“It is essential to the integrity of the process that the outcome of the review is not pre-determined” – School Closure Review Report – Jan 30, 07

The following recommendations have been proposed in the School Closure Process Review Final Report (available here) that was presented to the Minister today.

The proposal recommends that the process no longer be a closure process, but a “review” process. The timeline will be extended from four to twelve months, and will take into account issues around community, and that the Study Committee should include both “education partners” and SAC representation.

The report also recommends that schools that are being consolidated should be subject to this review. This means the consolidation of the three south end schools into one would be subject to this review.

Finally, Minister Casey said in the press scrum after the launch that all schools currently threatened with closure would be subject to this new process before any closure could go ahead.

This report if accepted by the Minister will be one of the major victories were are looking for, and it will ensure a great deal more public consultation than is currently the case.

Recommendation 1
Revise the Education Act and Regulations to remove the word “closure” from references to
the process, in recognition that closure is only one possible outcome of a school review.
It is essential to the integrity of the process that the outcome of the review is not pre-determined.

Recommendation 2
Revise the Ministerial Education Act Regulations to change and bring greater clarity to province-wide criteria for identification of a school(s) for review and mitigating factors.

Recommendation 3
School board staff should be responsible for developing a comprehensive School Review Report which provides all pertinent information and an analysis of key factors relating to the review and recommended outcome, and allows for open public debate.

Recommendation 4
Extend the timeframe of the review process from four to twelve months.

Recommendation 5
Study Committee membership requirements be revised to encourage participation of education partners, and, where they are established, require membership from the School Advisory Council (SAC).

Recommendation 6
A transition plan for students be prepared by the principal of a school intended for closure.

Recommendation 7
The Department of Education should consider examining the current process and related
legislation that governs the school consolidation process.