Athabasca School, Feb. 14, 2011. The school closed in June, 2011.
Closure decision - January 10
The school board will decide on the futures of Haultain and Dieppe Schools:
Tuesday, Jan. 10 7 p.m.
School board office
1600 - 4th Ave.
Lara Quintin of Haultain Community School and Bill Gray of the Eastview Queen City Community Association to speak.
Haultain and Dieppe - Some things to consider
Haultain Community School is just 19 students short of the board’s 140 cut-off. In this context, it is important to note that enrolment increased by 29 students between 2010 and 2011.
In percentage terms, Haultain’s enrolment has risen by 32 per cent over last year. There are 17 children in pre-K, up from 13 the year before. To compare:
2010: 79 K-8 + 13 Pre-K = 92 total
2011: 104 K-8 + 17 Pre-K = 121 total
According to the last census, the communities with the largest proportions of children under 5 years of age are:
• North Central (8.9% of the population is under 5);
• Eastview (8.2%); and
• the warehouse area (7.3%).
It should be noted that the warehouse area includes areas that the City recognizes as belonging to Eastview (City as opposed to Census boundaries).
Thirty-seven per cent of Eastview families are headed by single parents. Combined with the likelihood of young children at home, as statistics indicate, one may conclude that mobility to and from a distant school will present a serious challenge for many families. It will not be easy to pop in to speak with a teacher, pick up a sick child or take part in a program, especially for those without cars.
Haultain is a community school, meaning it has been specifically recognized as an important pillar of support for area families. While cost per student may be higher, ensuring equitable access to a school and its programs should be considered an overriding factor.
The 10-Year Plan originally anticipated just over 10,000 elementary students by 2018. The latest projection is just over 14,000. This is a 48 per cent increase. A potential shift of this magnitude is more than sufficient cause for a pause in the school closure timeline.
As several presenters pointed out, there are a number of planned developments on the city’s west side, including the Global Transportation Hub, that are likely to effect Dieppe and its surrounding neighbourhoods.
The main receiving school for Dieppe’s 103 students, McLurg, already has 327 students. A closure is likely to immediately place McLurg above the board’s 400 maximum recommended enrolment for quality education in an elementary school.
Dieppe is a well-built, structurally sound facility with a new roof. It cannot be easily or economically replaced when need arises.
A visual inspection report states Haultain is in ‘fair’ condition, while a structural report suggests $3.2 million in repairs. This is not prohibitive, within the overall capital spending scope of the 10-Year Plan, or compared to investments made in other neighbourhoods.
The City of Regina is in the midst of developing an Official Community Plan that will impact the future of Regina neighbourhoods. The board should consider reserving its decisions until the Plan is presented, as it would make more sense to work with the City plan rather than forging ahead alone.
The closures are based on a plan that was first put forward in 2005 and expanded in 2007. We should not continue to be held hostage to a seven-year-old plan that was created during a time of stagnant population growth and declining enrolment. Much has changed since then.
Below are two of four presentations made to the school board by members of the community, at the board's Dec. 13 meeting. The presentations were received, however the board chair's comments to the media afterwards indicates the substance of them was not heard. In particular, presenters' pleas for a plan of action based on community input appears to have fallen on deaf ears.
Haultain facility audit
Below is Haultain School's facility audit, which outlines the condition of the 1919 building. There are two reports, a visual inspection and a structural report. The first report states it is structurally in "fair condition" and "serves current needs." The structural report suggests underpinning and foundational repairs of $2.2 million, characterized as "prohibitive" costs, although the rating given lands between "minor deficiences" and "servicable condition." Compared to some other schools in the system, and compared to the cost of a new build at $18 million, they are not bad reports, however there appears to be little will to maintain the building because it has exceeded its "forecasted lifespan." How and when the forecast was made, and by whom, is not explained, however it has been stated in other forums that the board considers a building life span to be 50 years. Were this thinking extended, pretty much the entire Eastview neighbourhood would need to be demolished!
