“When will a school be built in Lakeshore Woods?” and its corollary, “Will my school close if a new school is built?” are two perennial questions in Wards 1&2 Oakville. Since 1999, the Halton District School Board’s annual long-term accommodation plans have included (with one exception) a school for 550 to 700 students at the south end of Nautical Blvd next to Shell Park.

Between 1997 and 2003, the HDSB conducting school consolidations and closures across the region almost every year. The usual targets for closure in Southwest Oakville were Pine Grove PS, Oakwood PS, and Gladys Speers PS. The Provincial Conservatives only paid for schools if a school board had a schools worth of students without seats.

Since 2003, the Provincial process for funding new schools has changed – six or seven times – and probably four times since the economic downturn. And for the last decade and a half, Halton has been funded so that the new schools we needed in South Milton, North Oakville, and North Burlington arrived about 50 portable classrooms later the students. The demand to build in the green fields developments to the north has far outstripped the need in the Southwest, where we have portables at some schools and empty classrooms at others. A new school in Ward 1 has never climbed high enough in the Board’s or the Province’s priorities to reach the threshold for Ministry of Education funding.

When the HDSB builds a school, the serviced site costs between 8 and 10 million dollars, and the elementary school building costs between 14 and 16 million dollars.

When the HDSB sells a school, it receives anywhere from 4 to 6 million dollars for the site and building, about a quarter of the cost of a new school on a new site.

If the Halton District School Board undertakes what is known as a Program and Accommodation Review in Wards 1&2 Oakville it might result in the consolidation of two schools into one and the closure of one. It might result in the sale of the Lakeshore Woods site. I might result in the construction of a new school. Or some combination thereof.

So right now, the answers to the two perennial questions are “Probably not before 2017 and perhaps not at all if a future Board of Trustees so chooses.” and “Possibly, but perhaps not as the result of a new school being built.”

I have been a trustee for two terms now, but have been an education advocate in Oakville since 1995. My next posts will look at accommodation trends, capital funding options, and schools as hubs.

Your comments and questions are invited.


Share the Road’s “Greg’s Ride”
Two Upcoming Events:

Family Fun Ride:

  • When: Sat Sep 20th registration opens 2pm, ride starts at 2:45pm
  • Where: Burlington Mall parking lot off Prospect St. behind The Bay, 777 Guelph Line
  • Cost: Free for families with participating children aged 12 and under. Please bring a completed Participation Waiver

9th Annual Greg’s Ride:

  • When: Sun Sep 21st Register here.
  • Where: Kelso Conservation Area, 5234 Kelso Road, Milton
  • Why: to gather together as a community of cyclists to remember those we’ve lost, to celebrate our achievements and to work together towards our common goal of ensuring that our roads become safer places for all those that use them.

“In 2006, OPP Sergeant Greg Stobbart was killed while on a training ride on Tremaine Road in Milton. After Greg’s death, Greg’s wife Eleanor McMahon founded the Share the Road Cycling Coalition in his memory to advocate for safer roads for all Ontarians.  Since that time, Share the Road has grown considerably, and has achieved some tremendous successes. We have worked with all parties at the provincial legislature to pass laws that increase the penalties for driving without a licence. We have worked with the government to put the toughest penalties in the country for distracted driving and dooring a cyclist on the legislative agenda. We have worked tirelessly with municipalities and non-government partners to emphasize the tremendous value that cycling and active transportation can have, and together we have truly changed the conversation around cycling. No longer are communities asking why they should invest in cycling – they’re now asking how.”

The Parent Involvement Committee is pleased to host our 7th Annual PIC Conference for Parents. See the PIC Conference Flyer 2014 for workshop thumbnails.

Keynote Speakers:
Mary Jean Gallagher and George Couros

This is a FREE conference.

Date: Saturday, October 18, 2014
Time: 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Venue: White Oaks Secondary School, 1330 Montclair Dr., Oakville, ON  L6H 1Z5

Register online at http://www.hdsb.ca/Community/PIC/Pages/welcome.aspx or at your child’s school.

For inquiries, please contact: Joanne Basta at 905-335-3663 ext. 3294 or basta@hdsb.ca.


  • Community awareness displays
  • Interpreters will be provided upon request – American Sign Language
  • We offer FREE child minding, upon request, at White Oaks Secondary School
  • A light breakfast and lunch will be provided (FREE)


  • 8:00 am – 8:45 am Registration & Breakfast
  • 8:45 am – 8:55 am Welcome & Introductions
  • 8:55 am – 9:55 am Mary Jean Gallagher Keynote Speaker
  • 10:00 am – 11:00 am George Couros Keynote Speaker
  • 11:15 am – 12:15 pm “A” Session Workshops
  • 12:15 am – 1:30 pm Nutrition Break & CommunityDisplays
  • 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm “B” Session Workshops

ef yoo kan rid ths …

Rarely so well stated:

ef yoo kan rid thspic.twitter.com/FxSwvRPY02

“If you can read this thank a teacher.
ef yoo kan rid ths yoo prbli ar a teecha”

Thanks to IU1VA7XY_reasonably_smallThe Groovy Teacher @JoeAFloyd

Pam DamoffPam Damoff‏ @PamDamoff
Kerr Village is where you want to be Saturday! Something for everyone including the Cowboy Junkies

Need a little relief from the back-to-school hurly-burly? Enjoy this short video from IKEA.

Thinking “out of the box” while standing on Apple’s box in a world searching for a new box.

Steve Paikin has a knack for keeping 55 minutes interesting. Of particular interest, his discussion with the education pundatry.

September 2, 2014

Ontario’s Education Outlook

Faltering EQAO test scores. Looming labour negotiations. Trustee elections. The Agenda looks at what Ontario can expect from the school year.

Liz Sandals: Back to Class

Fresh from a winning election campaign, Steve Paikin sits down with returning Minister of Education Liz Sandals to ask what Ontario will do about sinking math scores, upcoming contract talks and a tough fiscal picture. Watch Video

Liz Sandals
Ontario’s Education Minister

Ontario ABCs

It’s the first day of school across much of Ontario. What do you need to know for the new year? The Agenda opens the education file to look at what’s going to matter, from trustees to test scores, from labour contracts to a vision for Ontario schools under the newly minted majority government. Watch Video

Caroline Alphonso
Education Reporter, The Globe and Mail
Rian McLaughlin
President, Ontario Teachers’ Federation
Annie Kidder
Executive Director, People for Education
Doretta Wilson
Executive Director, Society for Quality Education
Michael Barrett
President, Ontario Public School Boards’ Association & Trustee, City of Oshawa

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