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Board Meeting Highlights for December 2017

For Immediate Release
December 20, 2017

GUELPH, Ontario – The December meeting of the Upper Grand District School Board was held on December 19, 2017. The following provides highlights from the meeting.

Annual Accessibility Report 2016-17

Staff presented the Accessibility Report for the 2016-17 school year. The annual report provides an update on the UGDSB’s progress in identifying, removing and preventing barriers for persons with disabilities.

The UGDSB remains committed to supporting and meeting the objectives and requirements of the Accessibility for Ontarians Disabilities Act 2005 (AODA), and continues to meet all of the accessibility requirements outlined by the AODA. As outlined in the report, the UGDSB is committed to providing an environment that builds independence, dignity, integration and equality of opportunity for all students, parents/guardians, staff and community. 

Highlights of the report include work done in the areas of Education & Training, Information & Communication, Physical Environment, and Purchasing.

For example, last year, all school websites were redesigned and migrated over to WordPress, which is a mobile-friendly and accessible platform. Accessibility was a top priority and a key consideration at every step of the design process. These new sites meet Level A criteria of WCAG 2.0 (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines).

Another goal of the 2016-17 school year was to build staff capacity to more effectively integrate technology to support student learning in the classroom. This was accomplished in three key ways: providing direct training to students once they received SEA equipment, providing training to staff in tools such as Google Read&Write, and employing Elementary Inclusion Technology Coaches who work with classroom teachers who have students with SEA equipment, engaging them in collaborative lesson planning, guided practice and professional learning.

Under Physical Environment, the Accessibility Steering Committee and Plant Operations continued to use the Accessibility audit, which was completed in 2015, to prioritize renovations and upgrades that improve accessibility in three main areas: barrier free front access (including parking spaces, level access and automatic door openers), accessible washrooms for students and accessible universal washrooms for public use. 

To read the full report outlining progress made in identifying, removing and preventing barriers for persons with disabilities, visit

Development Area School Assignments

Board staff presented the annual Development Area School Assignments report.

A Development Area (DA) is an area designated by the Board that is not part of a school attendance area. Students from these areas are assigned to holding schools that have space available. Temporary holding school assignments are reviewed each year. In some cases, DAs continue to be assigned to holding schools until a new school is built in the community. In other cases, all or a portion of a DA may be incorporated into an existing school’s attendance area.

Individuals who move into a DA are advised of the DA status through a clause in their Purchase and Sale Agreement, and by a warning statement posted on subdivision signs in new residential developments.  

Each year the Planning Department reviews the current and projected enrolments of holding schools to determine if any school assignments should be changed for the upcoming school year.

For the 2018-19 school year, the board has added three new DAs and made changes to two existing DAs.

In Guelph, a new DA has been created in South Guelph called the Clair-Maltby DA. It was created due to potential residential development in the years to come, which could see several thousand new residential units in the area. The existing Clair Road DA boundary has been modified as a result of the new Clair-Maltby DA.

In Orangeville, a new DA has been created in northwest Orangeville called the Edgewood Valley DA. A development proposal includes 140 residential units in the area.

Also in Orangeville, the existing North Hansen DA is currently assigned to Parkinson Centennial PS. A new French Immersion program will begin at the school in September 2018, and there will no longer be excess capacity to accommodate DA students. There is little excess capacity at Orangeville schools to accommodate the entire North Hansen DA. As such, the North Hansen DA has been split into two to better manage projected enrolment from both current and future development in the area. The northern portion of the DA remains as the North Hansen DA, and the remaining portion forms a new DA, the Cachet DA.

To read the full report, visit the board’s Planning Department website.

The next regular monthly meeting will be held on Tues. January 30, 2017, at the Guelph Board Office, 500 Victoria Road North. Everyone is welcome to attend. The meeting begins at 7 p.m.


Media contact:
Heather Loney, Communications and Community Engagement Officer
Upper Grand District School Board
519-822-4420 ext.725

Megan Sicoli, Administrative Officer, Communications
Upper Grand District School Board
519-822-4420 ext.764

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