Campaign for Public Education

Campaign for Public Education

March 08, 2011 17:35 ET

Saving Our Neighbourhood School

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 8, 2011) - On Wednesday, March 9th parents of school age students will be watching closely from the board's public gallery as Trustees of the Toronto District School Board make a key ruling on how schools are assessed prior to possible consolidation and closure. 

The school board's decision could strongly impact the future of neighbourhood schools in this city for the coming decades. 

Just last week Rexdale parents urged school board Trustees to launch a significantly more inclusive decision-making process in the upcoming review of their community's school capacity. The parent proposal would increase direct parent involvement and allow for students, school-based staff and community members to elect representatives from their constituencies.

"This is about democratic participation," said Dr Gautem Dey of Albion Heights JMS Parent Council.

Dr Dey stressed that, "every one of our children must be given the right to attend their local school. More of us with neighbourhood interests need to be at that [Pupil Accommodation Review Committee] table. It's the only way!" 

In making their case for expanding local participation the Rexdale parents last week reminded Trustees of the 50 Somali-Canadian parents and children which, 18 months ago, converged on the school board demanding that their children no longer be barred from attending their neighbourhood school. 

That school was Humberwood Downs JMA, and while parents claim that they were assured by senior board staff at the time that their concerns would be addressed a year and a half later 91 children on Etobicoke's Queen's Plate Drive are still forced to cross several high traffic thoroughfares to attend school.

TDSB Trustees have two sets of school reviews currently in the works. One, in Toronto Centre, involves nine schools in the city's poorest communities. 

The second, in Etobicoke North, is mandated to determine capacities and needs of five Rexdale elementary schools: Humberwood Downs JMA, Elmbank JMA, Melody Village JS, Albion Heights JMS, and Greenholme JMS.

Time: 7 pm Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Location: Toronto District School Board, 5050 Yonge Street

Press contact: Nigel Bariffe, Education Action Toronto, (416) 427-1192 nigelbarriffe@yahoo.ca

Spokespersons

• Dr. Gautem Dey, Albion Heights JMS Parent Council (416) 450-4548 goutamusa@hotmail.com

• Abdullah Wardhare: (647) 701-2279 iatransportation7@gmail.com Queen's Plate Circle parents community

Campaign for Public Education

A Toronto-wide assembly of civic organizations, school communities, education, urban and social planning agencies.

We insist on the key role of publicly funded schools at the centre of our city's neighbourhoods.  

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