School Renovation and Construction Recommended Guidelines

Resolution Number: 

2019-01
Resolution

WHEREAS the recent Three Oaks Senior High School renovation project (2016-2019) has been a challenge for many involved and many lessons have been learned, and

WHEREAS a number of students reported adverse effects parents feel were directly related to construction, and

WHEREAS there was an acknowledged removal of asbestos without use of hazardous material protocols in the very early days of the project while students, staff and custodians were present, and

WHEREAS the school year was shortened for two consecutive school years (one week in 2016/2017 and two weeks in 2017/2018) and the marks of students may be effected by reduction in the number of classes attended during the school year, and

WHEREAS a reduction in marks may mean the difference of being admitted to a post secondary institution of choice or even passing a subject and/or a school year, and

WHEREAS classes were at times affected by construction noise, occasionally to the point students could not hear teachers, and

WHEREAS some students are particularly effected by construction noise e.g. ADD/ADHD, and

WHEREAS perception of a valuable school renovation project and morale of the construction staff and school staff was negatively affected, and

WHEREAS parents were not initially aware of the full effects of the construction project, and

WHEREAS some parents and students were reluctant to step forward to mention issues, and

WHEREAS quality of education for all students must be at kept in highest consideration during construction or and/or renovation projects;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the PEI Home and School Federation request the Public Schools Branch, Department of Education, Early Learning and Culture and other government departments responsible for school renovations and construction to implement the following guidelines:

  1. Any school renovation or construction to be preceded by a public consultation meeting involving all stakeholders with minimum of one month of well advertised notice to the school community. Advertising should include notice to parents via SAS school mail.
  1. Public consultation meetings to disclose to the fullest extent possible the scope and duration of the project taking into consideration:
    1.  any effects the project will have on school availability
    2. proper notice of the presence of hazardous materials taking into consideration the renovation
    3. whether or not the renovation or construction will change the number of instructional days the school will be available to students
    4. when the renovation or construction will make the school unavailable for extracurricular activities normally held at the school, and
  2. Establish a method to allow staff, students and parents to freely raise any issues related to the renovation or construction
  3. Removal of hazardous materials from affected areas of the school to be completed before students and staff are present and before other construction begins in order to avoid disturbance of those materials, even in non-construction areas, during the construction process e.g. dust falling from ceiling tiles
  4. Should construction be sufficient to require hoarding and be done while students are present that regular particulate air quality testing be done during the project. Test results are to be published for students and parents.
  5. Regular construction updates should be made available
  6. Acceptable levels of noise should be agreed upon so as not to interrupt classrooms and those levels should be enforced.
Consideration

Status: 

Passed
Saturday, April 13, 2019

Destination: 

Department of Education and Early Childhood Development
Department of Health and Wellness
Public Schools Branch
Responses Received

Responses: 

PUBLIC SCHOOLS BRANCH (June 19, 2019):  Prior to a PSB school undergoing a construction or renovation project, a Construction Planning Committee is appointed to guide and support the specific project and is made up of various partners including school and parent representation. Additionally, public consultation meetings would be offered involving all stakeholders and the school community.

Ceiling tiles have not caused any issue during the Stratford Elementary or L.M. Montgomery Elementary projects. Previously, ceiling tiles were successfully abated at impacted schools, and now all 56 Public Schools Branch schools are free of these type of tiles. This abatement work was completed when students were not in the buildings. The PSB is proud of our partnership with Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy to ensure the products were removed from schools as we know few school districts, Boards, or Branches across Canada have been able to accomplish this. Some don't even have a plan/schedule to do so.

Additionally, there is regular communication to staff, students, parents and other stakeholders during all construction/renovation projects and this will continue to be an important step and focus during any project.

The Public Schools Branch is responsible for managing the schools in its system, providing a safe and caring environment for staff and students to work and learn, and to provide assurances to parents with regards to these responsibilities. When improvements are being made to one of our schools, the PSB works diligently with its partners to ensure the safety of students and staff is the priority.