Categories: Schools

Four schools named in potential closure options: Central, Pearson, Bateman & Nelson

Burlington Central High School, which also houses Gr 7/8s.

Burlington’s Program & Accommodation Review Committee (PARC) has identified six options to be presented at public meetings that name four Halton District School Board schools for potential closure, either on their own or in combination with one other school. The schools are Central & Pearson, Bateman & Pearson, Bateman, or Nelson. There is also a “no schools close” option.

Lester B Pearson High School

About the PARC

The PARC was struck to deal with 1,800 empty pupil spaces in Burlington secondary schools, and review options that could include closing one school, two schools, or no schools, with boundary or programming changes possible under each scenario.

Robert Bateman High School

Ultimately, the PARC does not make a recommendation or decision, and at this point it is unlikely there would be consensus on any single option. The HDSB Director of Education will receive information from the PARC and the public, and make a recommendation to the Board of Trustees. By majority vote, the elected trustees will make the final decision. That is expected some time in May.

The PARC is made up of two parents from each of the seven high schools in Burlington as well as each of the principals, a municipal delegate chosen by city council (the city manager), and one trustee (from Milton), with board staff providing information and resources.
Nelson High School

The group has met four times between Jan. 26 and Feb. 16 and deliberated on 30 options. A number of scenarios have been discussed throughout this time, with options discarded or refined based on input from the public, PARC members, board staff and others.

There remain six options that will go forward to the public for review and additional comment at two public meetings Feb. 28 and March 7. Details of those meetings are below. There will also be an online survey for those who cannot attend the public meetings.
The PARC will reconvene for further discussion on the options March 23 (with potential for an additional meeting to be called). PARC meetings are open to the public to attend as observers, and begin at 7pm at the J.W. Singleton Education Centre at 2050 Guelph Line.

The Six Options:

The following is a brief summary of the six options:

Option 3b: Nelson closes June 2018, program changes at Hayden & Central

(Please note that this option is a draft and may be revised.)

  • French Immersion Program removed from Dr. Frank J. Hayden SS and Burlington Central HS. Hayden FI goes to M.M. Robinson; Central FI goes to Aldershot. Central (English) catchment expands east to Walker’s Line.
  • Program Accommodation Review (PAR) will be required for the Burlington Central elementary communities.
  • FI program added to Robert Bateman HS; English catchment expands west to Walker’s Line. FI catchment extends to Guelph Line.
  • Gifted Secondary placement redirected from Nelson to Lester B. Pearson HS. Pearson catchment expands to include John William Boich PS and Kilbride PS.

RESULTS: By 2020, there will be approximately 213 available pupil places overall; south of the QEW will have a 225 available pupil places and north of the QEW to have a shortage of 12 pupil places. A reduction of 1,341 pupil places. Utilization to increase between 94% and 101%

For additional details on this option, including maps, school utilization rates from 2016 to 2026, and impacts on elementary schools visit: Option 3b

Option 4b: Robert Bateman HS Closes June 2018

  • Lester B. Pearson HS to gain International Baccalaureate (IB) program and Gifted Secondary Placement Program. Pearson catchment expands to include Florence Meares PS
  • Burlington Central HS: Boundary expands to include areas east of Guelph Line.
  • New suitable facilities to be constructed at Nelson for SC-SPED and Essentials (ESS) programming (both under SC-SPED)
  • Nelson English catchment expands to include Robert Bateman HS.
  • M.M. Robinson English boundary expands to include Kilbride PS.

RESULTS: By 2020, there will be approximately 231 available pupil places overall; south of the QEW will have a 145 available pupil places and north of the QEW to have 86 available pupil places. Overall a reduction of 1,512 secondary pupil places. Utilization to increase between 91% and 97%.

For additional details on this option, including maps, school utilization rates from 2016 to 2026, and impacts on elementary schools visit: Option 4b

Option 7b: No schools close; Dr. Frank J Hayden HS Boundary Change

  • Removes capping from Dr. Frank J Hayden HS and reduces catchment.
  • Lester B. Pearson HS to gain the IB program and Gifted Secondary Placements. Pearson HS catchment expanded to include Kilbride PS, Alexander’s PS and John William Boich PS south of Upper Middle Road.
  • M.M. Robinson HS English boundary to expand to include Florence Meares PS west of Walker’s Line.
  • Dr. Frank J. Hayden SS: English boundary to exclude a portion of Florence Meares PS and a portion of John William Boich PS and Kilbride PS.