Haultain SCC Presentation
This presentation tells about the history and structure of Eastview as an intentionally designed walking community, and the role of the school. It was presented by Haultain SCC chair Lara Quintin to the board on Nov. 8.
Anyone wishing to present to the board about the proposed closures of Haultain and Dieppe may do so on Dec. 13 or Jan. 10, but you need to contact the school board office first to get on the agenda.
Public consultations on school closures
145 Dorothy Street
Wednesday, November 2, 2011, 7:00 p.m.
Haultain Community School
1033 Edgar Street
Tuesday, November 8, 2011, 7:00 p.m.
Open to all members of the public. You may also email your comments to email@example.com
Message from the Dieppe SCC
DIEPPE SCHOOL MIGHT CLOSE – HELP SAVE THE SCHOOL!!!
Regina Public Schools (RPS) trustees voted at their September 20 meeting to move forward with the closure of Dieppe School. Due to the current and projected low enrolment numbers, RPS is recommending that Dieppe School be CLOSED at the end of this school year (June 2012).
RPS trustees Carla Beck and Cindy Anderson did NOT support the vote to close the school.
The trustee representing Dieppe School, Angela Fraser, DID support the vote to move forward to close Dieppe School.
The next step in the process is that RPS will hold consultations with the community and the final vote will be before January 15, 2012. We aren’t sure how much they will consult but there is a meeting planned in November to hear from families. It is critical that as many people as possible attend this meeting to voice their concerns!!!
The meeting with RPS will be held on Wednesday, November 2 at 7:00 p.m. at Dieppe School.
You must plan to attend this meeting and voice your concerns. Enrolment is down at Dieppe School but it is very difficult to attract students to a school that has been on the possible closure list for the past two years.
Dieppe School could become a Neighbourhood Learning Centre and be used for other activities. Vancouver is looking at other ways to use schools, share with the City, and generate revenue to keep schools in the community.
If you want a school in your community, you must lobby the elected members of the Regina Public Schools. Call the Dieppe RPS trustee Angela Fraser, call the other RPS Councillors as they will all be voting on the closure. Call the City Councillor, Mike O’Donnell and get him to lobby RPS.
RPS should be working to find ways to keep small schools open rather than closing them. There must be other options to attract students to the school.
Tell others in the community to contact the Board members even if they don’t have children in the school. We all love having a school in our community!!
RPS future plans for Regina schools include enrolment numbers. Enrolment projections indicate that the enrolment at Dieppe School will be below 140 students into the future. RPS is using 140 students as the cut-off enrolment number to be the mimuim number to keep an elementary school open.
The recommendations are based on projected enrolment numbers and do not take into consideration the importance of small schools in the community, the fact that research shows that students do better in smaller schools, and the fact that Dieppe is a subdivision in itself. As you know, the school provides a place of learning during the day and a venue for community organized events in the evening. Children thrive in local community schools.
The Dieppe Place Community Association uses the school in the evening for programs for local children. These programs provide activities for children in the evenings instead of looking for something else to do. The community needs the school!!
Do your part to help keep Dieppe School open!
Contact the elected RPS trustees and plan to attend the November 2 meeting to voice your concerns.
Contact the City Councillor Mike O’Donnell and lobby him to help keep the school open: 545-7300 or email him on the City of Regina website - http://www.regina.ca/Page1470.aspx
Contact Regina Public Schools – firstname.lastname@example.org
Regina Public Schools Board – Elected trustees
Angela Fraser – she is the elected trustee for the Dieppe area and supported the vote to close the email@example.com
Barbara Young – Chairperson of the Board
Cindy Anderson – did NOT support the vote to close Dieppe
Carla Beck – did NOT support the vote to close Dieppe
Katherine Gagne Vice-Chairperson
Document prepared by Dieppe School Community Council.
For more information contact:
Biennial Review - Community Response
On Sept. 20, 2011, the Regina Board of Education considered recommendations arising from it biennial review of the 10 Year Plan. Two schools were recommended for closure in June, Haultain and Dieppe. As well, the board considered a motion to delay the dispersal of Athabasca School, so that there would be time to develop a proposal for community re-use of the property.
