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Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools

BOARD OF EDUCATION INFORMATION SHEET

DATE: TO: FROM: SUBJECT:

October 23, 2013 Board of Education Dave Hutchinson, Superintendent/CEO Superintendents Report: Response to Board Motion R13/09/25-05

Background: This report was prepared in response to the following Board Motion: R13/09/25-05: That the Board of Education of School District 68 (Nanaimo-Ladysmith) receives the report from the Save Cedar Schools Coalition and refers it to staff for a response regarding the information contained in the presentation and that the response be supplied to the Board of Education. The concerns raised by the coalition are in relation to the districts 10-Year Enhanced Facilities for Learning Plan, and are related to: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Foundation skills assessment scores Optimal school size guidelines Operational costs and savings Capital costs Plan consultation timeline Cedar student enrolment projections and migration to other schools Consideration of alternate proposals

Overview: This report provides a response to the concerns raised by the Save Cedar Schools Coalition in their presentation to the Board of Education at the September 26, 2013 Regular Board meeting. Please note that this is the fifth written response from the Superintendent/CEO to the Cedar coalition, and that the earlier responses can be found in Appendices A, B, C, and D. Where possible, reference will be made to this correspondence and other district documents when addressing specific concerns that were outlined in the September 26, 2013 presentation. Prior to responding to the concerns, however, it is important to keep in mind that the Cedar community exists within a larger system that includes the towns of Ladysmith and Lantzville, the City of Nanaimo, Gabriola Island and other rural areas. With respect to the 10-Year Enhanced Facilities for Learning Plan, key to the Boards decision-making is a strong interest in the equitable delivery of programs and services to all students served by the district.
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This is the fundamental purpose of the enhanced facilities for learning plan: to ensure equity of access to a quality public education for all Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools students. Achieving this, given the districts challenges, means difficult decisions have to be made regarding school consolidation. This also means, however, that the district will strengthen its capacity to improve instruction and student achievement. This is why the district strategic plan, which includes the enhanced facilities for learning plan, supports response to intervention, self-regulated learning, the primary and secondary International Baccalaureate programs, the advanced placement program, the district technology plan, French immersion program enhancement and expansion, secondary school renewal, and the renovation/rebuild of schools using creative age design principles. In short, the Board of Education has a responsibility to ensure the districts budget is invested in the improvement of student learning, and that the systems capacity to support this is continuously strengthened over the long term. Response to Concerns Raised: 1) Foundation Skills Assessment Scores The driving force behind the school districts strategic plan is to improve student learning. On every measure available to us, we see that SD68 students do not do as well as the provincial average. During the consultation process, we illustrated this point with some data, including FSA results. The Cedar coalition alleges that the district misrepresented the FSA results. In fact, the district simply chose a different method of calculation to show the results: In reporting FSA results, School District 68 has, for the past number of years, chosen to calculate the results reporting only the students who took the test. The provincial government reports results for all students, whether they took the test or not.

Using either calculation, in every case the percentage of students not meeting expectations in SD68 is worse than in the province. This is illustrated in Appendix E. The bottom line is, using either calculation, in regards to the FSA results there are more SD68 students not meeting expectations than the provincial average. The FSA results are only one of several measures used to illustrate the fact that SD68 students are not achieving at the same level as other students in the province. For example, when looking at six-year completion rates over the past five years, SD68s rate has been an average of 9.6 percentage points below the provincial average, with the 2012-13 rate at 71.6 percent, compared to the provincial average of 81.8 percent.
1) Optimal School Size Guidelines

With respect to the notion of optimal school size, the following facts bear mentioning: i) A number of sources of optimal school size were considered in the development of the strategic plan and 10-Year Enhanced Facilities for Learning Plan. These include: SD 68s Building Program and Site Acquisition Planning Procedure 4005P (adopted in 1981), Section 3 Preferred School Size provision that requires any new construction of schools to be designed for elementary student populations of 400, and secondary populations of 1000 (Appendix F);

ii)

Recommendations from SD68 school administrators to the Superintendent/CEO with respect to optimal school sizes when consolidating schools; Recommendations for school consolidation in the report by Dr. Doug Player, commissioned by SD68; and Research on school size effects linked to Regina Public Schools 2007 facilities renewal plan.

Please see Appendix D for the Superintendent/CEOs e-mail response to the Cedar Coalition on this topic, dated September 9, 2013. The e-mail directs the Cedar coalition to the explanation of optimal school size, found in the districts strategic plan, as well as the research originally commissioned by Regina Public Schools with respect to a meta-analysis of school size effects. It is important to note that this research was undertaken by faculty at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), a highly reputable North American education post-secondary institution. OISEs study of school size effects is widely available electronically, and is available to any school district involved in facilities planning. It is customary to adapt ideas and strategies from other districts/divisions that have undertaken similar developments for similar purposes. With respect to Regina Public Schools (RPS), this is the Superintendent/CEOs former school division. The current RPS facilities plan represents the second attempt to move forward with a significant consolidation and rebuilding plan. The first attempt, which focussed on the closure of 11 schools in one year, was rescinded by the RPS Board of Education after considerable criticism was levelled by a number of constituents who claimed the plan was rushed and did not have an educational vision. Following this, the division undertook a comprehensive strategic planning initiative that involved consultation across all school communities. In addition, because there was little research available that summarized studies of school size effects on student achievement, the division commissioned Ken Leithwood, a professor at the OISE to conduct a meta-analysis of such research. Although Mr. Leithwood would be the first to admit that his findings could not be considered fully reliable, and that school size is only one factor when considering all variables that impact on student learning, his research stands alone as a unique comprehensive analysis of numerous studies connected to measuring the impact of enrolment size on student achievement. Given this, it was not necessary for SD68 to go the expense of commissioning a similar study. Finally, RPS opted for a ten-year plan (as opposed to the original oneyear plan) in order to create a manageable and incremental approach to facility consolidation, renovation, and reconstruction. Overall, the RPS facilities renewal plan has been successful and the Regina Board of Education voted to maintain the plan on September 25, 2013 (please see Appendix G).

