Revised Pupil Accommodation Review Guideline (PARG) 2018

Your input has helped inform the new revised PARG (2018). The new PARG applies to all school boards in Ontario. The ministry thanks everyone who submitted their feedback during the two phases of consultation in fall 2017 and winter 2018.

Revisions to the PARG include:

  • New information requirements for the initial staff report
  • Increased number of public meetings and extended timeframes
  • Limits on the use of the shorter, modified pupil accommodation review process
  • Promotion of community input in the pupil accommodation review process and inclusion of student voice
  • Streamlining the administrative review process by allowing e-signatures
  • Development of ministry supports including templates for school boards and local communities to use during the accommodation review process

For more information about the final revised PARG, please see the memorandum sent to school boards.

To learn about what we heard during the second phase of our consultations, please refer to the consultation feedback summary.

Next Steps

To ensure consistency in pupil accommodation reviews across school boards, the Ministry of Education will work with education and municipal stakeholders and partner ministries over the coming months to develop supports such as templates to assist boards. This includes templates for the initial staff report and the economic impact assessment.

The ministry will aim to release these supports by fall 2018. While these supports are being developed, there will continue to be no new pupil accommodation reviews, unless they are required to support a joint-use school initiative between two coterminous school boards.

Integrated Local Planning

Throughout our public consultations, the ministry also heard about the need to strengthen integrated local planning at the community level and to promote local planning conversations among school boards, municipalities and other relevant local partners.

To address this feedback, the Ministry of Education, in collaboration with the Ministries of Infrastructure; Municipal Affairs; Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs; and Economic Development and Growth are working together to encourage integrated local planning.

We are pleased to announce the development of a Voluntary Integrated Planning & Partnerships Initiative (VIPPI) to provide flexible support to municipalities, school boards and other relevant local groups to engage in integrated local planning.

There will be a call for proposals this summer, seeking approximately three communities across Ontario to participate in VIPPI. These communities will represent a mix of urban, rural, Northern and Francophone communities. Each community must identify partners to participate in a local integrated planning table that should include, at a minimum, school boards and municipalities and relevant local partners that reflect each area's unique needs.

The ministry will provide a facilitator to lead a series of sessions spanning approximately one year. The goal of VIPPI is for all members involved to share and discuss capital and community planning processes and relevant data to create a collection of best practices.

The ministry will also be offering additional financial support to school boards working with their communities to share and co-build facilities. The Ministry of Education will provide boards with seed funding of up to $40,000 to assist with the planning of projects that involve a municipal or community partner. Currently, the ministry offers seed funding to support coterminous school boards that wish to pursue joint-use opportunities. The ministry will also provide funding for a project manager to assist with approved projects as they move forward.

Community Planning and Partnerships Guideline (CPPG)

The ministry also remains committed to updating the Community Planning and Partnerships Guideline (CPPG) within the next year to enhance planning and reporting practices, after we have consulted with our partners through the Minister's Reference Group. Until the new CPPG is in place, school boards should continue to use the existing CPPG and to convene their annual Community Planning and Partnerships meeting(s).

Strengthening Supports for Urban Education

During our rural and Northern engagements, we heard from many people regarding the unique challenges related to growth and intensification in our large urban communities.

In response, the ministry will undertake an engagement in the fall 2018, focusing on supports for pupil accommodation in urban areas experiencing rapid growth and intensification. This includes the challenges faced by school boards and municipalities with planning, partnering and building schools in these changing communities and the financial tools available to support this work, such as Education Development Charges.

The ministry will also increase the amount of funding available through its Land Priorities program from $60 million in 2017-18, to $100 million in 2018-19. This will be available to all school boards who need to acquire land, including those dealing with rapid enrolment growth in urban, densely populated areas within their boundaries.

Consultation History

In June 2017, Ontario launched its Plan to Strengthen Rural and Northern Education. The feedback received from school board, municipal and community partners was central to the development of this plan.

As part of the plan, the Ministry of Education committed to revising its Pupil Accommodation Review Guideline (PARG) and Community Planning and Partnerships Guideline (CPPG).

While the government's rural and Northern education engagement focused primarily on these communities, we heard that there is a need to strengthen the pupil accommodation review process for all school boards and to better encourage joint responsibility for integrated community planning across Ontario.

First phase of consultation:

From October to December 2017, the Ministry of Education gathered feedback on a series of proposed revisions to the PARG and CPPG from the public, municipalities, and education sector partners. For more information on what we heard, please refer to the consultation feedback summary.

Second phase of consultation:

From February to March 2018, the ministry consulted on a draft revised PARG. This feedback has informed the final version of the PARG.

To learn more about the draft revisions we posted in February, please see the memorandum sent to school boards.

For more information on past consultations and the pupil accommodation review process, please see this archived page.