The York Catholic District School Board has seen an increase in the number of surplus (unfunded) pupil places over the last decade as enrolment peaked and has since begun to decline. Currently, there are over 6000 pupil places which are surplus (unfunded) to enrolment. Given the Province’s funding model for the operation of school facilities, these surplus pupil places represent a significant unfunded expense to the school board. As of October 2015, the shortfall in funding to heat, clean and maintain classrooms in York Catholic is just over $5.5 million. If surplus capacity is not addressed by 2020 this shortfall is estimated to grow to over $7 million.
At its Regular Board meeting of January 26, 2016, York Catholic District School Board Trustees approved a recommendation to initiate a modified Pupil Accommodation Review (PAR) in Vaughan Thornhill to address declining enrolment. The PAR includes the following schools: Holy Family CES and St. Joseph the Worker CES.
A PAR is a community consultation process required by the Ministry of Education and Board policy where a school closure and/or consolidation is being considered to address changing demographics, enrolment, programming, and facility condition challenges facing a school or schools in a particular review area. PARs are important as they help to ensure the Board is efficiently using available space to accommodate students.
The purpose of the Vaughan Thornhill modified PAR is to give parents and community members an opportunity, through a public meeting and public delegations to the Board of Trustees, to provide input on the Board’s Initial Staff Report (Report 1) and recommendation(s) to address declining enrolment while continuing to provide faith-filled learning environments and a rich educational experience for students. If there are any changes resulting from this standard Pupil Accommodation Review, they will not be implemented before September 2017. The standard review process is at a minimum five months long.
Throughout the process, the Board website will be an important source of information, and the latest updates including public meeting and delegation dates, meeting minutes, staff reports, and background information will be posted there. Parents/guardians should make sure to check it often. Information will also be posted on our school website under Pupil Accommodation Review Updates. Parent/guardians can also follow the Pupil Accommodation Review Twitter account: @YcdsbOurSchools and can send questions to the Board via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All parents in our school community should have received an information package about the Vaughan Thornhill Pupil Accommodation Review on January 27, 2016.