Board meets to discuss potential school closures

Here is a breakdown of schools affected:  In west Flamborough, they would close Dr. Seaton and consolidate students at a site to be built at the Beverly Community Centre or at Beverly school. Also Greensville and Millgrove Schools would be consolidated to the Spencer Valley site and an expansion would happen there if they can’t get funding to completely rebuild the school.In east Hamilton, they’re proposing to close Parkdale, Rosedale, Roxborough Park, and Woodward schools. Those students would be consolidated into three other schools that would either be rebuilt or renovated. That’s Viscount Mongomery, Ballard and Hillcrest.Up on the central mountain, there’s a suggestion to close Eastmount Park, Linden Park and Cardinal Heights. Pauline Johnson, Queensdale and Ridgemount would be renovated with a small renovation on Franklin Road to accommodate those additional students. (Update)Ten Hamilton schools inched one step closer to closing on Monday evening. Staff proposals to eliminate elementary schools in west Flamborough, east Hamilton and central mountain boundaries were heard by the public board trustees.This meeting was essentially a passing of the baton. It’s been a year long process deciding what to do with these schools and it’s now in the hands of the board of trustees. They were given recommendations by staff tonight. Those were finalized after dozens of meetings with the public and the accomodation review committee.From here, trustees will have 60 days before they take a final vote on the fate of these ten schools. Tonight’s proposal would see 3 schools in west Flamborough closing with 2 being rebuilt or renovated to accomadate those extra students.east Hamilton would have the most closures — 4 of their seven schools would go. The three remaining locations would be renovated or rebuilt and boundaries would change to allow as many students as possible to continue walking to school.Central mountain has 3 proposed closures. Those students would be moved into 4 existing schools, which would require some renovations to accommadate them.Staff say these changes would fill the remaining schools to at least 90 per cent capacity until 2022.They would also eliminate portables and allow most students to attend kindergarten to grade 8 at the same location.Cost-wise, funding required for the new buildings would be offset by the savings gained from eliminating desperately needed renovations in existing schools.A Parkdale parent, who was on the accomodation review committee, said that while she sees the benefits of the changes — she feels they’ll have a negative impact on both students and the community: “Local schools like Rosedale, Hillcrest and Roxborough are all community schools. And when you take those schools away you’re going to have empty buildings, and the community is just going to come right down. We’re very involved in our community — our community supports the schools — and it’s going to be just an upheaval for the children.”Now parents will have one last chance to speak their piece before the board votes. There are four public meetings scheduled, one for each of these catchments and another for a school closure in Glanbrook. That’s the first school trustees are voting on — they make their final call on May 12th.Meanwhile, the last ray of hope for students at Parkview Secondary School was extinguished tonight. Trustees for the Hamilton Wentworth District School Board voted against allowing grade 8 students to attend Mountain Secondary School next year.Students fought the decision to the end, protesting outside city hall, as the board discussed the motion. It would have allowed them to postpone the transition to mainstream schooling by a year, and attend mountain’s intervention strategy program. Trustees opposed, saying it would have forced students to transition twice. They also say the board has prepared for students to integrate this fall. Parkview will close this summer. It’s a vocational school that caters to special needs students.This video contains a breakdown of the all the important dates:

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