Support for Small Schools
In 2003, Norfolk County assisted the Delhi community during the Grand Erie District School Board’s accommodation review process. Delhi District Secondary School was considered for closure. GEDSB decided to keep DDSS open.
In 2011, a delegation from Port Dover appeared before Council-in-Committee looking for support during the current GEDSB accommodation review process. On November 8, 2011, Norfolk County Council-in-Committee adopted the following resolution, which was later ratified by Council:
THAT all rural school closings be stopped, and that the province recommit to adequate funding of education and further a process be established where broader social costs are considered and quantified before decisions are made to close schools in rural and small town Ontario;
AND THAT this resolution be forwarded to the Minister of Education, the Premier, the Rural Ontario Municipal Association, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, M.P.P. Toby Barrett, the Grand Erie District School Board, and the Association of Municipalities of Ontario for circulation to all AMO member municipalities for their endorsement.
The Port Dover Save Our School (SOS) Committee requested additional assistance from Norfolk County Council in 2011. In January 2012, Norfolk County staff were directed to provide support to the SOS Committee. The SOS Committee worked with Norfolk County staff to prepare, distribute and analyze the “Education Survey of Norfolk County”, which was executed and analyzed in February 2012.
Education Survey 2011
- Report – Education in Norfolk County Survey, 2011 – A survey of stakeholders interested in education in Norfolk County, jointly coordinated by the Port Dover SOS Committee and Norfolk County.
- Appendix to Report – Education in Norfolk County Survey, 2011 – The appendix of comments provided by respondents to the survey about Education in Norfolk County.
- Blank Survey – The actual survey questions as they appeared online.
During the 2003 accommodation review process, a series of resources and links were catalogued by Norfolk County. The links have been updated below.
- OFA Negotiating Rural Futures Report: A study of several cases of school amalgamation in Ontario in 2001, including Port Dover Composite School.
- National Association of Small Schools: NASS is a campaigning organization based in the United Kingdom that advises and supports small schools at risk of closure, lobbies on behalf of small schools and humanity of scale in education and promotes the virtues of small schools and known best practices.
- Coalition of Essential Schools: The Coalition of Essential Schools (CES) is at the forefront of creating and sustaining personalized, equitable, and intellectually challenging schools. Essential schools are places of powerful learning where all students have the chance to reach their fullest potential.
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- Dollars And Sense: The Cost Effectiveness of Small Schools. The Rural School and Community Trust, Washington, D.C. 2002.
- Smaller Schools and Learning Communities:The Wave of the Future? American Youth Policy Forum, April 14, 2000.
- Area Development Corporate Survey: 65% of business site selectors looking for communities to locate new factories and other developments ranked schools as very important or important in their decision-making process.
- Rural Education Gets Squeezed. Inside Scoop, NEA Today Online. National Education Association, Washington, D.C.
- National Association of Secondary School Principals. Resources about secondary schools for principals, Reston, Virginia.
- American School Board Journal
- National Association of State Boards of Education
- Small Schools Workshop. University of Illinois at Chicago.
- Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory
- American Association of School Administrators
- Annenberg Institute for School Reform
- Jobs for the Future Initiative, Brown University.
- National Adult Literacy Database
- Violence and Discipline Problems in US Public Schools, 1991-1997 (PDF). National Centre for Education Statistics.
Norfolk County Council passed its Resolution on Rural School Closures at the January 21, 2003, Council-in-Committee.
2003 Presentation and Survey
Norfolk County prepared a presentation to the Ad Hoc Committee of the Grand Erie District School Board considering the closure of Delhi District Secondary School (DDSS) in January 2003. Here are excerpts from the presentation:
- An actual survey of local businesses conducted between December 2002 and January 2003 shows how much is spent by DDSS students at local businesses, and how much these businesses pay to students in wages.
- 65% of site locators considering communities for new factories and other development rate “schools” as very important among quality-of-life-factors in the decision-making process. The presence of a school in the community is the third most important factor, after “low crime rate” and “health care facilities”.
- Area business groups are concerned about the direction the School Board is taking, and are committed to seeing all schools in Norfolk remain open.
- The enrollment projections used by the School Board, if based on population projections from the 1996 Census, are out of date. New population projections are expected to be released later this year as part of Norfolk County’s new official plan.
- The Grand-Erie District School Board is asked to show leadership and innovation by stopping the closure of small rural schools and lobbying for change and support from the provincial government.
- Norfolk County Council passed a resolution January 21 to stop school closures and called on the provincial government to provide the funding needed to provide appropriate learning environments for our youth … our future.