iii)

iv)

The notion of optimal school size is to be applied flexibly and in a way that helps ensure the equitable distribution of programs and services to students across the district. What is critical is that there is sufficient staff available to support the development of professional learning communities where teachers, support staff and administrators work collaboratively, and have the capacity to continuously support the improvement of student learning from both a curricular and extracurricular perspective.
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2) Operational Costs and Savings The primary goal of the 10-Year Enhanced Facilities for Learning Plan is to provide equitable access to programs and services for all students, district-wide. While operational savings will result from school closures, the district did not set a specific target for those savings. Estimates of the potential savings were given by Dr. Player in his report and by the district in the proposed plan document. The school district faces considerable financial pressures, and any savings from the 10Year Enhanced Facilities for Learning Plan will assist in the Boards efforts to direct as many resources as possible to the strategic planning goals of improving student learning. It should be recognized that projected savings from school closures are estimates based on the best information at the time the projection is made. The district is currently estimating the following annual operational savings from the closure of Cedar Secondary: Savings in administrative, clerical and supervision aide wages, maintenance, custodial services and utilities at Cedar Secondary Less additional operational busing costs Less additional operational costs at John Barsby Secondary Net annual savings

$658,363

-$170,564 -$177.327 $310,472

(Details in Appendix H) Note that the estimate of additional busing costs is based on changes being made to the bell times for John Barsby Secondary. The district is currently estimating that the net operational savings from the combining of Woodbank Primary and North Cedar Intermediate into a new Cedar Elementary will be approximately $160,488, annually. This includes savings in administrative, clerical and supervision aide wages, along with savings in maintenance, custodial services and utilities. The district does not expect to incur additional busing costs from this change. It has been the districts experience that sometimes there are savings in teacher staffing when schools are combined. These possible savings cannot be calculated because classroom staffing depends on the grade level makeup of the student body, and the districts first priority is to ensure class sizes are in accordance with legislation.

3) Capital Costs Capital costs are funded and expended separately from the operating budget. The cost of converting the Cedar Secondary building to an elementary school is currently estimated to be about $2 million. The funding for this project will come from the school districts Annual Facilities Grant, which is separate from the operating budget. This estimate is a preliminary one, and is based on converting 20 rooms to classrooms estimated at 80 sq. meters each at half of the Ministry of Education unit rate for new construction, plus fees and contingency. Once the planning progresses further the district will be able to make a more specific estimate of the cost. Any renovations carried out at John Barsby Secondary will also be funded from the districts Annual Facilities Grant. It should be pointed out that by converting the Cedar Secondary building into an elementary school, the district will acquire a new facility at a much lower cost than new construction. The district expects that two new school buses will be required for the Cedar to John Barsby routes. Buses are funded through the districts capital funds, so the district will not be required to expend its operational budget on new buses. Until such time as the new buses are purchased, the district has spare buses which will be used for the new routes. This will impact the availability of these spare buses for field trips, etc. 4) Plan Consultation Timeline and Process Over the past year and a half, the Board of Education has carried out a widespread ongoing consultation process in connection with the strategic plan and the 10-Year Enhanced Facilities for Learning Plan. Please see Appendix C, response to the SCSC from the Superintendent/CEO, for an overview of the nature of the consultations and related outcomes. Please see below for an outline of the chronology of the key events related to the various public consultations: 1. Strategic Plan School-Based, Electronic, and Targeted Stakeholder Consultations School-Based Strategic Plan Public Consultations: During May of 2012, 5 teams comprised of senior staff and trustees visited each school to facilitate a dialogue guided by the key questions found in Appendix C. The dates and location for these meetings are found in Appendix I. May - June 2012: Strategic Plan Thoughtstream Online Engagement Process for Parents, Students, Staff, General Public Strategic Plan Targeted Stakeholder Consultation Meetings: May 29, 2012: Tillicum Lelum Community Partners Group; May 31, 2012: District Aboriginal Education Leadership Council; June 6, 2012: CUPE and NDTA Representatives; and June 15, 2012: District Parent Advisory Council. June 14, 2012: Community Stakeholder Consultation. A list of representatives invited to attend can be found in Appendix J

2. District Strategic Plan Development Timeline October 9 and 11, 2012: Public forums held at each secondary school to review the development themes emerging from the school-based consultations and Thoughtstream data. Further feedback was sought from the public with respect to assisting the district in arriving at the top 3-4 strategic priorities. October 12 - November 26, 2012: Draft strategic plan, based on consultation feedback, developed by senior staff. December 3, 2012: Final draft of the strategic plan is approved by the Board of Education. Preparations are made for the development of a facilities plan as per the strategic plans third goal of Enhanced facilities for learning.

3. 10-Year Enhanced Facilities for Learning Plan Development Timeline December 17, 2012: Dr. Doug Player contracted to develop initial recommendations April 11, 2013: Dr. Player presents recommendations at a public Board meeting April 13 - 23, 2013: Senior staff review Dr. Players recommendations and develop a draft plan April 24, 2013: The draft Ten-Year Enhanced Facilities for Learning Plan is approved in principle by the Board of Education at a public meeting, launching the 60-day consultation period as per Board procedure on Alternate School Use and School Closure.

