Possible relocation of 100 special needs students has EMSB parents up in arms
Overcrowding at a French school board has Quebec’s education minister asking the English Montreal School Board to help out, but one possible solution could see over 100 special needs children relocated to a new facility.
Due to Education Minister Isabelle Charest’s request for the EMSB to help out the Pointe-de-L’Ile School Board, the EMSB is considering handing over the Galileo Adult Education Centre to their French counterpart.
Because of that switch, the special needs students who currently use the Galileo facilities would be relocated to the St. Pius X Career Centre.
But parents said the switch is not a minor one, saying it would disrupt the routines of many students who don’t cope well with drastic change.
“They need to know that change is very hard for these kids. It takes a long time for them to get used to a schedule,” said parent Tina Malta. “If you’re taken away from what you know and you’re insecure, it’s hard. Every day they struggle with these things. Having a place they can go and feel secure is important. That’s why it’s hard to hear Galileo might be given up.”
EMSB Vice-Chair Joe Ortona said St. Pius X is an adequate facility that would offer all the same services currently given at Galileo. He added that nothing has been set in stone and the school board is just starting its 30 day consultation process.
“This is what the consultation is for, for us to listen to you and your concerns and we’ve demonstrated that parents’ feedback and the briefs from the consultations have changed from the original proposal in the past,” he said. “We have an open mind on this and everybody has to have an open mind and work together.”