SCUGOG: While a provincial review of the Cartwright High School closure may not reverse the decision of the Durham District School Board, insights from the process may improve future decisions, says the facilitator reviewing the matter.
In late May, provincial facilitator Joan Green met with all sides in the CHS Accommodation Review Committee (ARC) process, culminating in a public meeting on May 29. Several speakers, including those from the CHS community and the Township of Scugog, once again spoke to the matter of the small school's looming closure later this month.
Ms. Green was assigned to review the CHS closure after several members of the
school community successfully petitioned the provincial Ministry of Education to look into the process that preceded the DDSB's February decision to close the school. Reports from both the community and the DDSB, concerning figures and statistics used in the closure decision, were then sent to the province and reviewed for 30 days.
Ms. Green clarified that her role is not to reverse the decision, but to provide the
ministry with an objective review of the process.
"My mandate is not to alter the decision," Ms. Green told The Standard, "but to ensure that the school board followed its own processes in the decision and where possible, indicate recommendations." Ms. Green said that over the course of four days, a "healthy discussion" of the matter took place with all sides involved. Ms. Green, who was the founding CEO of the province's Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO), said that an analysis of her findings will be sent to the Ministry of Education later this summer, with a final report from the province expected in the fall. The report will be available to the public.
"Each community is unique," said Ms. Green of her role as facilitator, "but at the core, it always comes down to what each side feels is best for the students."