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PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2007 11:02 pm 
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There have been lots of people looking for information on the public schools in Milton and many threads discussing the issue. I have asked Rick to post this thread as a sticky so that we can (hopefully) collect all the information in one place and have it act as a resource to people that are new to the issue.

I hope anyone looking for information on public schools in Milton will use this thread to catch up on what has been going on and join the current discussion.

There are a few threads on this site that I recall school information being posted. There are probably more, so if anyone else recalls those that I missed, please post them as well. I hope we can continue those discussions on this thread and build new information from them.

Existing threads:
HVE Schools
New Development notice in 15A
What's the elementary school(S) over by the Escarpment?


Last edited by daycaremom on Mon Nov 03, 2008 7:26 am, edited 19 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2007 8:16 am 
Okay, please tell me the issues so that I can be pro-active as I have a two year old that will be in the system in a couple of years. As a teacher, I have a lot of background knowledge in the educational field and maybe I can be of assistance.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2007 8:18 am 
Oh also, while I'm thinking about it, one post showed a map of where the two schools in the escarpment phase will be located (one public, one catholic)...anybody know when these are expected to be open by?


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2007 12:58 pm 
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There are a lot of issues in Milton, basically though the main one is there are not enough spaces for the students. There have been three new public schools built - Chris Hadfield, Hawthorne Village and Bruce Trail. There is a fourth school that was supposed to open in Sept. 2008, but the land it is supposed to be built on is held up in an OMB dispute. The hearing for that is scheduled for January of '08. Even if the dispute gets settled at that time, it will be too late for an "08 opening.
Schools #5 and #6 are supposed to be built over in the escarpment area. Since #4, is held up, the board has planned to go ahead and build #5 AND #6 prior to the opening of #4.
In the meantime, Sam Sherratt school is the holding school for the students that are supposed to go to Milton #4. Sam Sherratt was built for 394 students. It currently has more than 465 (full time) and more are arriving all the time.
Hawthorne Village was built for 584 students and currently has more than 900 full time students.
If the fourth school does not get built, the board will open #5 first, take all the students that are in Sam Sherratt instead of #4 and move them to #5. When #4 gets built those students will be moved back to #4.

From the "Milton #4 School Delay" Sticky...

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Schools are built with an OTG - on the ground capacity number. Hawthorne's is 584. That is how many students are able to recieve a quality education in that building.
When you add portables and/or a portapack as Hawthorne has, you can increase the number of classrooms, but it does not increase the size of your gym, library, art room, music room, computer lab, science lab or tech room. Those rooms are built to accommodate 584 kids. When you double the ammount of kids that have to share those spaces, you are cutting their access time to those rooms and programs in half!
At Chris Hadfield a few years ago, the enrolment numbers jumped dramatically over one summer. The principal cut out all gym time for the 300 kindergarten students to accommodate all the older kids.

There are six periods in school each day. Hawthorne Village has 42 classes this year. How many of them will be able to get into the library each week? Same thing with all of the other rooms I mentioned.

This has more to do with programming and quality of education than it has to do with "where do we put the kids"?

Another thing to consider is personal space. Do you know what it looks like to have a bell ring and watch 800 kids try to change classes and get to their lockers? They can't move. They are crammed in like sardines. It's like walking through a crowded subway station. Heaven forbid if you get caught in the hallway with a bunch of kindergartens.

Lunch time for a school with 1100 kids means splitting the kids in half and having half of them eat first while the others play outside and then switching so that they are not too crowded on the playground. That requires double the ammount of supervision - which the board does not provide.

Consider the effect on the bathrooms. We were lucky to have a few extra toilets added with our portapack to accommodate another 200 kids, but you don't get that with portables. Do you want your kids to wash their hands before they eat lunch? Imagine hundreds of kids trying to get to the bathroom at the start of the lunch period to do that.


Do your children like to play sports? All schools have the same number of teams. In overcrowded schools, the children have to compete with twice as many kids for a place on a team. It is much harder to make a team in a large school.