RESULTS: By 2020, there will be approximately 1,554 available pupil places overall; south of the QEW will have a 1,178 available pupil places and north of the QEW to have 376 available pupil places. No reduction in secondary pupil places. Utilization to increase between 74% and 80%

For additional details on this option, including maps, school utilization rates from 2016 to 2026, and impacts on elementary schools visit: Option7b 

Option 19b: Burlington Central & Lester B. Pearson Close by June 2018, Dr. Frank J. Hayden & Robert Bateman Program Changes

  • Aldershot HS: Boundary to expand east to Brant St; Nelson HS: Boundary expanded west to Brant Street.
  • ESL Program from Central HS to Aldershot HS
  • Central Robotics program transferred to Nelson HS
  • 210 empty pupil places at Aldershot Elementary PS to be added to the Secondary school capacity; Aldershot HS: Utilization rates increase to 142% by 2020, then expected to decrease. Utilization rates will decrease with the addition of available pupil places from the elementary facility. (NOTE: If Central closes and if 7/8s at Central are also transferred to Aldershot, that will consume the above-mentioned 210 empty pupil places at Aldershot Elementary PS, leaving Aldershot HS still overcapacity requiring portables. Depending on the projected year, there are 244-291 7/8 elementary students housed at Central HS).
  • Program Accommodation Review will be required for the Burlington Central elementary communities.  
  • FI program added to Robert Bateman HS
  • Extended French program added to M.M. Robinson HS.
  • Nelson HS: Utilization rates increase to 80% by 2020, then expected to decrease.
  • Robert Bateman HS: English boundary expands to include all of the Frontenac PS catchment; Bateman French Immersion program added and includes students east of Appleby Line and south of Upper Middle Rd and Frontenac PS students.
  • Robert Bateman HS: Utilization rates increase to 88% by 2020, then expected to increase to 2025.
  • M.M. Robinson HS: ENG boundary to expand to include Lester B. Pearson HS. FI boundary expanded to include Dr. Frank J. Hayden SS, excluding area south of Upper Middle Rd and east of Appleby Line.
  • M.M. Robinson HS: Utilization rates increase to 103% by 2020, then expected to increase in 2021.
  • Dr. Frank J. Hayden SS: Becomes an English-only school; English boundary to shift north of Upper Middle Rd.
  • Dr. Frank J. Hayden SS: Utilization rates decrease to 109% by 2020, then expected to increase until 2021.

RESULTS: By 2020, there will be approximately 42 available pupil places overall; south of the QEW will have a 196 available pupil places and north of the QEW to have a shortage of 154 pupil places. Overall a reduction of 1512 secondary pupil places. Utilization to increase between 94% and 101%

For additional details on this option, including maps, school utilization rates from 2016 to 2026, and impacts on elementary schools visit: Option 19b

Option 28c: Same as 19b except:

  • Aldershot HS English and French Immersion catchment expanded East to Richmond Rd hydro corridor (not Brant, as in Option 19b); Nelson FI expanded West to hydro corridor and East to Burloak
  • French Immersion removed from Bateman
  • Robert Bateman HS: English Catchment expands west to include Frontenac PS and expands north to include John William Boich PS catchment
  • MM Robinson English boundary to expand to include Sir E. MacMillan PS

RESULTS: By 2020, there will be approximately 42 available pupil places overall; south of the QEW will have a 62 available pupil places and north of the QEW to have a shortage of 20 pupil places. A reduction of 1512 pupil places. Utilization to increase between 94% and 101%

For additional details on this option, including maps, school utilization rates from 2016 to 2026, and impacts on elementary schools visit: Option 28c

Option 23d – Robert Bateman HS & Lester B. Pearson HS Close by June 2018, Dr. Frank J. Hayden SS Program Change

