Public input into the Honey Harbour Public School accommodation review process is now closed. However, once a final report has been presented at the March 21, 2017 Regular Meeting of the Board, members of the public may submit an application to delegate the board at a special meeting to be held on April 4, 2017. Please see below for further details.
Accommodation Review Committee Report
NOTICE: Special Meeting of the Board April 4, 2017 at 6:30 p.m.
Application form: Presentations/delegations to the Special Meeting of the Board April 4, 2017
Ministry of Education March 6, 2017 Pupil Accommodation Reviews Update
Link to March 21, 2017 Board Meeting agenda – with Pupil Accommodation Review Final Report
On October 25, 2016, Trillium Lakelands District School Board trustees approved an accommodation review process to begin for Honey Harbour Public School as recommended in an Accommodation Review Report presented at the October 11, 2016 Committee of the Whole meeting. The administrative report proposes the closing of Honey Harbour Public School in Honey Harbour at the end of the 2016-2017 school year and that students transfer to Glen Orchard Public School in Glen Orchard beginning in the 2017-2018 school year.
Parents/guardians at both Honey Harbour Public School and Glen Orchard Public School received notification following the approval of an accommodation review process to begin. Affected single and upper-tier municipalities were also notified as required by TLDSB Pupil Accommodation Review Guidelines.
The Pupil Accommodation Review is a formal process which includes the opportunity for community input. An Accommodation Review Committee (ARC) is made up of two parents from each of the schools. The Honey Harbour Public School ARC members are:
- from Honey Harbour Public School – Linda Foster and Andrea Elgar
- from Glen Orchard Public School – Tricia Fenn and Amy MacDonald
The ARC met with a facilitator for an orientation meeting on November 29, 2016 prior to public meetings. Public meetings were held on the following dates:
At the end of the public consultation period, members of the ARC create a report to be submitted to school board staff. This report is due to be submitted to TLDSB staff on February 28, 2017. The report is to contain the following elements:
- Members of the committee
- Meeting dates and purpose (orientation, public meeting, etc.)
- Summary of key messages from minutes and public input
- Response to the initial staff report recommendations
- Any alternative suggested solutions
- Executive summary conclusion
Opportunity for public input to the accommodation review process closes February 28, 2017 after the ARC presents their report to TLDSB Staff. A final report which will include the ARC report, will be presented to trustees on March 21, 2017 at a regular meeting of the board at the Lindsay Education Centre. The report will be available to the public on March 21, 2017. The public are invited to bring delegations to a special meeting of the Trillium Lakelands District School Board on April 4, 2017 in response to this final report. Following the April 4, 2017 Special Meeting of the Board, a final report with the delegation information will be presented to trustees at the April 25, 2017 Regular Meeting of the Board. At this meeting trustees will vote on the recommendation(s) within the report.
- Tuesday, March 21, 2017 at 6:30 p.m. at the Lindsay Education Centre – Final Staff Report presented to trustees at a Regular Meeting of the Board
- Tuesday April 4, 2017 at 6:30 p.m. at the Baxter Ward Community Centre – members of the public may present at a Special Meeting of the Board
- Tuesday, April 25, 2017 at 6:30 p.m. at the Lindsay Education Centre – Final Staff Report with delegations addendum information and final decision by trustees at a Regular Meeting of the Board
Accommodation Review Meetings
All ARC meetings are open to the public, however, public presentations will only take place at the public meetings. Individuals who submit a Public Input Form will be given 5 minutes to present at a public meeting. Individuals representing a group will be given 1o minutes to present at a public meeting. All members of the public are welcome to submit questions or comments through the Public Input Form.
ARC Mandate and Terms of Reference
ARC Orientation Meeting, November 29, 2016, 6:30 p.m.
Baxter Ward Community Centre, 279 Honey Harbour Rd, Port Severn, ON L0K 1S0
ARC Public Meeting # 1, December 8, 2016, 6:30 p.m.
Baxter Ward Community Centre, 279 Honey Harbour Rd, Port Severn, ON L0K 1S0
ARC Working Meeting # 1, January 31, 2017, 6:30 p.m.
