Proposal would see White Oaks students in Oakville redirected south to T.A. Blakelock

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Published November 18, 2021 at 6:06 pm

Some of the students at Oakville’s White Oaks Secondary School will soon find themselves going to class at a new school.

In a proposed plan discussed Wednesday at the Halton District School Board meeting, students will be temporarily redirected from White Oaks to Thomas A. Blakelock High School in an effort to reduce ongoing enrolment pressures.

White Oaks, located on Montclair Drive in north Oakville, is projected to surpass its maximum capacity of 2,346 students effective 2022-23.

Board staff reviewed the addition of portables on site beyond the existing 24, but determined the school’s population has already passed a sustainable size.

“It’s seeing quite significance pressures at the facility to the point where right now we’re looking at exceeding maximum portable capacity at the site for September if we don’t take any action,” said Frederick Thibeault, HDSB General Manager of Planning.

“Because of that we’re undertaking a redirection, which seeks to strategically redirect some of the students generated for new development as well as existing schools from north Oakville and redirecting them to T.A. Blakelock.”

The two-year phased in approach mainly deals with the increasing population north of Dundas.

“It’s the least amount of disruption to our existing Halton District School Board students, namely those that fall within the Udunawi and Dr. David William boundaries, which I’ve seen a number of reviews and have also expected to go to White Oaks Secondary School for a number of years now,” Thibeault said.

Blakelock, located on Rebecca Street just west of Fourth Line, is experiencing a decline in enrolment and is significantly underutilized.

Other secondary schools in Oakville have already reached their maximum capacity.

“This is a school that has seen some declinement over time and is starting to get at a level where it is, to a degree, impacting to provide the same level of programming as other schools that are large in size,” Thibeault said.

With the proposed redirection, Blakelock’s enrolment is expected to increase to full capacity by 2025-26, surpassing max portable capacity of six by 2026-27.

The new Oakville NE #1 high school is expected to be ready by then.

This is great news for Blakelock and thank you very much for the infusion of new students and new programs,” said Tracey Ehl Harrison, HDSB Vice-Chair and Wards 1 & 2 Trustee.

It would also increase utilization at T.A. Blakelock to allow for the implementation of the ISTEM program, which helps students learn to be prepared for technical change and disruption, globalization and shifting demographics.

“No doubt the school will benefit from additional improvements that make way for new students, additional students for the ISTEM program as well as for the existing students and staff,” Harrison added.

The following action that will be taken over the two-year implementation would be:

Actions for September 2022:

  1. Students from new development in the English and French Immersion programs are directed to T.A. Blakelock;
  1. New students residing in North Oakville attending the CPP are directed to White Oaks;
  2. Graduating Grade 8 students in North Oakville (June 2022) from Oodenawi, Dr. David R. Williams, River Oaks, Falgarwood, Munns, Sunningdale, and Palermo will attend White Oaks for English and French Immersion;
  1. Direct English and French Immersion students from outside HDSB (HCDSB, other boards, migration) within the River Oaks, Falgarwood and Palermo ENG catchments areas (as per Appendix A) to T.A. Blakelock, with redirection in place until Oakville NE #1 high school opens.

Actions for September 2023 onward:

  1. Students from new development in the English and French Immersion programs are directed to T.A. Blakelock;
  1. New students residing in North Oakville attending the CPP are directed to White Oaks
  2. Graduating Grade 8 students in North Oakville from Oodenawi and Dr. David R. Williams will attend White Oaks for English and French Immersion;
  1. Graduating Grade 8 students in North Oakville from River Oaks, Falgarwood, Munn’s,

Sunningdale, and Palermo will attend T.A. Blakelock for English and French Immersion;

  1. Direct English and French Immersion students from outside HDSB (HCDSB, other boards, migration) within the River Oaks, Falgarwood and Palermo ENG catchments areas (as per Appendix A) to T.A. Blakelock, with redirection in place until Oakville NE #1 hs opens. This may be reassessed prior to option sheet submissions in November 2022, to determine whether redirection will continue.

Business Rules:

  1. Grade 9 to 12 students attending White Oaks (as of June 2022) are grandparented;
  2. New development students from the Community Pathway Program (CPP) will continue to attend White Oaks;
  1. New students in River Oaks, Falgarwood, Munn’s, Sunningdale, and Palermo catchment areas (in North Oakville) continue to be directed at T.A. Blakelock;
  1. New students in Oodenawi and Dr. David R. Williams catchment areas continue to be directed to White Oaks.
  1. English and French Immersion students from the White Oaks catchment area south of

Dundas, moving north of Dundas, are not grandfathered. Any change in address may result in a redirect moving forward.

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