The Milton Public School Trustee and our Superintendant have created Milton Super Council with school council chairs and administrators from each of the local schools to discuss common concerns. Accommodation is the focus at this time. We are currently waiting for the next meeting (hopefully in the next couple of weeks) to see what steps the planning department will be taking to take some of the pressures off of the schools that are overcrowded.
I expect that there will be a public information meeting held by the Superintendant and Trustee to make those plans known to everyone shortly after the supercouncil meeting.
We are also eagerly awaiting the results of the OMB hearing in January to see if the land will become available to the school board for #4.

I think that's it in a nutshell.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2007 2:43 pm 
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great thread! it's much better to have one disscussion of schools..

daycaremom - just one correction to your previous post:

Quote:
In the meantime, Sam Sherratt school is the holding school for the students that are supposed to go to Milton #4. Sam Sherratt was built for 394 students. It currently has more than 465 (full time) and more are arriving all the time.


there are acctually 633 students attending Sam Sherrat now. we hit the 465 mark back in may. here's the exerpt from the Pricipal's report at our last Parent Council Meeting:

Principal's Report – Toni/Scott

Current registrations as of October 15th , 633 students and approximately 21 future registrations.

Parking lot expansion has been approved. Entrance to the school via Holly three way stop, old entrance will be closed. More info to follow.

Portables to arrive week of November 12th they will be located along tennis court fence, and the swings will be relocated inside playground area.

Scott discussed survey results from the Open House. Approximately 90 people took the time to complete the survey. In the open comments area of the survey some of the responses included, class sizes, over population, washrooms, eating, library, learning resources and bus loading zones. He hopes to do another survey in the new year.


so the situation is crazy.. a grade 3 class in the library (which means my son's class has yet to go to the library), talk of dismantling the newly built playground to make room for more portables (schools built 25 yrs ago were not designed with space for portables). if the school was just a bit overcrowded,we would not be so concerned... it is dangerously overcrowed. the parking lot is closed in the morning, for safetly reasons. the 1/2 dozen or so busses barley have room to park on laurier ave - no inlay like in the new schools. if anyone wants to see the huge difference in design of a 25 yr-old walk up school, and a newly built "bus-to" school - just take a look at Sam Sherratt in the morning compared to HV Public.

anyway, i know you've all heard me (and other parents) complain about all this before, but i just wanted to make sure the exent of the situation at Sam Sherrat was accurate.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2007 3:48 pm 
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Bernadette, I am in no way minimizing the situation at Sam Sherratt, but once again I have to say that your enrolment of 633 students is probably not your FTE (full time equivalent) number. When we say that the school was built for 394 that is FTE. Kindergarten students only count as half a student because they are only at school half time.
You need to count your full time students - grades 1-8, seperately from your kindergartens, then add half of your kindergarten population to the full time students to get your FTE and compare to your school's capacity.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2007 6:35 pm 
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o.k. then ... 633 - 50 (5 Kinder classes with 20 in each -they had 4 and then just added one class to meet the 20/1 ratio set by the ministry) = 583.. that's 118 more than 465. i remeber when we were at around 450 last school year, it wasn't that bad. when we showed up in septemeber, i nearly had a heart attack with all the kids in the playground!

and since i don't like just bitching without trying to offer suggestions:

i think the school board's plan to move up the opening of the #5 school, to ease the burden at sam sherratt, is a good one... IF they still have left the option open to start construction of the #4 school if the OMB dispute get's settled at the January hearing (as we are all hoping it will ) to open for sept '09. if the OMB dispute goes on after that... i agree whole heartedly that the #5 school has to be built for sept '09. i would prefer my kids do not have to change schools twice... but Sam Sherrat just wasn't made to hold all these kids. and the kids that live in our neighbourhood will be all moving together, so at least they will have some old friends to make the transisions smoother.

o.k. i think i have ranted enough for a while


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2007 6:47 pm 
Okay, so I'm up to date with the problem (which is nothing new to the board I'm in as well) so can you please tell me what you (parents/teachers/administrators) want to do about it? I've heard the complaints, now I wanna know what the solutions can be? Not trying to be difficult, I just know how the OMB works and how boards work so I would like to know some of the solutions being offered by people like yourself and if the board is offering any. I'm especially interested in what the board said they may do because I'd be surprised if they would offer to do anymore other than more portables till the infrastrucure catches up.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2007 7:19 pm 
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So far, the only thing that the board has planned is to bump up construction of #5 to 2009, #6 to 2010 and have pushed #4 back to 2011.
That will create more spaces for the kids, but will force some kids to change schools a couple of times. Still, it is better than being in an overcrowded school.

