Friday, September 18, 2009

NDSS coverage, cont'd, again #3

A Thursday story in the Niagara Advance speaks about a discussion at a Niagara-on-the-Lake committee-of-the-whole meeting this week regarding Niagara District Secondary School.
This is the sort of discussion that perhaps should have come forward earlier, but in this renewed age of municipal-school board loving and the Community Schools Alliance, kudos are deserved for it happening at all.
At Monday’s committee of the whole meeting, Councillor Gary Zalepa Jr. took a different approach from ideas thrown around before.
Instead of seeing the addition of programs to the school to attract students, he said he would like to see something be taken away: a “moth-balled” wing.
The Virgil wing of Niagara District Secondary School (NDSS) has been closed and condemned for many years now and he said council should consider partnering with the District School Board of Niagara (DSBN) to lease out that wing to the Town.
“Our administrative offices are bursting at the seams and town officials are working in such crammed spaces that this could definitely be an opportunity to take advantage of that empty space.”
This is exactly the kind of sharing of vacant school space encouraged in the draft policy -- one that school boards and municipalities can create now should the will exist on all sides to do so. The one thing it doesn't speak to however is how this addresses the enrolment at the school. With approximately 250 students, leasing shuttered space doesn't address this challenge, which is part of what prompted the review in the first place.
For a council that voted to screw the board on its preferred location for a new Virgil school (OMB hearing pending) however, it's a promising step.


Anonymous said...

NDSS has received Rural and top up funding for several years, this years budget the ministry has allocated 880k just for NDSS.

Funding is not an issue the DSBN just wants our kids in the Urban schools period.

where does all that rural funding go ...each rural school in Ontario receives this allocation...

I would encourage you to investigate even in Woodstock there has to be a rural school close by!

Paolo Miele

Education Reporter said...

Search the comments here for more on rural school allocations.
The only school in my coverage area that qualifies is St. Mary's High School within the London District Catholic School Board. All other schools do not meet the distance criteria.

However, a number of smaller schools do qualify for the foundation grant top-up for principals, secretarial and custodial.


Anonymous said...


Thanks for the info but what i would like to see is the Province make sure that Rural Top up Funding allocation must be used at the school that has qualified, not let boards spend the allocation anywhere it wants.