Jan 20, 2017
January 20, 2017
Last night, the Pupil Accommodation Review Committee (PARC) for the Chatham Catholic elementary schools completed its review, involving the school communities of Our Lady of Fatima, St. Vincent, St. Agnes, Monsignor Uyen, St. Joseph, St. Ursula and Georges P. Vanier. The purpose of the review is to address the issue of excess pupil spaces and out-dated, aging school facilities, as identified in the Board’s Capital Plan, which was released in February 2016.
It has been the role of the PARC to represent the schools under review and to act as the official conduit of information between the school board the school communities. After a full and vigorous review, which involved an extensive examination of reports and data regarding the current school facilities; considering and weighing questions and concerns of parents; and assessing what is in the best interests of Catholic students for the future, the PARC has come to the consensus that it supports Option A, as outlined in the Initial Staff Report, which was presented to the Board of Trustees last September. Option A would see the French Immersion program re-located to a fully refurbished Our Lady of Fatima; the six remaining Catholic elementary schools would be closed; and two brand new schools would be built, one in north Chatham and one in south Chatham.
The PARC also identified some additional considerations, should the Board of Trustees vote to move forward with Option A. Superintendent of Education Deb Crawford, who has acted as Chair of the PARC, will now prepare a report on behalf of PARC members, which will be submitted to Trustees on Tuesday, February 14, 2017. The Board of Trustees will make its decision on the future of Catholic education in Chatham at the Regular Meeting of Tuesday, March 28, 2017. The final decision regarding any future capital projects, of course, rests with the Ministry of Education.
In the meantime, a public meeting has been scheduled for next Wednesday, January 25, 2017 at 6:30 p.m. at St. Ursula Catholic School. Members of the PARC will be in attendance, to present their recommendation and to outline some of the additional considerations pertaining to Option A.
I wish to thank the members of the Pupil Accommodation Review Committee for their commitment to this process and to the future of Catholic education in Chatham. I look forward to hearing the details of their presentation on Wednesday and hope you are able to join us!
Director of Education