People take part in a protest rally outside the EMSB school board offices in May in a bid to save their schools.
John Kenney / Montreal Gazette
The English Montreal School Board voted on Wednesday night to go ahead with its “major school change proposal” to evaluate how to best consolidate its population and buildings, but parents expressed anger over the fact Education Minister Jean-François Roberge has yet to reveal his decision on the matter.As the meeting began with a closed session, more than 50 concerned parents were loudly discussing the fate of their children in an adjacent room. Many felt Roberge should not have waited to share his decision until Thursday afternoon, rather he should have relayed it directly to the board.“It’s like we’re dealing with a national company, where the decision is taking so long, but we’re dealing with kids and families,” said Valentino Perri, whose three kids attend General Vanier.Maria Corsi, a parent at the meeting and creator of a Facebook group called Save our East End Schools, said of the minister: “It’s hard to trust him when he’s shown so much disrespect over the last few months to the community.”One parent, Lucia Bucca, said she hopes the board decides to take court action. “(Roberge is) just stretching, delaying. It’s all a ploy, he’s a school bully.”The EMSB shared various scenarios where schools could potentially close or merge to help solve the overcrowding problem in the Commission scolaire de la Pointe-de-L’Île (CSPI), which includes schools in St-Léonard and Montreal North.Ann Marie Matheson, director general of EMSB said “scenarios are just that, scenarios, possibilities.” Mathewson added it’s a way for the board to do it on their own terms rather than the minister’s.“We can’t keep things the way they are because we have to rationalize, there has to be some change,” Matheson said. “It’s about to manage and control our own destiny.”The board is especially concerned with keeping an elementary school for every area, which means Gerald McShane School won’t be affected by the proposal.Some of the scenarios suggested include:Merging John Paul I Junior High with Laurier MacDonald High School or having a cohabitation arrangement in the latter building. Ceding General Vanier and Dante elementary schools to the French board and have students moved to the John Paul I building. Ceding General Vanier to the French board and merging it with Pierre de Coubertin. Ceding General Vanier to the French board and merging it with Honoré Mercier. Ceding Lester B. Pearson High School to the French board and moving students to a newly constructed facility in Montreal North or Rivière-des-Prairies once land becomes available in the next few years. Merging Our Lady of Pompei and St. Dorothy elementary schools into one of the two buildings, and ceding the other to the French board. School committees are also welcome to submit their own scenarios to the firstname.lastname@example.orgTwitter.com/mia_anhouryRelated