Presentation to Near North District School Board - 2017 School Closures and Potential Impacts to the Municipality

12 June 2017

Thank you for  the opportunity to present to you regarding the recently completed Student Accommodation Review Committee with respect to potential school closures and consolidations.

As I had stated in my initial presentation back in February, I understand that it is inevitable that there will be school closings. But at the same time, I knew that there were options beyond the single high school option that was being contemplated. Therefore, I would like to thank the Accommodation Review Committee for their time and thoughtful work to arrive at alternative solutions that will, if accepted by this Board, maintain two of the three high schools. In addition, I understand that the most recent staff recommendation also supports a 2-High School solution for our community

It will now be up to the Board to deliberate and make a decision. I am here to ask that in your considerations, you weigh the potential impacts on our community and on the students. I ask that you make the decision that will make a positive impact on our community. Please consider carefully in your deliberations what the impact of school closures will have from a community perspective on our city. I ask Trustees from outside of our City to be cognizant of what our community, through the ARC deliberations, has recommended.

I will briefly summarize the impact I see on our city from a Community Development, City Planning, Economic Development, and Infrastructure perspective. I think that the ARC and your staff’s recommendation did an excellent job of balancing these considerations in their recommendations.

From a Community Development perspective, below are the recommendations from the ARC and the Staff:

  • Recognizes that Schools are the hearts of our communities and contribute intrinsic value to the communities and neighbourhoods they
  • Recognizes that Schools play a strategic role in the community as hubs around which the community
  • Supports our community’s long-term planning objectives of intensification, neighbourhood revitalization, and the retention of walkable and mixed

Supports neighbourhood and community identity facilitating how people interact with each other, develop relationships and work towards a common goal. Enhancing that sense of community what makes our city a great place to live.