Grades Relocation - Kincardine

Bluewater District School Board Business Committee received the report "Enrolment Planning and Program Revision- Kincardine" on October 2, 2018. The report details projected enrolment and the insufficient student spaces currently being experienced in the Kincardine elementary schools. Currently, Bluewater District School Board has four schools in the Kincardine area; Kincardine Township Tiverton Public School programs JK to Grade 3, Elgin Market Public School programs for JK to Grade 8 including French Immersion, Huron Heights Public School programs for Grades 4 - 8 and Kincardine District Secondary School programs for Grades 9 - 12 including French Immersion.

The report notes the following grade relocation to help address the increased enrolment in the Port Elgin area:

  • Kincardine Township Tiverton Public would become a JK-Grade 2 school;
  • Elgin Market Public School would become a JK-Grade 6 school including French Immersion;
  • Huron Heights Public School will provide program for Grades 3 - 6; and
  • Kincardine District Secondary School will become a Grades 7 - 12 school including French Immersion.

To read the full report please click here.

On October 16, 2018 the board of trustees approved the following recommendation: "That Bluewater District School Board staff conduct a public information meeting for Kincardine residents on the program revision at Kincardine Township Tiverton Public, Elgin Market Public School, Huron Heights Public School and Kincardine District Secondary School effective for the 2019-20 school year."

Bluewater District School Board is holding an information meeting on Thursday, November 1, 2018 beginning at 6:30 p.m. at Kincardine District Secondary School regarding a grades relocation at the Kincardine area schools. To view the full press release, please click here.

A communications email is available for questions or comments Information to address the submitted questions are posted below.

Information to Address Submitted Questions


Q: Why is Bluewater District School Board proceeding with a relocation of Grades 7 and 8?

A: Elementary enrolment has grown beyond the capacity of our Kincardine elementary schools. Even with portables, the expected growth in enrolment cannot be accommodated at the elementary schools. Growth is coming from two sources. There is enrolment pressure due to families moving into existing homes. There is also growth from new development. There are eleven closed classrooms at Kincardine District Secondary School that will provide a viable quality learning space for these students. This will keep Bluewater District School Board in compliance with the ministry mandate for classroom sizes, ensure there is no lost funding, and provide a short- term solution to address the increased enrolment growth.

A delay in the grades relocation would result in class sizes greater than the ministry average which would be a breach of the Education Act and would result in a loss of funding. The alternative would be to turn students away from the school to register at another school.


Q: What about the use of additional portables?

A: Additional portables were considered for the current elementary schools. Due to the limited site space additional portables cannot be accommodated.

Q: Would adjusting and/or enforcing school boundaries provide enough capacity at the elementary schools?

A: No, staff reviewed and found boundary changes and/or enforcement of school boundaries to be insufficient in creating adequate student spaces.


Q: What is the plan for future student spaces?

A: The relocation of Grades 7 and 8 is a response to enrolment growth. Staff will be developing a long-range plan to address the expected enrolment growth which will include preparing a business case this school year to address the increased growth with a replacement school and/or an addition to a school. The funding is dependent on an approved business case from the Ministry of Education. The ministry prefers business cases that have addressed all unutilized existing pupil spaces. Staff will continue to monitor enrolment growth at all Kincardine schools.

Q: Will the renovations be completed by the end of August 2019?

A: Yes, renovations will be scheduled for the summer of 2019. This is the ideal time for all school renovations as it allows for the least amount of disruption.

Q: How will the grade relocation impact bus eligibility?

A: Students that reside outside 1.6 km of their home school are eligible for bussing as per board policy ‘TCP-A002 Home-To-School'.

Q: Was the relocation of Grade 7 and 8 students at Ripley-Huron Community School considered?

A: Yes, however, it was not relevant to the enrolment pressures being experienced at the Kincardine elementary schools. As per past practice, there will be a specific transition process for other partner school students when they enter Grade 9.

Q: Will there be adequate bandwidth to support the school after the grades relation?

A: The board is committed to ensuring sufficient bandwidth for the student population.


Q: Will the elementary students have access to French immersion programming after the grades relocation?

A: French Immersion programming for elementary students will continue after the relocation.

Q: Will secondary student programming (Arts, Drama, and Specialist High Skills Major) be impacted by the relocation?

A: Secondary students will continue to receive the same quality education after the addition of Grades 7 and 8.

Q: Will elementary student programming (Arts, Music and Drama) be impacted by the relocation?

A: Elementary students will continue to receive the same quality education based on the Ministry of Education curriculum requirements.

Q: What are the considerations in elementary for special education needs after the grades relocation?

A: Special education staff, resources, and physical spaces are based on enrolment, the staffing process and student need. The needs of the students will be assessed and the appropriate supports will be put in place to support the learners. This includes staffing and appropriate renovations to accommodate the students.


Q: How will the elementary and secondary spaces be organized?

A: There will be designated instructional spaces for both elementary and secondary students. There will be designated outside space for the elementary students. Common areas (e.g. library and gymnasium) will be accessed by both elementary and secondary students.

Q: How will the elementary students be integrated into a Grade 7-12 school environment?

A: Bluewater District School Board has successfully established five combined elementary and secondary schools, and transitioned several grades over the past many years. Student and staff well-being in a safe and caring environment is a priority. Appropriate transition activities will occur for any students joining the Grade 7-12 school community. Elementary students will continue to be given opportunities to participate in extra-curricular and leadership activities. Leadership activities are important at all grade levels to ensure students are prepared for the next steps in their academic careers. The leadership activities at the intermediate, or Grades 7 and 8 levels are important to help them transition to high school. This will continue to be true after the grades relocation.

Q: Will the elementary students be supervised during non-instructional time?

A: Yes, elementary students will be supervised during non-instructional time as scheduled by school administration.

Q: Will there still be a Grade 8 Graduation after the grade relocation?

A: Grade 8 graduation will continue to be an important celebrated milestone for the students after the grades relocation.

Q: Will traditional elementary community building activities continue?

A: A transition committee will be established to address planning for the 2019-20 school year. A transition committee will be formed that will include the voices of students, staff and parent representatives.

Q: Will the Grade 7 and 8 resources be accessible after the grade relocation?

A: The Grade 7 and 8 students will have access to the appropriate learning materials and resources after the grades relocation.

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