ARC members recommend 5 schools stay open
Plus Maurice Cody expands, if school board agrees
By Kris Scheuer
(Written March 5 for Town Crier)
There will be no school closures and one local site will even be expanded if the Davisville-Yonge Accommodation Review Committee gets its way.
For months, the committee members have been considering 12 options on how best to accommodate students at four school sites: Davisville, Hodgson, Maurice Cody and Eglinton Public School/Spectrum Alternative Senior School.
The group has now chosen one option with six key recommendations to the Toronto District School Board:
• All four school sites to stay open.
• No change in boundaries to who can be accommodated at a school.
• Spectrum’s grade 7 and 8 mix will not include other grades.
• Maurice Cody will be expanded.
• No programs will be lost at any of the schools.
• Davisville and at Eglinton schools will maintain English and not move to
French only.School trustee Josh Matlow said these recommendations should put an end to months of rumours that schools were going to close as a result of this process.
“There will be no room for gossip,” said Matlow. “There will be no recommendations for closing any schools including Davisville.”
There will be one more meeting to firm up some final details, then a community meeting in May discussing the recommendations and then it will go to the TDSB for a vote in June.
“The TDSB has asked ARC parents to spend countless hours volunteering in this,” said Matlow. “I am confident the school board will take these recommendations very seriously, if they don’t how can they ever ask any parent to sit on an ARC every again?”
The Davisville-Yonge ARC is made up of parent reps from each affected school.
Shelley Laskin is the community rep on the committee and said she was impressed with how parent reps from each school worked together on common goals.
“We want to keep what we have and increase access to programs within the community,” said Laskin, a former school trustee.
For example members want to increase French immersion at Davisville while keeping it as an English school.
As well within this school community of four sites, there is a growing need whereas in other neighbourhoods student enrollment is on the decline.
“It’s a good problem to have overcapacity with people wanting their kids to be in public schools. We are doing our best to accommodate that with programs are inclusive (of all needs),” she said.
At Maurice Cody PS there’s more students attending than the facility was built to hold. The ARC is recommending a permanent addition for this school.
Matlow said, “the biggest challenge has overcapacity at Maurice Cody.”
He said having reps from all the schools in the committee recommend a permanent addition for Maurice Cody will strengthen the case for the school board to spend the capital dollars on this initiative.