We are happy to announce that last night our area's School Trustee Donna Blackburn passed a successful motion which has resulted in the proposed new Half Moon Bay Public Elementary School being moved to #1 on the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board's Capital Priorities List!
What does this mean?
The OCDSB will be submitting this list of top 8 Capital Priorities for 2014-2015 to the Ontario Ministry of Education by October 31. This list identifies the projects that OCDSB is requesting capital funding for. While funding is never guaranteed, with a new HMB school being priority #1, the odds are in our favour. The Ministry's decisions on funding should be announced in Spring 2014. Should the new HMB school receive funding, it could open as early as September 2015. How the Ministry decides which items on the priority list are given funding is publicly unknown, but we believe that they do respect the Board's decision when requesting funding.
Based on last night's vote, the Board's recommended Capital Priorities List is now as follows:
- New Half Moon Bay ES
- Broadview Avenue PS (rebuild)
- West Carleton SS (addition)
- New Stittsville SS
- A.Y. Jackson SS (addition)
- Viscount Alexander PS (addition)
- New Avalon II ES
- New Findlay Creek ES
Why is the school needed?
The Half Moon Bay community is growing rapidly. By 2016 there will be a total of 6862 homes in our community, with more subdivisions planned for other areas surrounding HMB. Children in HMB who are in the English Public Elementary system are currently being bused outside our community, which is not ideal. This impacts schools such as Barrhaven Public School, Jockvale Public School, and Cedarview Middle School which are all dealing with overcrowding and placement of portables. The overcrowding has resulted in temporary revisions to grade structures and is no doubt delaying the implementation of Full Day Kindergarten at these schools. An English Public Elementary School in Half Moon Bay would mean that our children will be able to stay and learn in our community and release the overcrowding pressure felt throughout Barrhaven schools. Children thrive through educational programs when their travel to school is reduced, parent engagement as volunteers and enrolment in after-school programs increases when community schools are available.
The HMBCA would like to thank our members for their support, Trustee Donna Blackburn for her hard work, and other Trustees who voted for this, for understanding how important this school will be for the Half Moon Bay community, and for Barrhaven as a whole, which is why it deserves to be priority #1 for funding.
HMBCA Media Contact:
Director of Public Relations
Last week the HMBCA began a campaign to shift Half Moon Bay Public Elementary School to priority number one on the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board's (OCDSB) Capital Priorities List.
Our campaign consisted of a number of different strategies to reach out to the community to become advocates to the OCDSB Trustees through emails, telephone calls and attending the OCDSB Committee of the Whole meeting on October 1st 2013.
We want to thank the community for your passion and support with this endeavor. It was great to receive the support we did in this 6 day campaign.
On October 1st Ryan Knuth, Director of Public Relations attended the OCDSB Committee of the Whole to put forward why Half Moon Bay Public Elementary School should be priority number one for capital funding priorities for next year. Ryan did an amazing job highlighting our concerns why our school should be the number one priority. A portion of the presentation was featured on CBC radio and it presented the community association and Half Moon Bay in the best possible light.
We would also like to thank our public school board Trustee Donna Blackburn for her support, time and energy. Donna moved a motion that would've shifted HMB Public Elementary School to priority number one from it’s current second place. A lively debate followed this motion and after a good ninety minutes the vote took place. Despite her passionate efforts, the motion did not pass. Despite this, we remain as priority number two for capital funding for next year. Donna’s commitment to our community was crystal clear.
What are the next steps? The OCDSB will finalize the capital funding priorities and send the list to the Ontario Ministry of Education by October 31. We are hopeful that HMB Public School will continue to be priority number two given the engagement of community members, HMBCA and the facts and specifics we brought forward at the committee meeting. The final funding decision will be made by the Ministry.
Half Moon Bay is a new and growing community. This campaign was not only an exercise of participating in a process that determines the direction of our community, but was also about building our voice, community member relationships and getting more members involved to become advocates for what we need to thrive.
On behalf of Half Moon Bay Community Association, thank you for your engagement in the campaign. We look forward to working together for our community!
An update from Jan Harder.
Congratulations to the Conseil des Écoles catholiques du Centre-Est for breaking ground on a new French-language Catholic elementary school in Barrhaven on Wednesday.
The official groundbreaking took place on the future site of the new school to be located at 2450 River Mist Road in Barrhaven.
The construction of a Catholic elementary school in Barrhaven will make it possible to better serve that area's growing population of students entitled to receive French-language Catholic education. The new school will have a capacity of 389 students from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 6. A daycare will also be built offering 26 additional spaces for the children in the area. The opening of the new school is slated for September 2013.