Mountain Secondary School may reopen doors to grades 9 and 10

News Apr 01, 2015 Hamilton Mountain News

By Richard Leitner, News Staff

In what the area’s trustee denounces as “a step backwards,” Hamilton’s public school board will consider opening Mountain Secondary School to new students this fall.

Trustees voted 7-2 on Monday to see if there’s enough student interest for a viable program for grades 9 and 10 at the board’s lone remaining vocational school, scheduled to close in September 2017.

The Caledon Avenue school’s enrolment is presently limited to students who were enrolled there or at the lower city’s since-closed Parkview as of last June as part of a board plan to integrate vocational students into regular high schools.

According to staff, Mountain will need about 45 students and three teachers in each grade for a viable program in grades 9 and 10.

West Mountain trustee Wes Hicks opposed reopening the issue, arguing previous motions to reverse Mountain’s closure, including one in February, have been defeated and the board will only confuse students because they’ve already filled out option sheets.

He said offering grades 9 and 10 will also add costs, including for teachers, because staffing levels at all board schools have already been set for this fall.

Any required additional teachers could be on top of those levels since some staff can’t be reassigned until the second semester under union agreements, trustees were told.

“We’ve made the decision and it was a tough decision,” Hicks said. “I believe this really sends out a mixed message of where the board wants to go.”

But those in favour said the board isn’t changing Mountain’s closure date and there’s no harm in soliciting student interest.

A report on the results of the latter will be presented to trustees by the end of April.

“If we had 20 people, then the case is closed,” said Ward 3 trustee Larry Pattison, arguing inclusion doesn’t necessarily mean attending a regular high school. “There are those among us who do believe in more opportunities for these kids.”

Mountain Secondary School may reopen doors to grades 9 and 10

News Apr 01, 2015 Hamilton Mountain News

By Richard Leitner, News Staff

In what the area’s trustee denounces as “a step backwards,” Hamilton’s public school board will consider opening Mountain Secondary School to new students this fall.

Trustees voted 7-2 on Monday to see if there’s enough student interest for a viable program for grades 9 and 10 at the board’s lone remaining vocational school, scheduled to close in September 2017.

The Caledon Avenue school’s enrolment is presently limited to students who were enrolled there or at the lower city’s since-closed Parkview as of last June as part of a board plan to integrate vocational students into regular high schools.

According to staff, Mountain will need about 45 students and three teachers in each grade for a viable program in grades 9 and 10.

West Mountain trustee Wes Hicks opposed reopening the issue, arguing previous motions to reverse Mountain’s closure, including one in February, have been defeated and the board will only confuse students because they’ve already filled out option sheets.

He said offering grades 9 and 10 will also add costs, including for teachers, because staffing levels at all board schools have already been set for this fall.

Any required additional teachers could be on top of those levels since some staff can’t be reassigned until the second semester under union agreements, trustees were told.

“We’ve made the decision and it was a tough decision,” Hicks said. “I believe this really sends out a mixed message of where the board wants to go.”

But those in favour said the board isn’t changing Mountain’s closure date and there’s no harm in soliciting student interest.

A report on the results of the latter will be presented to trustees by the end of April.

“If we had 20 people, then the case is closed,” said Ward 3 trustee Larry Pattison, arguing inclusion doesn’t necessarily mean attending a regular high school. “There are those among us who do believe in more opportunities for these kids.”

Mountain Secondary School may reopen doors to grades 9 and 10

News Apr 01, 2015 Hamilton Mountain News

By Richard Leitner, News Staff

In what the area’s trustee denounces as “a step backwards,” Hamilton’s public school board will consider opening Mountain Secondary School to new students this fall.

Trustees voted 7-2 on Monday to see if there’s enough student interest for a viable program for grades 9 and 10 at the board’s lone remaining vocational school, scheduled to close in September 2017.

The Caledon Avenue school’s enrolment is presently limited to students who were enrolled there or at the lower city’s since-closed Parkview as of last June as part of a board plan to integrate vocational students into regular high schools.

According to staff, Mountain will need about 45 students and three teachers in each grade for a viable program in grades 9 and 10.

West Mountain trustee Wes Hicks opposed reopening the issue, arguing previous motions to reverse Mountain’s closure, including one in February, have been defeated and the board will only confuse students because they’ve already filled out option sheets.

He said offering grades 9 and 10 will also add costs, including for teachers, because staffing levels at all board schools have already been set for this fall.

Any required additional teachers could be on top of those levels since some staff can’t be reassigned until the second semester under union agreements, trustees were told.

“We’ve made the decision and it was a tough decision,” Hicks said. “I believe this really sends out a mixed message of where the board wants to go.”

But those in favour said the board isn’t changing Mountain’s closure date and there’s no harm in soliciting student interest.

A report on the results of the latter will be presented to trustees by the end of April.

“If we had 20 people, then the case is closed,” said Ward 3 trustee Larry Pattison, arguing inclusion doesn’t necessarily mean attending a regular high school. “There are those among us who do believe in more opportunities for these kids.”