Grade Change Study

The results are in!  The outcome of the Grade Change Study – which included parent as well as TDSB input is to “stay status quo” for now and continue to monitor enrolment levels at Runnymede.

This means that there is no imminent plan to move our 7/8’s off site, but that this will be re-evaluated on a regular basis.

Thank you to all of the Runnymede parents that took the time to be involved in this process.

Questions can be directed to our Parent Council Chair, Dale Cadeau.

Focus Group

A Grade Change Study Focus Group meeting took place at Runnymede P.S. on January 11, 2016.  At this meeting, Runnymede parent representatives and TDSB staff examined the options available to us and discussed how parents would feel about a grade change that would involve moving Grade 7 and 8 students to another site (ie. Western Tech as a campus).

Parents at the focus group were not in favour of any change at this time.

Due to the boundary change which took place in 2012 and redirection of feeder school students (Howard Public School) to other sites, the current situation at Runnymede is deemed not as urgent as previously thought.   Currently enrolment is at 101% capacity which is 100 students fewer than last year.  The TDSB recognizes that 85 – 90% capacity is optimal.

Trustee Robin Pilkey anticipates that when the Local Feasibility Team meets after March Break their decision will be that nothing needs to be done for now, but that the TDSB will continue to monitor enrolment and overcrowding at Runnymede.  This is good planning, and is a documented part of an overall planning strategy for the TDSB.

Thank you to Robin Pilkey our Ward 7 Trustee, for attending our Parent Council meeting on January 19th to discuss the Grade Change Study publicly with Runnymede parents.

The detailed minutes of the focus group meeting and the Parent Council meeting will be posted on the school and Council websites once approved.

Thank you to the Runnymede parents that volunteered for the focus group, voiced their opinions and came to the Parent Council meeting to hear Trustee Pilkey speak first hand.  It is exactly this type of parental engagement which makes Runnymede such a great school.

About the Grade Change Study

The TDSB is doing a number of studies in Ward 7, including one specific to Runnymede PS.

The study affecting Runnymede is slated to begin in January 2016 and will be a Grade Change Study, in which they will consider making Runnymede a junior school from K-6, with all grade 7 and 8 students (both French Immersion and English streams) moving off site. Options being explored are moving students to Annette Jr. & Sr. PS and a campus arrangement with Western Technical School, amongst others.

Superintendent Jane Phillips-Long, attended our Parent Council meeting in November to continue the discussion.

Local Feasibility Team (LFT)
The first step of the Grade Change Study is to form a Local Feasibility Team (LFT). The Team will:

  • Include TDSB Planning staff, the neighbouring Principals, affected Superintendents, program staff and our local Trustee, Robin Pilkey.
  • Look at enrolment projection data and explore potential solutions – short- and long- term – to address overcrowding at our school.

A group of 10 Runnymede parents were selected to participate in a parent Focus Group to advise the Local Feasibility Team.  The LFT will use the Focus Group findings as input for the work that they do.  The first Focus Group meeting was held on Monday January 11, 2016.   Minutes of the meeting will be circulated to the school community via this site, when available.

The LFT may conclude one of the following options:

  1. That monitoring Runnymede’s enrolment is acceptable in the short-term, and that a significant change in demographic data will bring the team back together when needed;
  2. That a Program Area Review Team (PART) should be formed to further examine immediate and long-term solutions. If a PART is recommended, this team would include all members of the LFT plus parent representatives (see below)

We expect to hear a decision from the LFT in early Spring 2016.  Their findings will be publicly available, via this website.

Program Area Review Team (PART)
If needed, the team would:

  • Include all members of the LFT plus parent representatives.
  • Meet at least twice to review the data and discuss solutions.
  • Hold a public meeting to share information and seek input.
  • This PART committee would then bring recommendations to staff and to the Director of Education

There is NO grade change proposed for Runnymede PS for 2016-17. This regulated process will ensure all points are considered and in place before any 7/8 students would be moved off site. As more information becomes available, we will continue to update the Runnymede Council website.

If you have questions about the Grade Change Study or the Local Feasibility Team process, please our School Council Co-Chair Dale Cadeau.