4. 10-Year Enhanced Facilities for Learning Plan Consultation Timeline April 26, 2013: Invitations to participate in consultation meetings with trustees and senior staff to targeted internal and external stakeholders. A list of those invited can be found in Appendix K. April 29 - June 22, 2013: Thoughtstream online engagement processes for each individual school for parents, students, and staff; also a process for the general public. April 26, 2013: District invites written submissions from the public in response to the plan. All responses received were acknowledged and provided to the Board of Education. May 1, 2013: Meeting with the Mayor of Ladysmith May 19, 2013: a FAQs area is added to the districts website to post staff responses to stakeholder questions regarding the plan and is updated throughout the process May 14, 2013: Consultant Donald Golob is hired to facilitate the public forum consultations May 20 - 28, 2013: Meetings with PAC representatives, by zone, to provide information and discuss format of public meetings June 4, 2013: Meeting with the Mayor of Lantzville June 12, 2013: Public Forum: Cedar/John Barsby Zone June 13, 2013: Public Forum: Woodlands/NDSS Zone June 17, 2013: Public Forum: Ladysmith Zone June 19, 2013: Public Forum: Dover Bay/Wellington Zone June 26, 2013: Public Board meeting to consider 10-Year Enhanced Facilities for Learning Recommendations

The information above counters the SCSC claim that the consultation processes were insufficient. On the contrary, it is evident that the district has created a significant number of opportunities for public input into both the strategic plan and facilities plan development processes during the 2011-2012, and 2012-2013 school years.

5) Cedar Student Enrolment Projections and Migration to Other Schools The Cedar Coalition has raised several issues related to enrolment projections and the migration of Cedar students to other schools: That more Cedar students will choose to attend Ladysmith Secondary than the district anticipated, thus changing enrolment projections at both John Barsby Secondary and Ladysmith Secondary. That it appears South Wellington and North Oyster students will attend schools other than the new Cedar Elementary School, thus reducing the number of students at that school below capacity.

A number of factors influence parents decisions as to which school they prefer their child to attend. The district realizes that it may take a few years for the attendance patterns of both elementary and secondary Cedar students to settle into a predictable pattern. The opening of a new Cedar elementary facility and the introduction of new programs at John Barsby Secondary can be expected to have an influence on those enrolment patterns. It should be noted that the goal for the elementary school is not to achieve a certain size but instead to provide a modern, updated facility for the Cedar students, K-7. Similarly, for secondary students, the goal is to provide those students with a school that provides a full range of programs and services, and that can be achieved at either John Barsby Secondary or Ladysmith Secondary. The district will be able to respond to the changing enrolment patterns as they emerge over the next few years. With respect to Cedar Secondary, it is important to note that the districts enrolment projections are for 408 students by 2020. The school district updates its enrolment projections each year. Although the projections do not change significantly from year to year, there are minor adjustments made each year. Included in Appendix L are the most recent enrolment projections for Cedar schools.

6) Consideration of Alternate Proposals Clarification was sought from the SCSC on the districts consideration of alternate proposals received during the public consultation period that did not include the closure of Cedar Secondary. Please see Appendix A, item #1 for a response from the Superintendent/CEO in earlier correspondence. More recently, the SCSC has proposed that the district keep Cedar Secondary open and convert Woodbank Primary to a K-7 school, closing North Cedar Intermediate (NCI). The group suggests that an addition to Woodbank be built with a 21st century learning model focus. The group stated that This would allow parents in the Cedar area to choose whether they want their children educated in the 21st Century Learning model or to remain in a more traditional model of teaching and learning. You could then dispose of NCI through proper consultation with the RDN. It should be remembered that the primary consideration for the closure of Cedar Secondary is in order to provide more equitable learning opportunities across the district for secondary students. Enrolment projections show that Cedar Secondary will have between 440 and 400 students for the foreseeable future. With 90 or fewer students per grade level, it is virtually impossible for a secondary school to offer the range of courses that secondary students require to further their post-secondary goals. For similar reasons, the Board plans to close Woodlands Secondary once a new facility is built at NDSS.

The closure of Cedar Secondary offers the district the opportunity to repurpose the building as an elementary school, thereby replacing two older facilities, Woodbank Primary and North Cedar Intermediate. The repurposing of the Cedar Secondary building to an elementary school offers exciting opportunities for elementary education in the Cedar community. Consultation with parents during the planning process will result in a facility and school educational philosophy that is supported by the majority of Cedar parents. The Cedar coalition has raised concerns about moving the Cedar students to John Barsby because of the situation with the City of Nanaimo and the safety of the Colliery Dams. The school district is actively working with the City of Nanaimo to ensure the safety of current and future John Barsby students. These include both short-term mitigation and long-term mitigation plans, as well as an emergency response plan.

Summary: Key District Challenges In closing, it is important for all concerned to reflect on the following: Over the past 12 years, the total population growth for the City of Nanaimo and the Town of Ladysmith is 17,000. Conversely, in the same time period, the districts student enrolment has declined by 3,500 students. Clearly, the school-aged population is not growing within the district. Further, in his report to the Board of Education, Dr. Player noted that currently the situation in Nanaimo Ladysmith schools is characterized by: Student performance that is below the provincial average; A lack of program enrichment; Deteriorating facilities, including 40 percent beyond their useful life; Costly empty space; Unnecessary staffing duplication; Architecturally dysfunctional buildings; and A $5 million structural deficit.

The primary purpose of the facilities plan is to enhance facilities to support improved learning opportunities for all students. This will be achieved by creating schools of optimal size to ensure equitable delivery of programs and services, and by strengthening the systems capacity to offer a variety of learning options for students in modern, up-to-date facilities. While not the primary purpose, the plan will also consolidate costly positions, reduce maintenance expenditures, and improve the long-term fiscal position of the Board. Finally, the plan also outlines the steps the district will take to offer a variety of learning options, and to strengthen student achievement. Further, by the end of the ten-year period outlined in this plan, most of the schools in the district will be within the optimal school size. In addition, there will be a number of new and renovated facilities, resulting in a significant improvement in the condition of the districts school facilities, overall. Recommendation: That the Board of Education of School District 68 (Nanaimo-Ladysmith) receives the October 23, 2013 Superintendents Report: Response to Board Motion R13/09/25-05 and accepts his report as the fulfillment of the referenced motion.

