Survey fails to sway course on Mountain Secondary’s phase out

News Apr 23, 2015 by Richard Leitner Hamilton Mountain News

The Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board won’t offer Grade 9 and 10 classes at Mountain Secondary School this fall after a survey found only 31 of a potential 180 students would go there.

Results presented to the board’s program committee show just 17 students in Grade 8 and 14 in Grade 9 were interested in attending the Caledon Avenue school – well shy of the 45 in each grade administrators say is necessary for a viable program.

Trustees asked for the survey last month to gauge support for reconsidering their decision to limit enrolment to existing students until the vocational school closes in June 2017.

The board tried to contact the 180 students’ parents or guardians by letter and up to four phone calls, but only about half agreed to be interviewed.

Of those, most who didn’t want their child to go to Mountain said they were concerned the school’s closure would require another school change in two years.

Interim education director Pam Reinholdt said although interest didn’t meet the 45-student threshold in either grade, the survey was still valuable because it suggests not everyone is comfortable with attending the regular high school in their area.

Mountain became the board’s lone remaining vocational school for higher-needs students after the lower city’s since-demolished Parkview closed last June.

It presently has 169 students, a number projected to drop to 115 next year and 60 in its final year.

“We will be following up with the 31 students, regardless of any decisions made by the board (of trustees), to find out what it is that they feel might be missing or what is the reason or rationale for why they wanted to go (to Mountain),” Reinholdt said.

Ward 3 trustee Larry Pattison, who pushed for the survey, said the results might have been different if students hadn’t already filled out options sheets for this fall or Mountain weren’t closing.

“I still believe in a small school like this,” he said. “I’m glad that it helped you in the end, that you’ll be able to reach out to these students.”

Board chair Todd White said trustees only gave staff 16 days to gauge student interest and “the numbers are reflective of what we’re able to do in the period of time.”

“Under different circumstances the numbers may have been different, but the reality is they’re the circumstances in front of us, so this is where we are,” he said.

Survey fails to sway course on Mountain Secondary’s phase out

News Apr 23, 2015 by Richard Leitner Hamilton Mountain News

The Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board won’t offer Grade 9 and 10 classes at Mountain Secondary School this fall after a survey found only 31 of a potential 180 students would go there.

Results presented to the board’s program committee show just 17 students in Grade 8 and 14 in Grade 9 were interested in attending the Caledon Avenue school – well shy of the 45 in each grade administrators say is necessary for a viable program.

Trustees asked for the survey last month to gauge support for reconsidering their decision to limit enrolment to existing students until the vocational school closes in June 2017.

The board tried to contact the 180 students’ parents or guardians by letter and up to four phone calls, but only about half agreed to be interviewed.

“Under different circumstances the numbers may have been different, but the reality is they’re the circumstances in front of us, so this is where we are."

Of those, most who didn’t want their child to go to Mountain said they were concerned the school’s closure would require another school change in two years.

Interim education director Pam Reinholdt said although interest didn’t meet the 45-student threshold in either grade, the survey was still valuable because it suggests not everyone is comfortable with attending the regular high school in their area.

Mountain became the board’s lone remaining vocational school for higher-needs students after the lower city’s since-demolished Parkview closed last June.

It presently has 169 students, a number projected to drop to 115 next year and 60 in its final year.

“We will be following up with the 31 students, regardless of any decisions made by the board (of trustees), to find out what it is that they feel might be missing or what is the reason or rationale for why they wanted to go (to Mountain),” Reinholdt said.

Ward 3 trustee Larry Pattison, who pushed for the survey, said the results might have been different if students hadn’t already filled out options sheets for this fall or Mountain weren’t closing.

“I still believe in a small school like this,” he said. “I’m glad that it helped you in the end, that you’ll be able to reach out to these students.”

Board chair Todd White said trustees only gave staff 16 days to gauge student interest and “the numbers are reflective of what we’re able to do in the period of time.”

“Under different circumstances the numbers may have been different, but the reality is they’re the circumstances in front of us, so this is where we are,” he said.

Survey fails to sway course on Mountain Secondary’s phase out

News Apr 23, 2015 by Richard Leitner Hamilton Mountain News

The Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board won’t offer Grade 9 and 10 classes at Mountain Secondary School this fall after a survey found only 31 of a potential 180 students would go there.

Results presented to the board’s program committee show just 17 students in Grade 8 and 14 in Grade 9 were interested in attending the Caledon Avenue school – well shy of the 45 in each grade administrators say is necessary for a viable program.

Trustees asked for the survey last month to gauge support for reconsidering their decision to limit enrolment to existing students until the vocational school closes in June 2017.

The board tried to contact the 180 students’ parents or guardians by letter and up to four phone calls, but only about half agreed to be interviewed.

“Under different circumstances the numbers may have been different, but the reality is they’re the circumstances in front of us, so this is where we are."

Of those, most who didn’t want their child to go to Mountain said they were concerned the school’s closure would require another school change in two years.

Interim education director Pam Reinholdt said although interest didn’t meet the 45-student threshold in either grade, the survey was still valuable because it suggests not everyone is comfortable with attending the regular high school in their area.

Mountain became the board’s lone remaining vocational school for higher-needs students after the lower city’s since-demolished Parkview closed last June.

It presently has 169 students, a number projected to drop to 115 next year and 60 in its final year.

“We will be following up with the 31 students, regardless of any decisions made by the board (of trustees), to find out what it is that they feel might be missing or what is the reason or rationale for why they wanted to go (to Mountain),” Reinholdt said.

Ward 3 trustee Larry Pattison, who pushed for the survey, said the results might have been different if students hadn’t already filled out options sheets for this fall or Mountain weren’t closing.

“I still believe in a small school like this,” he said. “I’m glad that it helped you in the end, that you’ll be able to reach out to these students.”

Board chair Todd White said trustees only gave staff 16 days to gauge student interest and “the numbers are reflective of what we’re able to do in the period of time.”

“Under different circumstances the numbers may have been different, but the reality is they’re the circumstances in front of us, so this is where we are,” he said.