School Consolidation Experience Studies

School Consolidation Experience Studies


Declining enrolment 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 four 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 four 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 environments.

Below, you will find links to all the case studies, which include themes, lessons learned, and promising practices, to help guide future consolidations and reorganizations.

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

The fourth study is summarized separately in this document — also available in both PDF and HTML. It provides perspectives on the school consolidation experience in a Catholic school district context.

Case Study 1: Algoma District School BoardConsolidating 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 BoardConsolidating 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 BoardConsolidating 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.

Case Study 4: Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School BoardConsolidating three schools into one newly-built school: Our Lady of Grace, Prince of Peace, and Our Lady of the Assumption into a single newly-built school on the original site of Our Lady of Grace (K-8).

The research team conducted more than 110 on-site interviews and numerous 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.