APPENDICES:
Appendix A: August 27, 2013 Correspondence to the Save Cedar Schools Coalition from Superintendent/CEO, Dave Hutchinson Appendix B: September 4, 2013 E-Mail Correspondence to the Save Cedar Schools Coalition from Superintendent/CEO, Dave Hutchinson Appendix C: September 9, 2013 Correspondence to the Save Cedar Schools Coalition from Superintendent/CEO, Dave Hutchinson Appendix D: September 9, 2013 E-Mail Correspondence to the Save Cedar Schools Coalition from Superintendent/CEO, Dave Hutchinson Appendix E: School District 68 FSA Data Appendix F: School District 68 Procedure No. 4005 Building Program and Site Acquisition Planning Section 3, Preferred School Size Appendix G: September 25, 2013 Regina Leader Post article Regina Public Schools Renewal Plan to Stay Appendix H: Cedar Area Consolidation Summary of Costs and Savings Appendix I: Nanaimo Ladysmith School District School-Based Strategic Planning Public Consultation Dates: Spring 2012 Appendix J: Strategic Plan Community Organization Consultation June 14, 2012: List of Invited Representatives Appendix K: 10-Year Enhanced Facilities for Learning Plan Targeted Stakeholder Meeting Invitation List (April 26, 2013) Appendix L: SD68 Projected Enrolments for Cedar Schools

APPENDIX A:

395 Wakesiah Avenue Nanaimo, BC V9R 3K6 Telephone: 250 754-5521 Fax: 250 741-5218 www.sd68.bc.ca

Office of the Superintendent/CEO


August 27, 2013 Save Cedar Schools Coalition Cedar, British Columbia V9X 1J8 executive-team@SaveCedarSchools.org To Whom It May Concern: Re: July 22, 2013 Correspondence received regarding By-law 2012-05, the closing of Cedar Community Secondary School (CCSS)

Thank you for your recent correspondence regarding the Board of Educations 10-Year Enhanced Facilities for Learning Plan. Please find answers to the questions included in your correspondence below: 1. What other plans did the board of trustees deliberate and why were the many other viable options suggested for keeping CCSS open rejected? A total of 33 alternative proposals were received during the public consultation process. This information was made available to the public during the consultation process. All proposals were reviewed by the Board of Education and the senior management team prior to June 26. After reviewing all information related to the Cedar zone proposals, it was decided that the original recommendation best fit the 10-Year Enhanced Facilities for Learning plan decision-making guidelines focussed on optimal school size, overall facility condition, and any seismic mitigation required. 2. Why was the decision to close Cedar Community Secondary School the best option to meet the goals of the Enhanced Facilities Plan? As is indicated in the Ten-Year Facilities Plans Appendix D - Planning Considerations Data, decisionmaking was linked to a cross-referencing of Ministry facility condition index and seismic mitigation data, with Baragar enrolment forecast data for the years 2013-2023. Given this, the following reflects the Cedar zone schools: The ten-year enrolment forecasts for Cedar Secondary, Woodbank Primary, and North Cedar Intermediate are 451, 154, and 189 respectively. Given this, all schools remain under the optimal school size guidelines (600-1200 students for a secondary school, and 200-400 students for an elementary school) for at least the next ten years; further, Cedar Secondary, which is currently unable to offer a full range of secondary school programs due to its size has met its enrolment capacity and does not have the physical space to expand programming.
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In addition, both Woodbank Primary and North Cedar Intermediate are operating well under capacity: Woodbank is currently under-enrolled by 96 students, while North Cedar Intermediate is under-enrolled by 111 students. Cedar Secondary is a newer, seismically-sound facility in very good condition. Woodbank Primary has a Ministry facility condition index rating of .2111 and a seismic rating of medium. North Cedar Intermediate has a facility condition index rating of .3030 and a seismic rating of High 3. Given this, both facilities require significant repair. According to the districts 2012-2013 Capital Plan, Woodbank Primary currently requires $815,000 in mechanical upgrades, and North Cedar Intermediate requires a $1.5 million seismic upgrade. Given this, and the fact that the district currently has $97 million in deferred capital costs connected to the repair of all facilities, it was felt that the best long term sustainable option is to repurpose Cedar Secondary as an elementary school that has the capacity to offer a variety of programs to all students in support of the Ministrys focus on personalized learning.

