Frequently Asked Questions
- What are Development Areas (DAs)?
- What are Education Development Charges?
- How does the board generate enrolment projections?
- Why do school boundaries change?
- Why use portables instead of building new schools?
What are Development Areas (DA’s)?
A Development Area (DA) is a geographically distinct area designated by the Board which is not part of a school attendance areas. Students from these areas are assigned temporary accommodation at holding schools that have spaces available. Temporary school assignments are reconsidered each year. In some cases, students from these DAs may continue to be assigned temporary accommodation 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 an area designated as a DA are advised of the DA status through a clause in their Agreement of Purchase and Sale and by a warning statement included on the subdivision signage in new developments.
Each year the Planning Department reviews the current and projected enrolment of holding schools to determine if DA school assignments should be changed for the upcoming year. For more information on current DA assignments please refer the the Development Area School Assignments Report.
What are Education Development Charges?
The Education Act enables boards to enact by-laws for the imposition of Education Development Charges (EDCs) against residential and non-residential development, if residential development in the area of jurisdiction of the board increases education land costs. EDCs are used to fund the acquisition of school sites, and related costs to accommodate growth-related student needs. EDCs are collected by the local municipality and are payable at the time of building permit issuance. The Upper Grand District School Board does not collect EDCs on non-residential development.
EDC by-laws are reviewed every five years. The most recent by-laws for Wellington County and Dufferin County came into effect August 2014.
How does the board generate enrolment projections?
The Planning Department utilizes a projection software system that generates an enrolment forecast using several data inputs including historic and future enrolment trends, attrition rates between programs, birth data, and residential development units.
Planning Staff receive notice of all new development applications in the jurisdiction. Staff review and provide comments on new residential subdivision proposals, and proposed new residential units are entered into the projection system. Yield rates by housing type are applied to future residential development which generates a student yield by grade and program at the schools where the development is assigned for each year of the projection.
Why do school boundaries change?
A school attendance area is the core geographic area that a school is designated to serve. School attendance areas are in a constant state of evolution because of aging populations, changing preferences for specific educational programs, and the movement of people into and out of neighbourhoods. School boundaries need to be adjusted periodically to better utilize limited school spaces. Policy 320-School Boundary Review outlines the process for school boundary adjustments.
Boundaries may be changed as a result of the opening of a new school or the closure or consolidation of existing schools. Boundaries may also be changed in order to better balance overcrowded and underutilized schools. School attendance areas are not “etched in stone” and do change from time to time. For this reason potential home-buyers are encouraged to contact the Board Office to confirm the attendance areas of homes they may be interested in purchasing.
Why use portables instead of building new schools?
Portables or relocatable classrooms are used to provide additional space at existing schools. The number of students in a school’s attendance area can fluctuate over a short period of time because of people moving into or out of an area or because of children moving on to a more senior level school. Due to these fluctuations, portables are used to add temporary capacity so that school’s can adjust to periods of higher and lower enrolment. Furthermore, there is often a delay between when the need for additional capacity is realized and when permanent capacity (new schools or additions) can be constructed. Portables are a flexible way to meet school capacity needs immediately.