Representatives of affected school communities made presentations on behalf of their schools. RealRenewal made 19 recommendations in response to the Biennial Review. Rick Hesch made a presentation on the 10 Year Plan in relation to community schooling and First Nations and Metis education.
In the end, the board went ahead with the closure citations and defeated the motion to delay dispersal of Athabasca School.
Below are the presentations.
Updated Closure List - Sept 2011
2012 - Recommended for closure citation
Martin Collegiate - On hold pending review of highschools.
Imperial and/or McDermid
Coldwell - on watch
McDonald or Coronation Park - Removed from list due to increased projected enrolment
Rosemont or Walker - on watch
Kitchener - on watch
Review of highschools
Highschools on watch:
Program Closures - Completed
Wilfred Walker English
Fewer, bigger schools
Under the 10 Year Plan, the trend is toward fewer, bigger schools. There are now 13 elementary schools projected to exceed 400 students by the end of the 10 Year Plan, compared to 5 schools over 400 in the Plan's first year.
Actual - 2008
MacKenzie - 412
Janzen - 442
Buck - 409
Massey - 439 (133 English; 306 French)
Braun - 533
Projected - 2018
Braun - 509
Buck - 493
Janzen - 515
Douglas Park - 522
Hawrylak - 923 (412 English; 511 French)
Massey - 549
MacNeill - 418
Ready - 474
Lee - 709
McLurg - 498
Milliken - 410
Perry - 410
Mironuck - 545 (289 English; 256 French)
Did you ever wonder what a 10-Year Plan would look like if the Regina Board of Education had listened to parents in the beginning? University of Dalhousie policy researcher Kathleen Donovan analyzed parent comments appended to the back of school board's 2007 Phase One report.
Donovan's analysis found that items such as special needs and after school programs were frequently cited as areas needing improvement. Curriculum relevancy, more classroom resources and smaller class sizes also were major concerns. Significantly, parents did not ask for bigger schools or new construction – although this is the only concept that was returned to them for consideration in the next round of consultations.
The report is a helpful guide for parent adovates who want to unearth their original road map. It provides a vision of schools that are deeply integrated in their surrounding communities, and an education system that emphasizes fairness, inclusion and improved academic standards.
Report slams closures
The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives-Saskatchewan has released a report on Regina’s school closure plan, in light of changes to the education tax system. The report finds students and communities will not be better served by tax changes if the board remains fixated on its plan to close schools in low income and inner city neighbourhoods.
Author Tricia Bakken presents several arguments for retaining the city’s core area schools, including “the better learning outcomes associated with smaller schools, the inconsistency of small school closure with the Regina Public School Board commitments, and the further marginalization of Aboriginal people in Regina.”
Dieppe and Haultain to close
In a stunning yet unsurprising failure of flexibility and foresight, public school trustees last night voted to strip yet two more Regina neighbourhoods of their schools. Before the vote, Haultain School Community Council chair Lara Quintin called on the board to make an exception to the10-Year Plan’s rigid program model of 200 to 400 students. “It’s not irresponsible or inequitable to invest more in a community that has substantially less, a community with barriers to overcome and dangers to consider,” she said.
Double jeopardy for poorer schools
School policy commentator Diane Dyson compiled data from Toronto and found low-income school communities bear the brunt of school closures.
Article on the decision-making structures around closures
Knowing these underlying power dynamics driving closure consultations will help community advocates understand where their power is weakest, and where it is strongest, leading to more effective community action in defence of local schools.
School consolidation and notions of progress
By Patricia W. Elliott
in education, Spring 2012 (Vol. 18, No. 1)
Time for Second Thought
Remarks to the Trustees, March 4, 2008
Time for Second Thought: Comments on the Renewal Plan. March 4, 2008
This presentation examines financial implications, impact on First Nations students, population data and other aspects of the 10-year school closure plan.
Closure map - elementary schools