3. What structural renovations does the board of trustees feel Cedar Community Secondary school needs to undergo in order to make it a safe and effective elementary school? How much does the board of trustees believe the above quoted renovation will cost? The nature of the renovations has yet to be determined, so it is not possible to indicate the cost at this time. 4. Has a contractor been hired to complete the work for the renovation of Cedar Community Secondary School? If so, when was this done? No, a contractor has not been hired to complete the Cedar Secondary renovation. 5. When was communication with KMBR Architects, Planners Inc. initiated? The senior management team discussed the possibility of working with the original architects for Cedar Secondary in May 2013. This was an exploratory discussion intended to identify the availability of the schools original architects to assist with a redesign if the proposed closure of Cedar Secondary was approved by the Board on June 26. On July 3, 2013 the Board approved a motion for the immediate hiring of KMBR Architects Planners Inc. to complete the planning and design work required to convert Cedar Secondary to Cedar Elementary for school opening in September 2015. 6. The original proposal for Cedar Elementary saw a majority of students from North Oyster, South Wellington, North Cedar Intermediate and Woodbank Primary School being funnelled into the new Cedar Elementary for a proposed total student population of between 459-475 students over an 11 year period. However, the board has recently made significant alterations to the plan where North Oyster and South Wellington students will no longer be part of the student population at Cedar Elementary. With the removal of these students from the Cedar Elementary student population, the total number of students attending Cedar Elementary drops to an average of 342 students over the same 11 year period. When this number of students can easily be fit into already existing and purpose built elementary schools, how does the board justify the cost of renovating Cedar Community Secondary School and moving the elementary students into such a facility? As the Boards decision regarding the closure of South Wellington Elementary involves the merging of the South Wellington attendance area with the Cedar catchment area, and includes transportation support for students to attend Woodbank Primary and North Cedar Intermediate, we assume that a number of South Wellington students will transition to the Cedar zone schools.
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It is also important to remember that no final decisions have been made with respect to North Oyster Elementary which has traditionally been a Ladysmith zone school and is now involved in the extended public consultation in that particular zone. Having acknowledged this, if there is a reduction in the overall forecast for enrolment at Cedar Elementary, the total enrolment will still be within optimal school guidelines. Further, I would reiterate that, given the response to question 2, the best long-term sustainable school improvement option is to renovate Cedar Secondary as a state of the art 21st century elementary school, rather than to renovate schools where the bulk of the investment will be in expensive mechanical and seismic upgrades that do not necessarily lend themselves to enhancing the learning environment. 7. In recent surveys completed in the community parents in the Cedar area stated that they will not send their students to John Barsby and in fact would go so far as to pay out of pocket for the busing of their children to Ladysmith Secondary School. This will result in a significant drop in the anticipated student population at John Barsby Secondary, below the needed 95% capacity number. Does the board have a contingency plan for this scenario? If so what is it? The start of the 2013-2014 school year will bring transition planning between the school administration, staff, students, parents, and parent advisory councils connected to John Barsby and Cedar Secondary Schools. This process will result in the development of effective transition and orientation activities, and will also result in the identification of the number of students who plan to attend John Barsby Secondary or Ladysmith Secondary. As the Boards decision merges the Cedar catchment area with the John Barsby attendance area, the district will be providing transportation to those Cedar students who choose to attend Barsby. Once the District has a better understanding of Cedar student choices, we will then be in a better position to determine if a contingency plan is in fact necessary. 8. What if the government does not give the district money for the new high school proposed in the 10year plan? Is there a contingency plan? The district intends to put considerable time and energy into working with the Ministry as well as district partners such as Vancouver Island University, The City of Nanaimo, The Regional District, and local First Nations to obtain the funding necessary to rebuild NDSS. The outcome of this work will determine whether or not a contingency plan is necessary. In your correspondence you also indicated an interest in having a meaningful conversation with the Board of Trustees with regards to the closing of Cedar Community Secondary School. As indicated above, the district will be entering into transition planning with respect to the closure of Cedar Secondary. One important aspect of this planning is to attend to the concerns that arise during these changes. On this note, I would be happy to arrange an opportunity for members of the Save Cedar Schools Coalition to meet with school and district administration, and trustees, in the near future. Please contact my Executive Assistant, Jennifer McNeil, at jmcneil@sd68.bc.ca to arrange an opportunity to meet. Sincerely,

David Hutchinson Superintendent of Schools/CEO pc: DH/jlm


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Board of Education and Administrative Council Executive (ACE)

APPENDIX B: September 4, 2013: Email Correspondence to the Save Cedar Schools Coalition from Superintendent/CEO, Dave Hutchinson

Sent To: Executive-team@savecedarschools.org Thank you for your e-mail. The district relies on the Ministry to provide the 2012-2013 information, which is not available at this time. The districts achievement contract includes data relative to the 6 year completion (graduation) rate. It shows an increase of from 72 to75% in the non-Aboriginal grad rate, and an increase in the Aboriginal student grad rate of 43 to 50% over the past three years. Sincerely,
Dave Hutchinson

Dave Hutchinson | Superintendent/CEO


Direct 250-741-5231 | Fax 250-741-5218
395 Wakesiah Avenue, Nanaimo, BC V9R 3K6 | www.sd68.bc.ca Executive Assistant, Office of the Superintendent/CEO: Jennifer McNeil Phone: (250) 741-5231

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APPENDIX C:

395 Wakesiah Avenue Nanaimo, BC V9R 3K6 Telephone: 250 754-5521 Fax: 250 741-5218 www.sd68.bc.ca

Office of the Superintendent/CEO

September 9, 2013

The Executive Team, Save Cedar Schools Coalition email: executive-team@savecedarschools.org Thank you for your e-mail correspondence dated August 30, 2013. At the conclusion of your letter you state: We believe that there is nothing more important worth fighting for than quality public education and a parents right to be involved in decisions about how their children are educated. I couldnt agree more. That is why, in the spring of 2012, the Board of Education and the senior management team invited parents, students, staff, and others to participate in a system-wide strategic planning process. This process included opportunities for the public to participate on-line and through facilitated dialogues that were held at each school in the district. The main questions we asked those who chose to participate in the process were: What are some examples of things that should be celebrated and sustained in our current education system? and What are some key areas we should focus on and develop in order to support student learning and engagement?

Working with a British Columbia consultation software company, Thoughtstream, the district converged the data that was generated by the public in response to the questions, above, into the following three goals that now comprise the focus of the Board of Educations strategic plan: 1. The continuous improvement of instruction and assessment; 2. Meeting each students unique needs; and 3. Enhanced facilities for learning. The third goal gave rise to the development of a proposed 10-Year Enhanced Facilities for Learning Plan, which was approved in principle by the Board of Education on April 24, 2013. This decision was followed by a second round of public consultations that were guided by the districts policy on School Closure and Alternate School Use, and the Ministry of Educations School Act provisions related to school closure. For your information, the public consultation involved:

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1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

A Thoughtstream online public engagement process for all parents, and members of the public; Written submissions from the public; All background information including a frequently asked questions link on the district`s website; Public forums in the Cedar, Ladysmith, Central Nanaimo, and North Nanaimo areas; and Targeted stakeholder meetings where organizations such as the City of Nanaimo, the Regional District of Nanaimo, The Town of Ladysmith, Vancouver Island University, and local First Nations governments were invited to meet with Trustees and senior staff to provide feedback specific to their unique interests.