Baxter Ward Community Centre, 279 Honey Harbour Rd, Port Severn, ON L0K 1S0
ARC Working Meeting #2, rescheduled to February 13, 2017, 6:30 p.m. due to inclement weather. Baxter Ward Community Centre, 279 Honey Harbour Rd, Port Severn, ON L0K 1S0
ARC Public Meeting # 2, February 21, 2017, 6:30 p.m.
Baxter Ward Community Centre, 279 Honey Harbour Rd, Port Severn, ON L0K 1S0
Public input to the Honey Harbour Public School accommodation review process is now closed (February 28, 2017). Parents, guardians, or community members were invited to submit questions, concerns, or suggestions to the ARC in writing throughout the accommodation review process. An ARC Public Input Form had to be completed for anyone who wished to present at a public meeting or to submit questions or suggestions to the ARC. Individuals could present at a public meeting. One person representing a group or organization could also present at a public meeting. There was an opportunity to submit questions in writing at each of the public meetings.
Township of Georgian Bay, November 16, 2016
Thomas Hewitt, November 2016
Scott Metherell, November 2016
Peter Koetsier, November 17, 2016
Marion McLeod, November 21, 2016
Lauren Patchett, October 19, 2016
Kristin Koetsier, November 2016
Kay Kaye, October 31, 2016
Janine White, November 17, 2016
Segbay Chamber of Commerce, November 21, 2016
Gerry White, November 22, 2016
Gerald White, October 24, 2016
Dennis and Karen Robitaille, October 26, 2016
Annemarie Grigaitis, October 31, 2016
Jim Dillon, December 5, 2016
Laurie Belsey, December 5, 2016
BJ Stevens December 6, 2016
Larry Braid, Township of Georgian Bay, February 7, 2017
Tracey Devine, February 16, 2017
Denise Shelly, February 17, 2017
Gerry White, February 17, 2017
Trevor White, February 17, 2017
Janine White, January 17, 2017
Barbara Swyers, February 17, 2017
Tracey Bourgouin, February 21, 2017
Andrea Elgar, February 21, 2017
Sara Fraser, February 21, 2017
John Elgar, February 21, 2017
Leslie Walker, February 21, 2017
Andrea Elgar (2), February 21, 2017
Patricia Plumb, February 28, 2017
Annemarie Grigaitis, December 8, 2016
Honey Harbour Association, Peter Koetsier, December 8, 2016
SOS Save our Schools in Honey Harbour, Katherine Breeson, December 8, 2016
Tricia Richardson, December 8, 2016
Paul Elgar, December 8, 2016
Neil Richardson, December 8, 2016
Muskoka Family Focus, Jennifer Brush, February 21, 2017
Honey Harbour Association, Peter Koetsier, February 21, 2017
Township of Georgian Bay, Ward 4 Councillor, Kathy Kay, February 21, 2017
SOS Save Our Schools in Honey Harbour, Katherine Breeson, February 21, 2017
Ontario Alliance Against School Closures , Susan Mackenzie/Katherine Breeson, February 21, 2017
Honey Harbour Public School Student Group, Colin Breeson and Spencer Lawley, February 21, 2017
Madeline Elgar, February 21, 2017
Paul Elgar, February 21, 2017
Questions and Answers
Can you explain the enrolment decline numbers used to explain the reason for an accommodation review?
RESPONSE: Each year the school board data analyst takes the current year enrolment from JK through to grade 8 and moves it forward using the number of students in the previous grade. A retention factor for the school is then applied based on the number of students moving in or out of an area over an average 5 year period. Small anomalies are also taken into consideration. To determine the projected JK numbers, a probability is developed from the average of the last 5 years along with the most current information. Please refer to the October 4, 2016 Pupil Accommodation Review Report for Honey Harbour Public School to see when an accommodation review is considered, and the specific conditions that determined the recommendation for Honey Harbour Public School.
Can you confirm that the bussing times you have provided in the School Information Profile are accurate?
