Parents speak out about Riverdale High School move at town hall

Click to play video: 'Parents concerned about Riverdale High School move' Parents concerned about Riverdale High School move
WATCH ABOVE: Parents and students share their concerns about plan to close Riverdale High School and give the building to a French-language school board. Gloria Henriquez reports – Mar 21, 2019

Almost two months have gone by since the provincial government announced that Riverdale High School’s building would be handed over to the French-language Marguerite-Bourgeoys School Board, and many questions still remain unanswered about what will happen to students, especially those in special needs classes.

“My son has difficulty with transitions, and we want to make sure he is going over with his own teacher and his classmates,” said Steve Milburn.

While some parents worried about bussing, other people wondered whether Pierrefonds Comprehensive High School would be able to keep its name after Riverdale students move in.

READ MORE: Former students consider legal action over Riverdale High School closure

“Why erase two histories? Why not keep one, make it as strong as we possibly can,” said Barbara Sholzberg who started a petition to keep the school’s name that has gathered over 3,600 signatures.

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But others look forward to the change.

“Is it not fair to expect that we have a new home with a new name, with a new identity, bringing two histories together?” asked one woman in attendance.

WATCH: CAQ explains why Riverdale High School building given to French board

Click to play video: 'CAQ explains why Riverdale High School building given to French board' CAQ explains why Riverdale High School building given to French board
CAQ explains why Riverdale High School building given to French board – Jan 28, 2019

As for the Lester B. Pearson School Board, it says there are no plans for a name change.

Meanwhile, some former students are hoping the Coalition Avenir Québec will reconsider the decision to fill Riverdale with excess students from the overcrowded French school board.

On Tuesday, Monsef Derraji, Liberal MNA for Nelligan, introduced a petition spearheaded by a group of former students.

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READ MORE: Petition to save Riverdale High School submitted to Quebec legislature

The MNA argued the school has been a pillar of the English-speaking community and that other options should be considered.

But for now, things are moving ahead full-steam with the transfer planned for July 1 and a final walk-through of the school on June 8, when staff and former students can say goodbye.

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