Sandy Levin, President of the OPSF Ratepayers, spoke with Karen Dalton, Executive Superintendent of Operation Services at the School Board. She is involved with capital planning which includes the accommodation review process (ARC).
MOST INTERESTING PART OF THE CONVERSATION
Sandy asked Ms. Dalton about the Board meeting of January 26th where there was a vote on the future of Westdale P.S. in Oakridge. He asked if that site was already decided as the next site for a French Immersion school in the west end. The answer was Yes. The site is seen as closer to the westerly reaches of the Board which includes Komoka and Kilworth and that it is adjacent to a city owned park.
Accommodation Review Process (ARC)
The application process for a community representative closed on Feb 12th. The Board and the chair of the ARC (Joyce Bennett, who is an elected member of the Board), will decide who is the community representative. Interestingly enough, few of the ARCs have had more than 1 applicant!
Meetings are called by the Chair. The meetings are open to the public.
There are at least 4 meetings that are open for public input. The dates, times and locations will be on the ARC site. The first cannot be earlier than 30 days after the date of the orientation meeting.
To present to the ARC, you must apply in writing. The ARC site will have this information. There will also be an administrative assistant to the ARC from the Board who can be contacted for information as well. The name and contact information should be available shortly.
These meetings will have one hour available for public input to the ARC
members. A person will have 5 minutes to present. A group can present for 10 minutes. Having presented once, you will not be allowed to present again during the public input meetings. If there are many presenters, an additional meeting is scheduled.
A draft report is prepared and is reviewed at a public meeting of the ARC. Anyone can present at this meeting, even if they have presented before.
A final report is presented to the Board for a vote. Keep in mind, the
staff have already recommended that Sherwood be closed, and Orchard Park be expanded (with renovation/construction required) to become a K to 8 school.
It is possible that the 4 public meetings and the draft report could be
completed before the end of the calendar year with a vote by the Board as early as January 2011.
The Board must give one year notice of a school closure which means the most likely closure date, if there is a recommendation to close the
school, would be June 30, 2012.
The Board can put out a notice of disposition for the school property as early as its vote on the ARC’s final report (Jan or spring 2011). This
has not been the practice to date, but if the site is to be sold, the
notice of disposition will be sent out before the date of closure.
You may have noted some coverage of the process in the London Free Pres with comments from City Councillor Bill Armstrong.