RESPONSE: The school board has confirmed with the school bus provider that the times listed are accurate. However the school bus provider has asked bus drivers to provide time checks. Once this information is received, it will be posted here.
What will the transportation costs be to transport children to Glen Orchard Public School?
RESPONSE: The cost to transport Honey Harbour Public School students to Glen Orchard Public School will be approximately $95,500.00 per school year.
Are buses equipped with snow tires?
RESPONSE: All new buses are equipped with mud and snow tires. When the tires are replaced they are replaced with tires that are similar to or better than mud and snow tires, or they are replaced with the same stock tires that are on new buses. All older buses have mud and snow tires – these tires are typically changed 3 times better than the standard set by the Ministry of Transportation. Most operators have internal standards where tires are replaced at more rigorous standards than those set by the MTO.
What will you do if inclement weather results in roads being closed and students are unable to get home?
RESPONSE: If inclement weather results in roads being closed, students would remain at the school until the roads are clear – this is the protocol for all TLDSB schools in this extreme circumstance.
If enrolment is down by 25%, has the number of school boards been reduced and have the staffing levels in TLDSB been reduced?
RESPONSE: The chart on the main accommodation review page of the TLDSB website covers a period between the 2005-2006 school year and the 2020-2021 school year. This chart indicates an approximate decline of 28% in enrolment across TLDSB over this time period. Staffing levels for TLDSB have been reduced over that time frame. There has not been a reduction in the number of school boards since the provincially mandated amalgamation of school boards in 1997.
How will students with special needs be supported?
RESPONSE: Students with special needs are supported by a networked team of school staff and board staff. Special Education Resource Teachers (SERTs) and classroom teachers work collaboratively to plan for student needs and board staff assist with planning, assessment, and support through school team meetings. Transition planning (tours, visits, social stories, linking with school staff) occurs in addition to regular transition planning for students with special needs. In addition, presently the portable and hallway are being used for some of our special needs students at Honey Harbour Public School that require sensory breaks or other special education supports. Glen Orchard Public School has the ability to offer all special education supports within the building.
How will students who have only ever been in a small class adjust to being in bigger classrooms and single grade classrooms?
RESPONSE: We are confident that students can adjust quite well. In fact if students were to attend Glen Orchard Public School, it will allow for a larger network of peers to be able to cooperate and interact with as well as share their learning. More of a collaborative enquiry in their learning can take place leading to greater social skills practice and learning. Having larger numbers allows for single and double grade classrooms so students can be with age appropriate peers.
Why was the initial ARC based on enrolment numbers and now that the school is at 88%+ capacity the focus has been shifted to Quality of education.
RESPONSE: The focus has always been on the best opportunities for all of our students. The board must look at all aspects when considering a school consolidation or closure. This includes the financial implications as well as the programming for students
Other than your anecdotal statement that education is best offered in a larger setting, what proof do you have that this is in fact true?
RESPONSE: Please refer to the response to the question above.
If Honey Harbour Public School closes and the students are forced to attend Glen Orchard, would TLDSB still turn a blind eye to the graduating Honey Harbour students attending a high school in Simcoe (ie. Georgian Bay Secondary School)?
RESPONSE: TLDSB is aware that students in the Honey Harbour area attend secondary school outside of TLDSB and that this has been a long standing tradition. TLDSB was providing transportation to allow students to go to secondary school outside of TLDSB. Simcoe County District School Board is now providing bus transportation for these students.
The board mentioned that Honey Harbour Public School does not have a Ministry Identification Number (MIDENT Number) and therefore the school does not received direct funding. Instead, the school is run as a satellite campus of Glen Orchard Public School. Why is it not its own school? Could there be a process to get it a MIDENT number?
RESPONSE: The Ministry of Education is aware of Honey Harbour Public School. The school is viewed as an annex (something like an off-site portable) to Glen Orchard Public School and the students are enrolled, in the background, at Glen Orchard Public School. Please see response in the question below.
Are you doing this so the government doesn’t find out you’re lying about what school we go to?
