EMSB consolidates its network of schools in the east-end
The English Montreal School Board has announced that the deeds of establishment of three east-end schools will be revoked at the conclusion of the 2019-20 academic year.
EMSB trustee Marlene Jennings reviewed the recommendations of the Long Range Planning Committee after having read the briefs and having heard the presentations by various groups at the hearings held on January 8 and 9. “The decisions tonight were made in accordance with the rationale and guiding principles set out at the beginning of the consultation process,” Ms. Jennings said.
“The parents and other consulted groups shared their concerns and feedback with us about many important issues like busing, educational programs, the importance of neighbourhoods, boundaries, concerns about poverty, the benefits of small communities, present and predicted enrolment numbers - ultimately, what the parents and employees hope for and need,” Ms. Jennings continued. “And while we cannot make everyone happy, we tried to be fair.”
The main purpose of the Major School Change process was to rationalize and consolidate the north east-end network of schools in order to ensure the best teaching and learning environments over the long term.
The decisions are as follows:
- General Vanier Elementary School in St. Léonard will have its deed of establishment revoked. The distinct and program boundaries of General Vanier will subsequently be shared between Pierre de Coubertin and Dante Elementary Schools starting next year.
However, General Vanier students who, following this Major School Change process, find themselves living in the new Dante territory (according to newly established boundaries), will, for compassionate reasons, be permitted to continue in their present building as Pierre de Coubertin students, and busing will be provided to them for a transition period of two academic years (2020-21 and 2021-22).
General Vanier had its facility handed over to the Commission scolaire de la Pointe-de-l'Île (CSPI) last summer by the Minister of Education. General Vanier is presently cohabiting with Pierre de Coubertin Elementary School.
- John Paul I Junior High School in St. Léonard will have its deed of establishment revoked. It will be merged with Laurier Macdonald High School to form one high school from Secondary I to V.
The junior and senior schools are already partners in offering one IB program over the five years. It is being recommended that Laurier Macdonald give serious consideration to maintaining a distinct junior school model within the larger high school context in planning for next year.
JPI also had its facility handed over to the CSPI last summer and it has been cohabiting with Laurier Macdonald.
- St. Dorothy Elementary School in St. Michel and Our Lady of Pompei Elementary School in Ahuntsic will merge and occupy the Pompei facility on St-Michel Boulevard. That will result in the deed of establishment of St. Dorothy being revoked.
St. Dorothy presently has 115 students while nearby (1.2 km in distance) Our Lady of Pompei has an enrolment of 167. Both schools have an extensive integrated technology program.
It is being recommended that Our Lady of Pompei give serious consideration to starting a music program similar to the one presently at St. Dorothy. Both schools receive poverty monies to support their students. It is nonetheless being recommended that if poverty monies are diminished as a result of the merger, that the Board strive to provide the founds needed.
“Unfortunately, tonight will have been difficult for some parents, staff and students,” said Ms. Jennings. “Not every decision made tonight will make everyone happy and we are empathetic. But tonight is not about happy or sad. Nor is it about winning or losing. And it is certainly not about power, influence nor lobbying. Tonight is about being responsible and ensuring the long term vitality of our English minority community and the students it serves.”
Ms. Jennings went on to commend the professional work done by the Long Range Planning Committee, and to extend her sincere appreciation to all those parents and staff who worked so hard on their briefs and who made presentations.
EMSB Elementary School Registration Week is February 3 to 7, 2020. It is important that parents from the schools being merged, register their child by February 15 in time for the upcoming staffing process for next year.