Hullett students may face move to CHSS - June 1, 2017
BY SHAWN LOUGHLIN
Due to current enrolment at Hullett Central and Clinton Public School, Grade 7-8 students may find themselves attending Central Huron Secondary School in the coming years.
According to Janet Baird-Jackson, the Avon Maitland District School Board’s superintendent of corporate services, the board’s enrolment forecast shows enrolment pressures at both Hullett Central and Clinton Public Schools, which matches up with unused space at Central Huron Secondary School. In addition, she said, the daycare at Clinton Public School has expressed an interest in expanding its services.
According to the report, 282 students went to school at Hullett Central in 2015/2016, which is an increase of 81.9 per cent from the 2009/2010 school year when 155 students attended the school. Similarly, Clinton Public School’s enrolment sat at 297 students in 2015/2016, up 25.3 per cent from the 237 students who attended in 2009/2010.
Enrolment projections predict that, barring any changes, student population at the two schools will remain steady until at least the 2024/2025 school year.
Over that same time period, the enrolment at Central Huron Secondary School has declined 13.7 per cent. In addition, the school’s 2015/2016 enrolment of 530 is projected to decline drastically in the coming years to 450 students in 2025/2026.
The report makes note of the dramatic increase in Hullett Central’s enrolment and the role the closure of Blyth Public School played in it.
Currently, she said, all of Hullett Central’s spots are full and the on-site portable is also full.
Baird-Jackson said that Grade 7-8 students have been integrated into secondary school settings in seven of the school board’s nine communities in which there is a secondary school. Aside from Clinton, where integration has yet to take place, the other is Listowel, where Baird-Jackson says students couldn’t be accommodated in the high school because it’s nearing capacity.
In those seven aforementioned communities, Baird-Jackson says, the integration has been going well, with no major reported issues.
The issue has yet to be officially discussed this year, but the enrolment report and forecast certainly paints the move as a logical possibility. Baird-Jackson says that it’s unlikely that the issue will be discussed officially until next year.
If and when the move is initiated, Baird-Jackson says that a consultation process will begin.
A consultation process is different from the accommodation review process that was initiated in the community a number of years ago which resulted in the closure of Blyth, East Wawanosh, Wingham, Turnberry Central and Brussels Public Schools.
Baird-Jackson says that a consultation is necessary when a school board is considering moving less than 50 per cent of a school’s population for any reason. The process would be open to parents and potentially students and staff members as well as the school board.
For more information on the school board or to view the preliminary accommodation analysis report for 2016/2017, visit the board’s website at yourschools.ca.