RESPONSE: The school board is not lying to the Ministry of Education. As stated above, the Ministry of Education is aware of Honey Harbour Public School but cannot recognize the school as an independent school. In order to ensure some funding is received, the students are enrolled as an annex to Glen Orchard Public School.
Following the Honey Harbour Public School ARC Public Meeting on December 8, TLDSB has worked with the Ministry of Education to further investigate the question regarding the MIDENT or Board School Identification (BSID) for Honey Harbour Public School.
Further research indicates that there was at one time a specific identification number for Honey Harbour Public School established in 1969. However, in 1995, prior to the amalgamation of the three former school boards, the enrolment numbers at the school began to be reported to the Ministry of Education with the Glen Orchard Public School enrolment numbers. The Honey Harbour Public School BSID, as an independent site number, was closed by the former Muskoka Board of Education and remains dormant to this day. As stated, Trillium Lakelands District School Board has never had a MIDENT or BSID to support Honey Harbour Public School and students continue to be reported as part of Glen Orchard Public School.
In 2005, when the Ministry of Education moved to an online enrolment number reporting system (ONSIS), the historic/dormant BSID number for Honey Harbour Public School was inserted into this new database system by the Ministry of Education. Prior to this, the Ministry of Education asked if the school board would like the BSID closed off. The school board requested that the BSID remain in the Ministry of Education inventory of schools database in the event the enrolment numbers at Honey Harbour Public School increased and the site could be identified as a distinct school. Honey Harbour Public School enrolment numbers have continued to be reported to the Ministry of Education as an annex to Glen Orchard Public School.
How many of your high school students reside in the Township of Georgian Bay, and the same question for elementary students?
RESPONSE: There are no TLDSB high school students that reside in the Township of Georgian Bay. There are currently 39 TLDSB students residing in the Township of Georgian Bay. One student resides outside of the district bringing the total current number of students at Honey Harbour Public School to 40.
What are the actual ‘costs’ for running Honey Harbour Public School – both income (from the Board and the Province) and expenses including all wages?
RESPONSE: The revenue generated by the student enrolment at Honey Harbour Public School is approximately $422,000. The direct expenses for the students at the school, including compensation, are approximately $585,000.
Has the idea of co-locating been discussed by the Province or TLDSB rather than closing many rural schools? Can all the students be located in one school in Honey Harbour?
RESPONSE: Even if the student population from both schools were combined, the numbers do not create a critical mass that is sufficient for solid programming for kindergarten to grade 8 students. The Directors of Education for both Trillium Lakelands District School Board and the Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board have a meeting scheduled for January 12, 2017.
Are you concerned about the length of the bus ride for students?
RESPONSE: Trillium Lakelands District School Board tries to keep bus rides under 60 minutes. This is possible for most areas of the school board and in most cases the rides are significantly less. Currently for Honey Harbour Public School the shortest ride is 3 minutes, the longest is 60 minutes, and the average is 23 minutes. The proposed scenario indicates that the shortest ride will be 40 minutes, the longest 74 minutes, and the average ride will be 58 minutes. While this is not ideal, it becoming a common scenario across the province as declining enrolment results in fewer schools and therefore longer bus rides for students who live a distance from the school.
What happens if more people move into the community?
RESPONSE: We have to base our decisions on the information that we have
Has there been consideration to bus children to Coldwater or Victoria Harbour for their elementary education?
RESPONSE: The school board has had discussions with Simcoe County District School Board about children registering at Tay Shores Public School, in Victoria Harbour, and providing transportation to this school. Simcoe County DSB is agreeable to this suggestion.
Why is the tax revenue collected in our area not dedicated to Honey Harbour Public School?
RESPONSE: September 1, 2015 to August 31, 2016 tax revenue collected for education from Georgian Bay Township – Gibson and Baxter Ward was $4,193,000. The Ministry of Education uses a funding formula which allocates a per pupil amount using education tax revenue collected in all regions of a school board combined with the balance coming from the province. The per pupil amount currently is $10,600.00 per elementary student and $11, 100.00 per secondary student. 45% of TLDSB revenue comes from property tax revenue and 55% is from the province.