IF the OMB dispute can finally be settled in January, putting #4 ahead of #6 would be ideal as it would bring students who have gone to Sherratt and #5, back into their own community. So far, the board is not telling us that this is what will happen. They still plan to build #6 before #4.

The other thing that needs to be considered is programs in the Milton schools. There are schools that are far below capacity. If those schools can take on a program that the overcrowded schools don't offer, students will be drawn out of the overcrowded schools and will help balance the population in the schools.

They can also cap the schools at a reasonable number and send new students to schools with a lower population.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2007 7:29 pm 
Having been at a school that was getting an addition, I know all too well how ineffecient and 'backwards' boards can do things sometimes. It comes with the territory of working for the government. I know that there aren't too many schools in Milton (compared to Missisauga for example) so why would some be below capacity and others way over? Did I answer my question already with the 'backwards/inefficient' comment? Other than that, sounds like that's all they can do is to go ahead and start the other planned schools, as soon as possible. I'm sure they give reasons like not enough money from the province, etc for not doing it sooner. Personally I wouldn't mind my kid being moved around a couple times to make the best of a situation as I feel it doesn't hurt the child, they're very resiliant (it happened to me and I turned out okay).


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2007 7:37 pm 
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csb101 - you are right, until sept '09 (when they can build at least one school) portables, etc at Sam Sherratt are the only options. i only mentioned the situation (and corrected the enrollment numbers) so that it didn't seem like we (the parents that have voiced concern on this forum) were over reacting.
i am just concerned that the #4 school will be delayed until 2011 unessessarily. so my "suggestion" to the board has been that if the OMB dispute in settled in January, building the #4 shool for Sept '09 should be priority. so far, that does not show in their plans - they've already bumped #5 & #6 before it. this is very premature, in my mind.
that is what parents in our area can rally around. the "supercouncil" of parents has no representation from coates crossing since the council chair of Sam Sherratt is from the traditional boundary. don't get me wrong, he was an EXCELLENT choice, and i'm sure will act in the best interest of Sam Sherratt (as he should). but we still should have some representation on any committee that discusses possible accomodation solutions for milton. anyway.... i am looking into this.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2007 7:53 pm 
themasons...that does make sense to me....that if the OMB thing gets settled sooner ratther than later (which from what I hear rarely happens) then I for sure think that #4 should get priority again (heaven forbid they build two schools at the same time...though they will tell you it's a ministry thing WHICH it probably is). Though I'm sure the board thinks it doesn't matter because the other ones will be built too. It sometimes blows my mind how board supers and directors think sometimes...I honestly think in some situations they forget where they came from (they were all once teachers too) and get caught up in the politics of it all.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2007 8:01 pm 
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Regardless if anyone lives in Coates crossing or not, we all benefit from having the fourth school constructed as soon as possible. I am in phase one of Mattamy and I am on the supercouncil committee. I do everything that I can to get that school built as soon as possible as does the rep from Sam Sherratt and every other chair in Milton that sits on that committee.

The supercouncil committee is a very good group and everyone has been working together in the best interest of all students in Milton regardless of where people live, what schools they attend or what programs they are enrolled in. Everyone has put aside their own personal agenda's and are focusing on the same goal.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2007 8:03 pm 
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There is a possiblity of two schools being built at the same time and opening in the same year. It may come out at the next supercouncil meeting and the next public meeting.
This is also later for the OMB hearing since it has been hung up there for quite some time.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2007 8:05 pm 
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cbs101 - thanks for the support :) since the dispute has been with OMB for over a year, i'm hoping (maybe naively) it can be settled one way or another in january. all we're asking it that the board waits until then to decide on which school they build for '09. they had the money from the ministry to build #4 to open in Sept '08 ... so that makes this all the more frustrating.

o.k i am officially spending way to much chatting about this :oops: time to take a breather..


Last edited by themasons on Sun Oct 21, 2007 9:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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