across Mavis Road. Students in grades 7 and 8 will be bused according to the eligibility outlined in the board’s transportation policy
How many portables will be required for St. Gertrude students at St. Valentine and for how long?
Based on current projections, three (3) portables will be required at St. Valentine to accommodate St. Gertrude regular track students. It is anticipated that these portables will be required in the short term and that by 2025 no portables will be required at St. Valentine.
What are the costs to place portables on the St. Valentine site?
There is a one-time cost of $20,000 per portable
The board will apply for School Consolidated Capital funding from the Ministry of Education for costs associated with the need for portables at the receiving schools.
What is the maximum # of portables that can be placed at St. Valentine?
Four (4) portables can be accommodated on the site with limited site impacts
An additional four (4) to six (6) portables can be added to the field area if required.
If students residing in St. Gertrude catchment area no longer wish to attend the FI program and want to attend the regular track at St. Valentine how will they be accommodated?
Additional portables will be added to the St. Valentine site.
What is the cost to retrofit St. Valentine?
The board will apply for School Consolidated Capital funding from the Ministry of Education for retrofits
In the past the Ministry has funded up to $250,000 per retrofit for a kindergarten room
How many portables will be required at St. Gregory and what is the cost?
Based on current enrolment projections, one (1) portable will be required to accommodate the French Immersion program at St. Gregory
How much will it cost to retrofit St. Gregory?
Based on current enrolment projections, no retrofits are anticipated for St. Gregory at this time