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EMSB PLANS TO EXPAND CONSULTATION PROCESS FOR PROPOSED SCHOOL CLOSURES

Repercussion Theatre

PRESS RELEASE

MONTREAL, SEPTEMBER 8, 2008-   New rules established by the Quebec Ministry of Education, Leisure and Sports (MELS) will mean that the consultation process for proposed school closures will now begin five months earlier for the English Montreal School Board (EMSB).

The MELS now requires school boards to initiate the consultation processwith governing boards of each of the affected schools, as well as the Central Parent’s Committee (CPC), the City of Montreal,  boroughs and municipalities on the EMSB territory, no later than July 1 of the year preceding the proposed closure of a school or transfer of clientele.  At the EMSB, notice of motion for schools targeted for closure has traditionally been given in August, with hearings scheduled for December, a final vote in January and closures effective as of July 1.  That process will now begin in March, leading to a timeline of  15 months from the time a school is identified to the date it could possibly close.  Any proposed changes  to educational services not involving any school closures,   such as the creation of a new school or program or the  movement of students to another facility,  must be completed  no later than April 1 – three months prior to coming into effect.
 
The objective of this policy, which has been sent to the CPC for consultation, is to ensure a rational use of school premises for the provision of quality educational services whilst maintaining a degree of stability for the population of the schools concerned. All schools are considered for study through a long range planning process.  The process  follows a facility utilization plan which evaluates school accommodation requirements against a set of accepted criteria such as  student enrollment patterns, program rationalization, transportation issues, a facility's condition, cost of operation and community usage. 

The proposed  timeline is as follows:

Year 1
October to February

  • Prepare the analysis of the network that includes the historic enrolment and Baragar projections based on September 30 enrolment.
  • Present the analysis at information meetings for the Council of Commissioners and Governing Boards.

March

  • Inform the Director General of any forthcoming proposed recommendations from the studies on Major School Change implicating modifications to the Three-Year Plan and submit them to the Council of Commissioners.
  • Present at the regular scheduled meeting of the Council of Commissioners the proposed recommendations from the studies on Major School Change implicating modifications to the Three-Year Plan and obtain from the Council of Commissioners recommendations approved for consultation.

April

  • No later than April 15, issue a public notice with respect to Major School Change recommendations approved for consultation on the EMSB website. Notice of intent will also be sent to the governing boards of schools that may be affected by the recommendations. In addition, the same information will be sent to the Central Parentsí Committee, City of Montreal, boroughs and municipalities within the EMBS territory.

May to June

  • Accept requests for representatives from the Board and the Administration to attend local Governing Board meetings on recommendations consulted for Major School Change.

Year 2
September to November

  • Convene meetings for information purposes on the recommendations consulted for Major School Change with Governing Boards, Central Parentsí Committee, Commissioners, Administrators and other interested parties if so requested.
  • No later than October 30, submit the proposed Three-Year Plan to the Council of Commissioners for approval for consultation and distribute to Governing Boards affected by the recommendations consulted for Major School Change, including the Central Parentsí Committee, the City of Montreal, boroughs and the municipalities within the EMSB territory.
  • Present recommendations and initiate consultations for other school changes if requested.
  • No later than November 10, conclude the consultation on Major School Change by receiving briefs prepared by consultative partners to the attention of the Director General.
  • No later than November 10, conclude the consultation on the proposed Three-Year Plan on recommendations consulted for Major School Change.

December

  • Before December 10, issue a public notice on the schedule of hearings regarding the recommendations consulted for Major School Change and the proposed Three-Year Plan where consultative partners shall have the opportunity to present their comments, questions and concerns to the Council of Commissioners.

January

  • Before January 15, determine the final decisions on recommendations consulted for Major School Change at a public meeting of the Council of Commissioners.

April

  • No later than April 1, conclude consultations for other requested school changes.

May to June

  • Before June 30, approve the Three-Year Plan by the Council of Commissioners.
  • Issue deeds of establishment.

The CPC has been asked to respond to the proposed policy by November 7.

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Michael J. Cohen
Communications and Marketing Specialist
English Montreal School Board
Tel: (514) 483-7200 ext. 7243
Fax: (514) 483-7213
E-mail: mcohen@emsb.qc.ca