School Closure Policy by rt3463df


									School Closure Policy
      Public Meeting
      Dec. 12th, 2006

                        Jordan Tinney Dec. 12, 2006
            Materials tonight…
   Thanks to Harris and Company for their
      From the Ministerial Order
   Board must have a policy;
   Policy must be made available to the public;
   Policy must be applied when closing a school
   Policy must include a public consultation
   Power to close a school must be exercised
    through bylaw. (Bylaw under revision as a result
    of Committee of the Whole Structure)
        Policy and legal decisions
   “The contents of that policy are left completely
    up to the Board, presumably to enable it to craft
    a policy that will be responsive to local
                Civitarese et al v. The Board of School Trustees of School District No.
                 20 (Kootenay-Columbia).
       Policy and legal decisions
   The 45 day time span was “far from perfect” but
    still fundamentally procedurally fair.
             Mercer et al v. School District No. 61 (Greater Victoria School District)
    Lessons learned from closures
   The essential question to be addressed in each
    case is whether the consultation process as a
    whole was fair.
   Essential question is whether parents have the
    opportunity to make timely submissions with
    respect to the school closure criteria.
    Lessons learned from closures
   To justify quashing a decision of a duly elected
    body, flaws in procedural fairness must be very
    significant, amounting to fundamental flaws
    such as not being afforded the opportunity to be
    heard or not being given most or even some of
    the relevant information.
        Permanent School Closure Policy 3050

   Guiding Beliefs:
       The Board will ensure that adequate public consultation has
        taken place prior to making a decision to permanently close a
        school. All persons in the community who could be affected
        by a school closure should be made aware of the Board’s
        proposal to close a school and given an adequate opportunity
        to comment on the proposal.
       For consultation to be meaningful, the Board will give fair
        consideration to all public input prior to making its final
        decision with respect to any school closures. Fair
        consideration includes the concept that the Board’s proposal
        to close a school could be changed or reversed.
                Permanent School Closure
                Board Regulations 3050R1
   Timelines and Process
       The Board will provide a minimum of 60 days for the
        consultation process, relating to specific schools proposed for

   Public Board Meeting
       Any proposed closure of a school will first be raised at a
        regular open meeting of the Board.

       Public consultation will be undertaken by the Board prior to
        making a final decision on any proposed closure of a school.
                      Permanent School Closure
                      Board Regulations 3050R1
The Board will take the following steps to ensure that an open and
meaningful public consultation has taken place:
  a) Make available, in writing, a full disclosure of all facts and information considered
     by the Board with respect to any proposed school closure, including but not
     limited to:
         i.      detailed reasons for the proposed school closure;
         ii.     which specific school(s) are being considered for closure;
         iii.    the proposed new catchment areas for all schools proposed to be affected;
         iv.     the number of students who would be affected, at the school(s) being
                 considered for closure as well as surrounding school(s);
         v.      the effect of proposed closures on board-provided student transportation;
         vi.     educational program/course implications for the affected students;
         vii.    the proposed effective date of the closure(s);
         viii.   financial considerations, and
         ix.     impact on the Board’s five-year capital plan.
               Permanent School Closure
               Board Regulations 3050R1
   Provide an adequate opportunity for affected persons to submit
    a written response to any proposed school closure and
    information and directions on how to submit a written response
    to the Board. The information and directions should advise
    potential correspondents that their written response may be
    referred to at subsequent public forums respecting the proposed
    closure, unless the correspondent specifically states in their
    written response that the correspondent wishes his or her name
    and address to remain confidential.
   Hold at least one public meeting to discuss the proposed closure,
    summarize written submissions, and listen to community
    concerns and proposed options.
           The Public Meeting(s)
   The time and place of the public meeting should be
    appropriately advertised to ensure adequate advance
    notification to affected persons in the community.
    Generally, this will mean a newsletter to students and
    parents of students currently attending the school, and
    a clearly visible notice in a local newspaper.

   The Board should also specifically notify, in writing,
    any potentially affected local governments and First
    Nations of the time and place of the public meeting.
           The Public Meeting(s)
    Discussions should include the following:
    a)   implications of the closure;
    b)   implementation plans, including timing of the
    c)   options that the Board considered as alternatives to
    d)   possible future community growth in the area of the
         school, and
    e)   contents of written submissions presented to the
         Board by members of the community.
                The Final Decision
   The Board should keep minutes of the public meeting that
    include a record of options suggested or concerns expressed
    about the proposal.

   Following the public meeting, the Board should give fair
    consideration to all public input prior to making its final decision
    with respect to any proposed school closures.

   The Board will make its final decision regarding the proposed
    school closure at an advertised public/Board meeting following
    the consultation process.
    Comments from Ombudsman
   “principles of administrative fairness and case
    law regarding public consultation provide that a
    fair public consultation process should include
    the provision of information about the decision
    being considered, reasonable and adequate time
    to make views known and to express opinions,
    and a real opportunity for persons affected to
    take reasonable steps to influence the decision.”
          Purcell v. Board of School Trustees (No. 82)
    Comments from Ombudsman
   We recognize that the policy…
   We note that the policy…
   Consider strategies to…
   Willing to modify policies…specifically to…
   We wonder if …modify policy xxx to include…
           Fair and due process
   Often comes down to “I spoke but I wasn’t
   There was no “real” consultation.
   It was all a done deal.
          Principles of Consultation
   Consultation means being provided a meaningful opportunity to be heard
    prior to a decision being made or implemented.
   In order for consultation to be fair and meaningful, the ultimate decision
    must not be made until input is received from the consulted party.
   Consultation should involve a bilateral interaction by parties informed of each
    other’s position where each has the opportunity to give and receive
    information. (Lakeland College)
   In consultation there is a duty on the decision maker to fully inform the other
    side of its own position as well as to fully inform itself of the position of the
    other. (R. v. Jack, Lakeland College)
   Sufficient information and the reasons for the contemplation of the decision
    should be provided to the party being consulted. The consulted party should
    then be permitted reasonable and adequate time to prepare and make
    submissions on the information.
   Submissions should be received and considered with an open mind. (Purssell)
          Principles of Consultation
   Consultation is an opportunity to have a say and an expectation of a response.
    Parties must confer or take regard and consider each others views.
          (Ottawa City)
   An opportunity must be provided for both sides to be heard and to state the
    factors they feel should guide the decision. (Lakeland College)
   In consultation, both parties have an active role to discuss, express opinions,
    and make their views known to each other.
   The party with the obligation to consult should remain open to suggestions
    and input before a final decision is made. (Ottawa City, CBC)
   The right to be consulted is not the right to veto power.
        (Ottawa City, CBC, R.v. Jack and R.v. Sampson)
   Consultation does not require the parties to agree.
        (Haida, R.v. Jack, R.v. Sampson)

                                                             Courtesy of Harris & Co.
            Your suggestions…
   Feedback sheet for you….
     What things do you like about our policy?
     What things would you like to see changed in our
     Any other comment?

   Adding comments here…

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