School Consolidation Experience Studies

School Consolidation Experience Studies


Declining enrollment in Ontario's schools, combined with the need to ensure our education system is efficient and sustainable, necessitates that we have the right number of schools, at the right size, to serve the students of today and tomorrow.

To that end, the Ministry of Education has been working with school boards and communities across the province to promote the efficient use of school space. Consolidating or reorganizing schools not only saves money on expensive but under-used space, it allows school boards to reinvest those savings into an improved classroom experience for all students.

To help learn from past school consolidations, the Ministry conducted three case studies in school boards where consolidations recently took place. The intent of these studies is to share helpful practices and insights to benefit future consolidations, and to give school communities a deeper understanding of the consolidation process.

Case Studies

The three detailed studies have a wealth of information on lessons learned and advice for school board administrators for future consolidations or reorganizations. Some highlights from the studies include:

  • The initial fears of individuals impacted by consolidation/reorganization were allayed.
  • There were perceived benefits particularly around expanded academic programming.
  • Students adapted quickly to their new environment.

Below, you will find links to all three case studies, which break their findings into themes, lessons learned and promising practices, to help guide future consolidations and reorganizations.

At A Glance: If you are interested in an overview of these studies, either for future reading or sharing amongst colleagues and community members, this document document — available in both PDF and HTML — explains the studies, their context and process, as well as their findings in a quick overview.

Case Study 1: Algoma District School BoardMerging two schools into a newly created elementary-secondary school: Bawating Collegiate and Vocational School and Sir James Dunn Collegiate and Vocational School into Superior Heights Collegiate and Vocational School (Grades 7-12).

Case Study 2: Algoma District School BoardMerging elementary and secondary panels into one elementary-secondary school: The reorganization of the grade seven and eight programs from all Central Algoma elementary schools through a relocation of these programs into Central Algoma Secondary School (CASS).

Case Study 3: Durham District School BoardMerging two schools into an existing /refurbished school: Dr. F.J. Donevan Collegiate Institute and Eastdale Collegiate and Vocational Institute into Eastdale Collegiate and Vocational Institute.

The research team conducted approximately 100 on-site interviews and focus groups with key stakeholders, such as school board staff, students, teachers, parents and the broader community among others. The research team also conducted site visits to understand the diversity of stakeholder views.