In summary, the district offered significant opportunities for stakeholder involvement in the development of the strategic plan and related facilities plan over a one-year period, and by the end of the consultations, it is estimated that approximately 4,000 people participated in both consultations. I mention the above in detail to illustrate two facts: 1. That the Board of Education also believes in a high level of parent involvement when planning to improve the quality of education within the district, and 2. That a number of opportunities for parent and targeted stakeholder involvement in the strategic plan and 10-Year Enhanced Facilities for Learning Plan consultations were offered throughout the district, during the 2011-12 and 2012-13 school years. Having stated the above, it is important to clarify the following: 1. The Facility Plan public consultations for the Cedar zone school closure proposals are now closed. 2. The next step in the process is to develop a transition plan for Cedar secondary students to John Barsby Community School with parent/student choice of Ladysmith Secondary. This will include further consultation around the renovations required to repurpose Cedar Secondary as an elementary school. 3. The Board of Education has adopted a strategic policy governance model. This means that once the Boards decisions are final, it is up to the Superintendent/CEO to oversee their implementation. This also explains why I have been responding to your letters, and not the Board Chair. For these reasons, and as per your August 30, 2013 e-mail request, the Board of Education and senior team cannot meet on the terms you have stipulated. As per my earlier correspondence (August 24) to the Save Cedar Schools Coalition, however, we remain open to a meeting that is focussed on any concerns or recommendations your organization may have with respect to transition planning. Sincerely,

David Hutchinson Superintendent/CEO pc: Board of Education Administrative Council Executive

DH/jlm
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APPENDIX D: September 9, 2013 Email Correspondence to the Save Cedar Schools Coalition from Superintendent/CEO, Dave Hutchinson

Executive-team@savecedarschools.org Good afternoon: the concept of optimal school size was introduced by system school and central office leaders in order to ensure that appropriate and equitable services and programs could be offered to all students in the district. The enrollment thresholds (200-400 elementary and 600-1200 secondary) also reflect feedback received during the strategic plan public consultations where a number of people indicated that they felt the system had too many low enrolled schools many in poor quality facilities. You will find an explanation of optimal school size in the districts strategic plan document below: http://www.sd68.bc.ca/Documents/StratPlanNov28-12.pdf Dr. Player was asked to keep the districts strategic plan in mind in the preparation of his report and he understood that district leaders had a strong interest in advancing these enrollment guidelines because they were linked to the idea that certain enrollment sizes supported stronger academic achievement. The enrollment guidelines do reflect research on school size effects, and the district does have a link to a metaanalyses of this research on the website at the following link - if you scroll down the left hand side you will find the document under the heading Researching the Effect of School Size on Students. http://www.sd68.bc.ca/News/10YearFacilitiesPlan2013.asp

Sincerely,
Dave Hutchinson

Dave Hutchinson | Superintendent/CEO


Direct 250-741-5231 | Fax 250-741-5218
395 Wakesiah Avenue, Nanaimo, BC V9R 3K6 | www.sd68.bc.ca Executive Assistant, Office of the Superintendent/CEO: Jennifer McNeil Phone: (250) 741-5231

This e-mail is privileged, confidential, and subject to copyright. Any unauthorized use or disclosure is prohibited.

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From: executive-team@savecedarschools.org [mailto:executive-team@savecedarschools.org] Sent: Thursday, September 05, 2013 12:44 PM To: David Hutchinson Subject: Source of optimal school size

Hello Mr. Hutchinson: We have another question for you. We have asked around and it seems that people keep telling us that you will be the one to answer this question. CCSS is proposed for closing because it does not meet the optimal school size of 600-1200 students as identified in the strategic learning process. We are wondering where the 600-1200 number came from? Was it identified by parents during the strategic learning consultation? Is it a number that has been identified by educational research? Did Dr. Player recommend it in his report to the district staff? We can not find anywhere why these particular numbers of 200-400 and 600-1200 were identified as optimal for SD68. Thanks again for your time, Save Cedar Schools

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APPENDIX E - FSA Results In reporting FSA results, School District 68 has, for the past number of years, chosen to calculate the results reporting only the students who took the test. The provincial government reports results for all students, whether they took the test or not. Using either calculation, in every case the percentage of students not meeting expectations in SD68 is worse than in the province. Grade 4 FSA data Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools As reported by Reading all students Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools Performance unknown Not yet meeting Meeting Exceeding TOTAL (allowing for rounding) Writing all students SD68 BC 24% 17% 66% 67% 9% 16% 100% 100% As reported by Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools SD68 BC 24% 13% 72% 78% 4% 9% 100% 100% As reported by Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools SD68 36% 61% 3% 100% BC 21% 66% 13% 100%

As reported by the Ministry of Education SD68 BC 7% 14% 23% 14% 62% 58% 9% 14% 100% 100% As reported by the Ministry of Education SD68 BC 7% 15% 22% 11% 67% 66% 4% 7% 100% 100% As reported by the Ministry of Education SD68 7% 33% 57% 3% 100% BC 14% 18% 57% 11% 100%

Performance unknown Not yet meeting Meeting Exceeding TOTAL (allowing for rounding) Numeracy all students

Performance unknown Not yet meeting Meeting Exceeding TOTAL (allowing for rounding)

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Grade 7 FSA data Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools As reported by Reading all students Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools Performance unknown Not yet meeting Meeting Exceeding TOTAL (allowing for rounding) Writing all students SD68 BC 32% 22% 59% 65% 9% 13% 100% 100% As reported by Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools SD68 BC 21% 13% 74% 79% 5% 8% 100% 100% As reported by Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools SD68 37% 58% 6% 100% BC 24% 63% 12% 100%

As reported by the Ministry of Education SD68* BC 9% 16% 29% 18% 54% 55% 8% 11% 100% 100% As reported by the Ministry of Education SD68 BC 11% 17% 19% 11% 67% 65% 4% 7% 100% 100% As reported by the Ministry of Education SD68 10% 33% 52% 5% 100% BC 16% 20% 53% 10% 100%

Performance unknown Not yet meeting Meeting Exceeding TOTAL (allowing for rounding) Numeracy all students

Performance unknown Not yet meeting Meeting Exceeding TOTAL (allowing for rounding)

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APPENDIX F:

School District 68 Procedure 4005: Building Program and Site Acquisition Planning Section 3: Preferred School Size

1.

