Parents considering French schools if Riverside School Board re-zones
This year could be the last for some students at St. Lawrence Elementary in Candiac, in Montreal’s south shore – but not by choice.
The Riverside School Board is looking at re-zoning, meaning some children could be sent from schools in Candiac to Greenfield Park.
“Ultimately, my daughter will probably end up going to French school close to home,” said parent Margaret Wells, whose two children attend St. Lawrence.
If the zoning changes are made, her Grade 5 son will stay at the school while Well’s daughter, in kindergarten, will have to leave.
“If I’m being really honest, it’s impossible for us to go to Candiac and Greenfield Park in the morning,” said Wells.
“They are two cities apart. We already have difficulties getting to daycare on time.”
The school board argued re-zoning is necessary because many schools are nearing capacity.
Chairperson Dan Lamoureux said Riverside is stuck between a rock and a hard place.
“We’re losing students if we don’t do anything. We may lose students if we do something,” he said.
“We’re grappling with the best solution to keep kids in our schools.”
St. Lawrence is one of the most popular schools in the board.
If that population trend continues, Lamoureux said they simply won’t have enough space.
“Last September, we had five classes of kindergarten. We have to find a solution, otherwise we’re not going to have the room in the school to accommodate everyone,” he said.
Parents continue to argue driving to Greenfield Park simply won’t work.
“If you’re getting up in the morning and trying to get your kids ready, lunches, getting them to daycare, it’s a huge burden,” said Marcus Schottko.
A final decision will be made by the school board in January.
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