TVDSB launches Attendance Area Review for Woodstock schools

Posted On Wednesday February 24, 2021

The Thames Valley District School Board is launching a major Attendance Area Review to address significant pressures faced by schools in the City of Woodstock due to continued enrolment growth.

The review will consider ways to meet the growing demand for French Immersion in Oxford County, as well as address enrolment imbalances that have left some Woodstock schools underutilized while others are overcapacity. 

“This much-needed review will help set the stage for future capital investment in Woodstock schools as more and more families discover the excellent lifestyle our community has to offer,” said Board Chair Bill McKinnon. “This will also help meet the growing demand for high quality French Immersion programming.”

Roch Carrier French Immersion Public School is experiencing significant overcapacity due to the school’s small size and continued strong demand for French Immersion programming across Oxford County. Roch Carrier is TVDSB’s only French Immersion school in the county.

At the same time, schools such as Oliver Stephens and Eastdale currently utilize as little as 65 per cent of their capacity, while Springbank Public School requires 10 portable classrooms to deal with current overcapacity.

Enrolment growth is expected to continue in Woodstock over the coming years. This growth may require capital investments such as a new school or additions to existing schools. However, before Thames Valley can seek provincial funding for new projects, it must first make use of available space at underutilized schools.

Administration submitted an Initial Attendance Area Review Report to the Board of Trustees on February 23, containing proposed options to deal with current enrolment pressures. 

The Report recommends Oliver Stephens Public School as the site of a dual-track English and French Immersion school to relieve overcapacity at Roch Carrier French Immersion Public School. The Report also recommends balancing enrolment throughout Woodstock by adjusting attendance areas at Algonquin, Eastdale, Springbank and Winchester Street public schools.

As part of the review, the Board will conduct extensive public engagement and establish school committees to review the proposed options and present their views to Trustees for consideration.

A final report is expected to be presented to Trustees later this year.

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