Sudbury Catholic Board to Build Green School in South End
Trustees for the Sudbury Catholic District School Board voted in favour of closing four south end schools (St. Christopher, St. Theresa, Corpus Christi, and St. Michael Catholic Schools) at the May 26th Board meeting held at Tom Davies Square.
The motion to close the four schools, three of which are PTR Schools (Prohibitive to Repair),allows the Board to apply for Ministry funding to renovate St. Francis Catholic School and to build a new state of the art 550 pupil “Green” dual track (JK to Grade 8) school with a Multi-Media Technology Plaza in the City’s South End.
Students from Corpus Christi and St. Michael Catholic Schools will be consolidated into St. Francis Catholic School (JK to Grade 6)
while students from St. Christopher, St. Theresa and all of the Grade 7 and 8 students from St. Francis and St. David Elementary Schools will be consolidated into the new “green school” on the St. Benedict Catholic Secondary School site. Trustees also voted in favour of renovating St. David Catholic School with regular JK to Grade 6 programming to include further community partnerships aimed at the expansion of the current programming with a holistic service model.
With respect to the North/West Planning area, Trustees passed a motion to consolidate St. Mary Elementary School Grade 7 and 8 students and programming into St. Anne Elementary School commencing September 2009.
In her presentation to Trustees, Director of Education for the Sudbury Catholic District School Board, Catherine McCullough stated that after the Accommodation Review Committee (ARC) had completed its work and made its recommendations, it was incumbent upon her to provide a vision for the Board in both programming and capital expenditures. These recommendations recognized that the decision before Trustees revolved around the future of providing quality education and quality facilities for all of Sudbury’s Catholic students.
With respect to the South/Central Planning area, McCullough reiterated the following major points concerning the Director’s recommendations before the motions were considered by Trustees:
• The recommendations maintained the integrity of the accommodation review process. The supporting rationale provided by the Accommodation Review Committee guided the decision making process.
• JK to Grade 12 on the one site at St. Benedict CSS permits increased opportunities for professional development, teacher collaboration and staff specialization
• JK to Grade 12 on the one site at St. Benedict CSS creates more opportunities for cooperative education, peer tutoring, “fast tracking,” interventions for at risk and disengaged students, and seamless transition for French Immersion students wishing
• Two large elementary schools (St. Francis and St. Benedict) with dual track programming are beneficial to the Board as it provides parents and students with more options
• A renovated St. David School would enhance partnerships with First Nations communities within the Board’s jurisdiction.
• The recommendations implement the Ministry of Education’s direction that effective programming must be viewed as a continuum that minimizes the number of times a student would transition as he or she progresses from JK to Grade 12. In fact, the JK to Grade 12
single campus concept would be unique to the South/Central community.
• A state of the art Green School will be fuly compliant with the Ontario Disabilities Act(ODA) with enhanced programming such as music, drama, theatre, technology, day care,be fore and after programs, and superior sports facility.
• The larger population of Grade 7 and 8 students and the proximity of the secondary school creates an opportunity for program enhancements
• Access to specialized facilities (technology areas, cafeteria, double-gym, sports programs and fields)
• Expansion of program offerings and flexible spaces to meet changing program needs
• Expansion of resources in classrooms and optimal learning opportunities for all students
• Interaction with a larger community learners
• Larger blocks of uninterrupted teaching time
• Expansion of co-curricular activities for all students
• Potential of enhanced partnerships with the City of Greater Sudbury
The Multi Media Resource Centre would provide equipment for students to have a more hands on style of interaction encouraging new learning opportunities. This Centre would enable the Board to provide both elementary and secondary students with 21st Century skills and learning opportunities directed toward all career pathways.
“The creation of a new “green school” and the renovations to St. Francis and St. David Catholic Schools will enhance educational programs within these facilities which will provide the students under our care with a Catholic education that is of the highest quality possible,” stated McCullough.