EMSB votes against school-sharing proposal
Published Wednesday, December 19, 2012 9:07PM EST
Last Updated Thursday, December 20, 2012 8:16AM EST
MONTREAL - Councillors at the English Montreal School Board have voted against a school-sharing proposal brought forward by their french-language counterparts.
The Commission Scolaire de Montreal had approached the EMSB to see if students from Ecole Saint-Simon-Apôtre could use three classrooms at the neighbouring John Caboto Academy.
The two schools are located side by side in Ahuntsic.
Under the proposal, students at the french school would attend classes at John Caboto, then spend recess and lunch on the grounds of ecole Saint-Simon-Apôtre.
Parents of the English school were worried that would mean added disruptions during the school day.
“While our children are in class they would be coming up the same stairwell, passing through the hallway and the in the lockers, and… the lockers the getting ready the chit-chattering so that would become a disruption for our children,” said Rosemarie Federico of John Caboto’s governing board.
Noise in the halls can make it tough for students to focus, she said.
“We're concerned about that because some our children having hearing impairments and learning disabilities and distraction is not something that they can afford,” she added.
The Commission scolaire de Montreal refused CTV’s interview request, but Federico said she was able to speak with the school administrators, who gave her a tour of Saint Simon.
She said there is more than enough room at the school.
“It is not the children that are benefitting. After all, one of the priorities that they gave us is that they needed the rooms (because) once those three groups of children would be here, their first priority was to extend their staff room,” said Federico.
After discussing the issue at council meeting Wednesday, EMSB councillors overwhelmingly rejected the idea, with only one councillor approving the motion.
Even though the school board has voted against the issue, there still is a chance the provincial ministry could overrule the decision and force the schools to share space.