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The Review

Blue Water District School Board - updates

Posted On: Thursday, February 15, 2018

Initial Plan for $24 million dollar school in Meaford decreases space for the music program and track and field. Markdale receives funding for new elementary school. Funding of $1,588,137 to add childcare spaces in Sauble Beach and Durham and BDSB working to build community partnerships.

Blue Water District School Board - updates

Bluewater District School Board Receives Funding Approval for New School Build in Markdale 

An exciting new era in public education is about to begin for families in the Markdale area. Following several months of dedicated hard work and collaboration with community partners, Bluewater District School Board has received approval from the Ministry of Education to build a new replacement facility for Beavercrest Community School.

Approved funding in the amount of 6.4 million dollars from the ministry’s School Consolidation Capital funding program has been allocated for the build, which will accommodate 236 student spaces from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 8, to meet current and future enrolment expectations in the Markdale area.

An additional 1.05 million dollars in funding has also been approved for the creation of two child care rooms and two EarlyON rooms at the same location.

The announcement follows the April 18, 2017 accommodation review final decision by the Board of Trustees to work with community partners to find viable solutions to the operation deficit and capital upkeep required at Beavercrest Community School. The approved motion included investigating complementary ministry funding through a business case to support a new replacement school. Timelines and other information regarding the build will be communicated to the public by board staff as further details become available.

“We are thrilled by the news of a replacement facility for Beavercrest Community School, which will ensure a sustainable future and strengthened educational experience for students and families in the Markdale area. After a long and tenacious process, this outcome can be attributed to the valiant and collaborative efforts of many committed parents, municipal and business partners, staff, trustees, and other citizens,” says Jim Dawson, Trustee for the Township of Southgate/Municipality of Grey Highlands.

“This is a tremendous accomplishment by all of the individuals who gave countless hours of their time, expertise and thoughtful ideas, both during and after the recent accommodation review for the Markdale area. We thank the Ministry of Education for supporting our students and acknowledging the importance of rural schools through this funding allocation, which will also benefit many of our future students and their families through new and improved child care facilities,” says Superintendent of Education Wendy Kolohon.

Child Care Spaces Expand at Two Schools to Accommodate More Families

Bluewater District School Board, in partnership with Bruce and Grey Counties, is pleased to announce that the number of child care spaces will soon be expanding at two schools thanks to $1,588,137 in provincial funding.

Applications submitted by board and county staff through the Ministry of Education’s Early Years Capital Program have been approved for new licensed spaces to accommodate 17 additional children (for a new total of 49 spaces) at Amabel-Sauble Community School in Sauble Beach, and 19 more children (for a new total of 39) at Spruce Ridge Community School in Durham.

Licensed child care spaces at Amabel-Sauble Community School are currently operated by the AmabelSauble Child Care Centre, while Kids & Us Community Childcare and Family Education Centres operates licensed spaces next to Spruce Ridge Community School. Extended Day, as well as Before and After School programs for those 12 years old and under will continue to be offered at both locations.

The funding coincides with a recent announcement by the province that commits to investing up to $1.6 billion to create 45,000 new licensed child care spaces across Ontario over five years.

This includes 493 new child care rooms in 188 schools.

“This is great news for families in Grey and Bruce Counties. Local families will now benefit from new licensed child care spaces that are more convenient and closer to home. This investment gives young children a strong start in life, and supports families with access to safe, high-quality licensed child care,” says Indira Naidoo-Harris, Minister of Education and Minister Responsible for Early Years and Child Care. “We are really excited to have been selected as a funding recipient so that we can assist more families through expanded child care at Amabel-Sauble Community School and Spruce Ridge Community School. This would not be possible without the strong partnerships that exist between our board, Bruce and Grey Counties, and licensed child care providers with whom we share a common purpose of growing and supporting young minds in safe and caring learning spaces,” says Paul Hambleton, Superintendent of Education for Bluewater District School Board. “The expansion of child care spaces is a priority in the support of families, whether parents or a primary caregiver. The additional 17 licensed child care spaces at the Amabel-Sauble Child Care Centre is a single step in our greater efforts in increased access to services for the children and parents in this area,” says Bruce County Warden Paul Eagleson. “Access to licensed child care is important to families in our community. Before and After School programs give children safe places to learn and develop, and they are convenient for parents and caregivers. We are grateful for the ministry’s support, which will allow even more families to benefit from these services,” says Grey County Warden Stewart Halliday. Renovations are expected to begin immediately with details on opening dates still to come.

Bluewater District School Board Secondary Students Hone Skills in New Welding Jackets

Students enrolled in welding courses at eight Bluewater District School Board secondary schools are heading to class sporting some top of the line new apparel. A shipment of 75 welding jackets through the Canadian Welding Association (CWA) Foundation’s National Initiative was recently donated to the board’s Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) for distribution to local schools. Recipient schools include: Georgian Bay Community School (Meaford), Grey Highlands Secondary School (Flesherton), John Diefenbaker Senior School (Hanover), Kincardine District Secondary School, Owen Sound District Secondary School, Peninsula Shores District School (Wiarton), Saugeen District Secondary School (Port Elgin), and Walkerton District Community School. This is not the first time that local welding students have benefited from the CWA Foundation’s strong commitment to enhancing skilled trades related training and educational experiences in Canadian communities. In 2016, the foundation donated 69 auto-darkening welding helmets to Bluewater District School Board secondary schools. “It is thanks to the generosity and expertise of dedicated community partners, such as the CWA Foundation, that our students are better positioned for success in their future careers. Through exposure to the latest industry tools and personal protective equipment, students receive invaluable real world experience as they learn their trade,” says OYAP Coordinator/Facilitator Dave Barrett.

Bluewater District School Board Working to Build Community Partnerships

“We are stronger together.” This was the message of optimism shared by Director of Education Alana Murray during opening remarks at this year’s Community Planning and Partnerships meeting on Tuesday, June 13, 2017.

Thirty-four guests, representing upper and lower tier municipalities and community organizations, visited the Bluewater District School Board Education Centre in Chesley to exchange information and ideas with trustees and board staff on potential partnership opportunities. The agenda included a presentation on Bluewater District School Board’s capital planning priorities and partnerships criteria for the use of school space, 10 presentations from guests, and a question and answer session. The theme that resonated throughout the evening was the need and willingness to strengthen dialogue and collaborative efforts among all key partners in Bruce and Grey Counties, in order to build a local base for families to come raise their children and enjoy productive lives.

“Building positive working relationships with our community partners is critical to fostering ongoing collaboration and sustainable solutions that best serve the needs of our communities. We look forward to being a part of the continued conversation among our municipalities and local organizations as we collectively chart our course ahead,” says Director of Education Alana Murray.

“A number of proactive partnerships have already been established through our previous Community Planning and Partnerships meetings. We will continue to initiate and welcome sharing opportunities with our stakeholders and further explore ways to best maximize our resources,” says Superintendent of Business Services/Treasurer Rob Cummings.

The Ministry of Education’s Community Planning and Partnerships Guideline encourages school boards and community organizations to regularly share planning information that may generate mutually beneficial opportunities to share school facilities. This may occur during new school builds or renovation projects, and when considering the use of unoccupied school space and school properties considered for future disposition. Municipal and community organizations may indicate their interest in partnerships with Bluewater District School Board at any time by completing an “Application of Interest for Community Facility Partnership”, which is available on the board website at For more information, please contact: Rob Cummings, Superintendent of Business Services/Treasurer Bluewater District School Board 519-363-2014, ext. 2008

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