Questions and Answers shared at February 13, 2017 ARC Working Meeting # 2
Where does the capacity of 46 for Honey Harbour Public School come from?
RESPONSE: Capacity figures are provided by the Ministry of Education based on 23 students per classroom.
Why do projections show the enrolment declining each year when enrolment has doubled since 1972?
RESPONSE: Data is collected for only the previous 10 years to determine projections. Comparisons are not made as far back as 1972.
Why are other schools in the Pupil Accommodation Long Term Plan 2015-2016 that are under utilized by 60 or 70 percent not also under an accommodation review?
RESPONSE: There are currently two other situations in TLDSB where schools are underutilized. One is in Cardiff Elementary School and Wilberforce Elementary School in Haliburton County. These schools underwent an accommodation review in 2009-2010 and the resulting solution was to make Cardiff Elementary School a JK to grade 3 school and Wilberforce Elementary School a grade 4 to 8 school. The other area where there is underutilization is Scott Young Public School and Lady Eaton Elementary School in Omemee. These schools are currently undergoing an accommodation review.
Questions and answers shared at February 21, 2017 Public Meeting # 2
What is the current cost for TLDSB of bussing to HHPS?
RESPONSE: The current cost for TLDSB of bussing to Honey Harbour Public School is $65,000.
The map in 1.7.a of the School Information Profile needs to be updated.
RESPONSE: An update has been received from the Township of Georgian Bay and the School Information Profile for Honey Harbour Public School has been updated to reflect the correct magnified area
Questions and Answers to questions posed at or following February 21, 2017 Public Meeting # 2
What municipal consultation have you done prior to this review process? Where is the documentation?
RESPONSE: In February 2016, TLDSB trustees received a 2015-2016 Long Term Pupil Accommodation Plan. This plan included a review of all TLDSB facilities and enrolments as well as recommendations for schools for the next five years. Following the approval of this report, as per the TLDSB BU-3010 Facility Partnerships Policy, local municipalities and other school board partners were invited to a meeting in March 2016 in Muskoka to review the report and proposed recommendations. A list of attendees at this meeting is available on request. There have been meetings with the local councillor as well as the mayor since the commencement of the accommodation review process.
We have learned that the high school in Bracebridge has a declining population with increasingly growing available space, and this is apparently also true in the Lindsay area schools like LCVI. Is the board considering consolidating its school board offices in Lindsay and Bracebridge into those school spaces and lease or sell their management offices to ensure that students can continue to be educated in their community and school board management can adapt?
RESPONSE: School board staff are not considering moving central offices into school buildings as part of long term pupil accommodation planning.
You say you value the “uniqueness and diversity of our students and our community.” How does this decision to close Honey Harbour Public School align with this value?
RESPONSE: TLDSB values each one of the more than 15,000 students in the district. The board acknowledges that the Honey Harbour Public School is unique with approximately 40 students in multiple grades in two classrooms. This model does not allow for a suitable and equitable range of learning opportunities for students and is not sustainable in a fiscally responsible manner. A multi-grade classroom model is not considered the optimal learning opportunity for students and is not sustainable.
Have crime rates among youth been considered in this process? If children are deeply turned off school due to onerous travel requirements, the children of Honey Harbour may be at elevated risk for crime, given the high correlation between poor educational achievement/drop-out rate and crime rates. Has a qualified psychologist been asked to provide a risk assessment in this regard?
RESPONSE: Crime rates among youth have not been part of the consideration for the Honey Harbour Public School accommodation review process. A risk assessment has not been requested.
Could you provide empirical data about why you think the programming at Honey Harbour is inadequate?
RESPONSE: There are currently approximately 40 students registered at Honey Harbour Public School in grades where there are one or two students and with classes containing students from five grade levels. It is the philosophy of TLDSB educators that classrooms with more than two grades does not offer optimal learning opportunities for students. A school setting where students can receive instruction from a number of educators, as well as learn in classrooms with one or two grade levels, allows for enhanced programming and learning. Being in a larger setting increases the availability of sports teams and clubs to students who wish to participate in these things during the school day.