Consultation Plan for the Colonel Gray Family of Schools

In the coming weeks, Prince Street School and all schools in the Colonel Gray Family of Schools will be part of a school review by the Public Schools Branch. You can learn more about the school review at the Public Schools Branch website Better Learning for All

Our school community will be part of important consultations that will lead to school changes in our district. There are challenges and opportunities ahead. Here is the report with data to explain why our school is part of this review.

From the report, some of the data from Prince Street School:

  • Enrollment is trending down: it is 243 at present and forecast to be 192 by 2022.
  • The population of elementary-school-aged children in our zone is also decreasing and expected to decrease further by 2022.
  • Prince Street School's current capacity is 348 and current enrollment is 243. The Public Schools Branch reports we are using 70% of the school's capacity. The school is categorized as "under-utilized" and is "projected to continue to be under-utilized." The school is projected to be using 55% of the school's capacity by 2022. 
  • The cost per student of running Prince Street School is said to be $414.02.
  • The cost per square foot of running Prince Street School is said to be $2.91.
  • These costs are reported to be higher than average for elementary schools in the province.

The consultation plan for the Colonel Gray family of schools is an ugly PDF, but here are some highlights:

Five Step Process
1. Data collection and board direction; (This phase is in progress and almost complete.)
2. Public consultations to identify viable options; (This phase is beginning and will continue to the end of November 2016.)
3. Board recommendations;
4. 60 days of public input on the recommendations; and
5. Final decision. (This is expected by March 2017.)
Consultation Process with Key Stakeholders
1. Present Review of Schools and Consultation Process to Principals, DACs, and public. (This presentation took place last week)
2. Stakeholders identify and present:
a. Input on any School Review Factors,

b. Reasonable viable “options for change”, and/or

c. Implications “options for change” may have on the school community. (This is what is needed in the public consultation process to the end of November.)

The Public Schools Branch policy on School Change is here. Most important to the consultation process are the school review factors:

Where consideration is being given to making a Category I or Category II Change to a school, the impact of the proposed change on each school and those who will likely be directly affected by any such change should be reviewed, having regard to all relevant factors and information that is reasonably available to the Public Schools Branch. The factors to be taken into account will differ in every case; however, the educational interests of the students will always be a key consideration. The following is an illustrative, non-exhaustive, list of factors that may be considered:
EDUCATIONAL FACTORS
1. School’s ability to deliver the provincial school curriculum, programs, and services, including specialized services, and to accommodate any changes expected in those programs or services over the next 5 years;
2. Impact of the proposed change on students’ educational achievement and opportunities;
3. The grade levels currently served by a school, and whether a grade reconfiguration would be appropriate;
4. Uniqueness of a school’s educational program.
DEMOGRAPHIC FACTORS
5. Enrollment patterns over the last 5 to 10 years and projected enrollment trends over the next 5 years;
6. Population patterns over the past 5 to 10 years and projected population trends over the next 5 years;
7. Number of students enrolled in a school who live outside the school’s attendance zone.
FACILITY FACTORS
8. School building’s age, site, location, conditions, including:
(a) accessibility to students with disabilities;
(b) any health or safety concerns;
(c) energy efficiency and environmental sustainability; and
(d) the cost and funding of any renovations that are, or will be needed, in the next 5 years.
9. Number and type of rooms needed in order to deliver required school programs and services;
10. Any Board long-term capital plan;
11. Proximity of other schools and the availability of appropriate accommodation in those schools;
12. Availability and use of appropriate technology;
13. Current and potential uses of surplus space in a school for Public Schools Branch-related purposes.
FINANCIAL FACTORS
14. Funding provided by the Department of Education.
15. Efficient use and distribution of resources available to the Public Schools Branch, including school administrative, teaching and other staff;
16. School operating costs, including school’s cost per student compared to the average;
17. An analysis of the projected cost savings or increases associated with change.
TRANSPORTATION FACTORS
18. Distance and time students spend, and will spend, in transit; 19. Traffic flow in and around a school;
20. Any increase or decrease in transportation costs.
PARENTAL AND COMMUNITY FACTORS
21. Parental and community involvement in, and support of, school;
22. Impact of proposed change on parents, including parent engagement;
23. Development projects planned for the affected community which are likely to come to fruition within the next 5 to 10 years;
24. Existing community uses of school facilities;
25. Possible alternative uses of school facilities, or surplus school space, by the community;
26. Other facilities in the community available for use by the community;
27. Information submitted to the Public Schools Branch about:
(a) the economic impact of a change on the community; and (b) the economic contribution the school makes to community.

Prince Street's District Advisory Council representative is Jane Ledwell. You can reach her at janeledwell at gmail dot com. Heather MacEwen is our alternate when Jane is not available. You will be able to make suggestions online when the Public Schools Branch opens up that process, or you can share ideas with Jane.