  • SC-SPED, ESS programming (both under SC-SPED) relocated from Robert Bateman HS to Nelson HS. New suitable facilities to be constructed for SC-SPED and Essential at Nelson
  • Food Service program to M.M. Robinson HS
  • International Baccalaureate (IB) program relocated from Robert Bateman HS to Burlington Central HS.
  • FI program removed from Dr. Frank J. Hayden SS.
  • Nelson HS exceeds Total Capacity. Utilization rates expected to increase to 123%, by 2020, then are projected to decline. Low enrolments at Aldershot HS
  • Extended French program added to M.M. Robinson HS.
  • No change to the Aldershot HS catchment. Total enrolment is under 500 students.
  • Burlington Central HS: Boundary expands to include areas east of Guelph Line. Utilization rates increase to 90% in 2020 and continue to increase until 2024.
  • M.M. Robinson HS: ENG boundary to expand to include Lester B. Pearson HS.; FI boundary expanded to include Dr. Frank J. Hayden SS. M.M. Robinson HS:
  • Dr. Frank J. Hayden SS: Becomes an English-only school.

RESULTS: By 2020, there will be an approximate shortage of 411 pupil places overall; south of the QEW will have a shortage of 266 pupil places and north of the QEW to have a shortage of 145 pupil places. Overall a reduction of 1965 secondary pupil places. Utilization Rates are between 102% and 109%

For additional details on this option, including maps, school utilization rates from 2016 to 2026, and impacts on elementary schools visit: Option 23d

Public Meetings

The above options will be presented at two public meetings, one in the North and one in the South. There will also be an online survey for those unable to attend the meetings.

The purpose of the public meetings is to share the work of the PARC to date, and to explain the process for gathering further community input. The same information will be presented at both meetings.

North Burlington Schools (North of QEW/Highway 403): Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Location: ​Dr. Frank J. Hayden Secondary School, 3040 Tim Dobbie Drive

Time: 7:00 pm

South Burlington Schools (South of QEW/Highway 403): Tuesday, March 7, 2017

(Note: This date has changed)

Location: ​New Street Education Centre, 3250 New Street

Time: 7:00 pm

To learn more about the PAR process, visit the HDSB webpage for this PAR (with multiple links to information) here: Burlington Secondary PAR

My Take:

I encourage all residents of Burlington – whether or not you currently have children in school – to get involved in this discussion, review the options and make your views known. Each of the options has impact, for better or worse, and what happens in our neighbourhoods should concern us all.

As a member of the PARC (one of two parent representatives for Central High School) I am looking for the best option that addresses the issues raised by the board and ensures that all of our students in the city are better off for the long term.

You can share your feedback directly with PARC members at the email addresses below. You can also leave a comment for me below.

Aldershot HS
Email: aldershotparc@hdsb.ca

  • Steve Cussons
  • Eric Szyiko

Burlington Central HS
Email: centralparc@hdsb.ca

  • Ian Farwell
  • Marianne Meed Ward

Dr. Frank J. Hayden SS
Email: dfhaydenparc@hdsb.ca

  • Matthew Hall
  • Tricia Hammill

Lester B. Pearson HS
Email: lbpearsonparc@hdsb.ca

  • Steve Armstrong
  • Cheryl De Lugt

M.M. Robinson HS
Email: mmrobinsonparc@hdsb.ca

  • Marie Madenzides
  • Dianna Bower

Nelson HS
Email: nelsonparc@hdsb.ca

  • Kate Nazar
  • Rebecca Collier

Robert Bateman HS
Email: rbatemanparc@hdsb.ca

  • Lisa Bull
  • Sharon Picken
Marianne Meed Ward

A Better Burlington began in 2006 after my neighbours said they felt left out of city decisions, learning about them only after they’d been made. As journalist for 22 years, I thought “I can do something about that” and a website and newsletter were born. They’ve taken various forms and names over the years, but the intent remains: To let you know what’s happening at City Hall before decisions are made, so you can influence outcomes for A Better Burlington. The best decisions are made when elected representatives tap the wisdom of our community members, and welcome many different perspectives.This site allows residents to comment and debate with each other; our Commenting Guidelines established in 2016 aim to keep debate respectful. Got an idea or comment you want to share privately? Please, get in touch:

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