Five Year Plan A Five-Year plan shall be declared. This plan shall include a detailed analysis of enrolment trends, site acquisition and development plans and proposed construction projects to meet district needs within Board policy and Ministry regulations. The Five-Year Plan will be reviewed annually.

2.

Planning Process a) The District Building Committee shall coordinate the planning process, consult with schools and school communities, identify desires technical standards and recommend to the Board the assignment of architects and annually prepare a Capital Plan Budget for Board approval. Principals shall apply for approval to the District Building Committee in advance of any intended change in use of any room and not implement any change prior to approval. The District Building Committee will consider the application and inform the principal of the Committee's decision. Any change in usage capacity will be reported to the Ministry so that the "agreed nominal capacity" for the school will be reflected on all pertinent documents. The membership of the District Building Committee shall be: i) ii) iii) iv) v) vi) vii) Deputy Superintendent Secretary-Treasurer Assistant Superintendent-Secondary Assistant Superintendent-Special Programs Director of Facilities Technical Assistant One Trustee and one Alternate appointed by the Chairperson

b)

c)

A Chairperson shall be elected by the members of the Committee at the first meeting of the District Building Committee held in September of each school year.

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d)

When considering construction plans for an individual school, a sub-committee of the District Building Committee shall be formed and known as the School Construction Committee. This sub-committee shall review the construction schedule, make recommendations to the District Building Committee regarding school construction and design, and arrange for consultation with the school staff and school community. Membership on the School Construction Committee shall be as follows: i) ii) iii) iv) v) vi) Representatives from the District Building Committee Zone Trustee Architect School principal Staff Representative (1) Parent Representative (2)

e)

f)

A chairman for each School Construction Committee shall be appointed from the District Building Committee.

3.

Preferred School Size In recognition of the needs of the age levels of the children, the programs to be offered, the community to be served, the population density, the District's commitment to the concept of neighbourhood schools, and the economics of program and building maintenance and efficiency, the following guidelines pertaining to preferred school sizes shall be considered: a) b) Elementary (K-7) Secondary (8-12) 400 FTE pupils 1,000 FTE pupils.

Adopted 81.07.08 Amended 90.09.26 Amended 92.03.25 Amended 1994.11.23

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APPENDIX G: September 25, 2013 Regina Leader Post article: Regina Public Schools Renewal Plan to Stay

Regina Leader-Post Regina public schools will continue to operate under a 10-year renewal plan developed in 2007, but following its biennial review, that plan now looks a little different.
September 25, 2013 Emma Graney

Regina public schools will continue to operate under a 10-year renewal plan developed in 2007, but following its biennial review, that plan now looks a little different. Critics, however, say the plan was not reactive enough when Regina's population started to grow and that school closures "went too far." Only a handful of people were at Tuesday night's meeting as the division talked the board through the findings of the biennial review, including merger-based operational savings and an investment in inner-city Regina. One of those was Bob Hughes, whose grandchildren lost their neighbourhood school when Athabasca was closed as a result of the 10-year renewal plan. He said he still feels "shaken" in the board's ability to manage the plan and the division. Standing in the hallway following the meeting, he explained his main beef was with the fact he perceived no regret for school closures. "Watching that in there tonight, I would have loved to have seen some mention of the shortcomings of the plan, or been given some indication that someone would listen to us," he said. "The fact they were congratulating the administration was outrageous to me." But board chair Katherine Gagne said having a plan in place was "imperative" for the board and for the direction of the division. She also said despite the wording at the biennial report's conclusion, the renewal plan was "very much active." The revised plan includes pushing for a high school French immersion program at Johnson Collegiate, elevating school requests for the Harbour Landing and Greens on Gardiner subdivisions to the top of the division's capital list, and reviewing elementary school boundaries by January. The division says some goals included in the original renewal plan have now been met, while other changes have come about as a result of a changing education landscape in Saskatchewan population growth rather than declines and a new ministry funding model, for example. Education interest group Real Renewal has been opposed to the renewal plan since Day 1, and spokeswoman Trish Elliott was also at Tuesday night's meeting. She echoed Hughes' sentiment that "self-congratulations" during the meeting were "really hard to hear.
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"If there had just been some acknowledgment that they closed schools and communities were torn apart," she said. "There is a lot of knowledge and expertise in the communities, and if they would just listen to these people and not dismiss everything they hear." Dale West is the only current trustee who was on the board when the plan came into effect, and agreed the plan is an important tool in guiding the division. He also referenced the school closures, though not in so many words. "It's been a long and sometimes difficult road, but I think most ... would agree it was for the best for the kids and division," he said during the meeting. As for the division's future direction, Gagne said moving capital priorities where there is significant growth, such as Harbour Landing, would be key. "The plan allows us to keep an eye on these growth areas," she said. "It's not just a stagnant plan on a piece of paper."

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APPENDIX: H
Summary of Operating Costs (Note 1: Based on 2012/2013 Budget Data) (Note 1) Cost

oct 15 summary revised

School Cedar Secondary Admin Clerical Sup Aide Maint. Custodial Utilities Water/Sewer

FTE's/Hrs

2013/14

2014/15

2015/16

1.6 FTE 90 HRS 4 FTE 2.5 FTE

210,671 134,528 22,160 49,906 144,151 87,347 9,600 658,363

210,671 134,528 22,160 49,906 144,151 87,347 9,600 658,363 0 0

Cedar Elementary Admin Clerical Sup Aide Maint. Custodial Utilities Water/Sewer 0 John Barsby Admin Clerical Sup Aide Maint. Custodial Utilities Water/Sewer 1.785 FTE 120 HRS 6 FTE 5.75 FTE 220,674 1.785 FTE 175,945 120 HRS 33,240 6 FTE 416,600 331,547 5.75 FTE 119,629 15,400 1,313,035 North Cedar Admin Clerical Sup Aide Maint. Custodial Utilities Water/Sewer .95 FTE 27.50 HRS 2 FTE 1.0 FTE 115,946 40,641 11,080 118,011 57,660 34,936 2,200 380,474 Woodbank Admin Clerical Sup Aide Maint. Custodial Utilities Water/Sewer .65 FTE 27.50 HRS 2.0 HRS 1.0 FTE 77,795 40,641 11,080 58,602 57,660 25,568 4,200 275,546 TOTALS POTENTIAL SAVINGS to 2013/14 2,627,418 77,795 40,641 11,080 58,602 57,660 25,568 4,200 275,546 2,627,418 77,795 40,641 11,080 58,602 57,660 25,568 4,200 275,546 2,146,382 -481,036 115,946 40,641 11,080 118,011 57,660 34,936 2,200 380,474 115,946 40,641 11,080 118,011 57,660 34,936 2,200 380,474 220,674 2.07 FTE 175,945 190 HRS 33,240 9 FTE 416,600 331,547 6.25 FTE 119,629 15,400 1,313,035 0 0

1.2 FTE 55 HRS 3 FTE 2.0 FTE

140,235 77,589 15,534 49,906 115,321 87,347 9,600 495,532

255,908 2.07 FTE 272,585 190 HRS 49,863 9 FTE 416,600 360,377 6.25 FTE 119,629 15,400 1,490,362

255,908 272,585 49,863 416,600 360,377 119,629 15,400 1,490,362

0 1,985,894 -641,524

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APPENDIX I:

Nanaimo Ladysmith School District Strategic Planning Public Consultation Dates: Spring 2012
Time: 6:30 to 8 pm Tues May 8 School / Location 1. Cedar Community Secondary 2. Cinnabar Valley 3. N. Cedar Intermediate 4. S. Wellington 5. Woodbank Primary Thurs May 10 6. Dover Bay Secondary 7. Frank J. Ney 8. McGirr 9. Pleasant Valley 10. Randerson Ridge Tues May 15 11. Rutherford 12. Park Avenue 13. John Barsby Community School 14. Bayview 15. Pauline Haarer Thurs May 17 16. Georgia Avenue 17. Seaview 18. Ladysmith Secondary 19. Davis Road (FI) 20. Ladysmith Primary Tues May 22 21. Ladysmith Intermediate 22. North Oyster 23. Nanaimo District SS 24. Fairview 25. Gabriola

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Thurs May 24

26. Mountain View 27. Hammond Bay 28. Chase River 29. Wellington Secondary 30. Coal Tyee

Tues May 29

31. Departure Bay 32. Rock City 33. Uplands Park 34. Woodlands Secondary 35. Brechin

Thurs May 31

36. Cilaire 37. Forest Park 38. Quarterway 39. Learning Alternatives (NDSS Meeting Room A)

2011-12 Publications - Strat Plan school consultations

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APPENDIX J: Strategic Plan Community Organization Consultation: List of Invited Representatives

Strat Plan Community Group Visits: June 2012


Invited
1. VIU 2. Greater Nanaimo Early Years Partnership 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.
10. RCMP, Nanaimo RCMP, Ladysmith MCFD City of Nanaimo Town of Lantzville Town/City of Ladysmith Nanaimo Family Life Regional District of Nanaimo Vancouver Island Library VIHA/NRGH Children & Youth Programs / Youth and Family Substance Abuse NARSF Programs VIHA: Dr. Wilma Arruda Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce Ladysmith Chamber of Commerce Gabriola Chamber of Commerce Nanaimo, Duncan and District Labour Council Boys & Girls Club of Nanaimo & District Pacific Sport Vancouver Island Mid-Island Science Technology & Innovation Council (MISTIC) Child & Youth Mental Health Services Foster Parents Support Service Literacy Nanaimo Child Development Centre Discovery Program/M. Dartnell Ministry of Children and Family Dev. Vancouver Island Regional Library

Date/Time
June 6: 8:30 am

Location
VIU Boardroom Library

11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28.

June 14: 1-3 pm

Beban Park Social Centre

2011-12 Strat Plan Community Group Visits June 2012

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APPENDIX K: Invitations sent out April 26, 2013: 10-Year Enhanced Facilities for Learning Plan Targeted Stakeholder Meeting Invitation List:

10-Year Enhanced Facilities for Learning Plan: Invitation for discussion and feedback
The following were sent invitation letters from the Board Chair, dated April 26, 2013, to meet and receive input on the proposed 10-Year Enhanced Facilities for Learning Plan: 1. Chief David Bob & Council, Snaw Naw As (Nanoose) 2. Chief Doug White, Snuneymuxw First Nation 3. Alana Cameron, DPAC President 4. Tim Davie, NSAA President 5. Justin Green, NDTA President 6. Kelly Dunaway (CUPE Local 606 Acting President) 7. Mayor John Ruttan and Council, City of Nanaimo 8. Steve Sproston, DASG Representative 9. Mayor Rob Hutchins & Council, Town of Ladysmith 10. Ralph Nilson, President Vancouver Island University 11. Rob Walters, President Ladysmith Chamber of Commerce 12. Patrick Ross, President Nanaimo Ladysmith Schools Foundation 13. Michael Delves, Chair Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce 14. Joe Stanhope, Chair Nanaimo Regional District 15. Rob Hutchins as Chair Cowichan Valley Regional District 16. Mayor DeJong & Council District of Lantzville 17. Joy Bremner, President Mid Island Metis Nation 18. R. Robinson President, G. Elliott-Neilsen Executive Director of Tillicum Lelum 19. Chief John Elliott &U Council, Stzuminus First Nation

2012-13: publications/EFLP letters to community April 26 13


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SD68 Projected Enrolments for Cedar Schools

(updated September 2013)

APPENDIX: L

Actual
2012 448 178 154 161 152 138 146 139 143 154 154 154 154 154 188 201 196 196 199 192 177 180 172 176 189 436 432 425 415 407 416 407 408 434 443 439 440 189 154 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024 2025 432 189 154

Projected Erolment
2026 413 189 154 2027 401 189 154

2011

Cedar Secondary

455

North Cedar Intermediate

185

Woodbank Primary

174

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