Parents of Beurling Academy in Verdun attend townhall meeting on future of the school

WATCH: The Lester B. Pearson school board is studying the future of several schools in its network. The board held town hall meeting with parents. It's part of the board's major school change consultations. As Global's Amanda Jelowicki explains, parents have about a month to submit ideas to save their school.

Parents from Beurling Academy in Verdun say they are willing to do anything to save their school.

Several dozen people showed up at a townhall meeting to hear plans about the future of the academy.

The Lester B. Pearson school board is proposing two scenarios.

The first is to move students of the academy to Lasalle Comprehensive High School. The second is to come up with different programs at the school and to bring in a trades program, in order to boost low enrolment.

“Once you get below or around 400 students, it’s difficult to have all the options that students should have access to,” said Noel Burke, chairperson of the board.

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The school has been identified during the board’s major school change process because Beurling Academy boasts low enrolment.

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But parents believe that regardless of enrolment, the school is an important part of the community in Verdun. It is, after all, the last English high school that remains in the borough.

“I get it, it’s a number’s game,” said Charlene Downer, head of Beurling Academy’s Governing Board. “But you know what, there are other ways that you can bring in the numbers without losing the structure of what this building holds for the community.”

READ MORE: St. Thomas High School in Pointe-Claire could be relocated: school board

Burke says the options are not set in stone and they are open to hearing from the community.

“If there are other better alternatives that still respond to the criteria to keep the whole network sustainable, we’re happy to entertain those,” Burke explained.

Parents and the governing board of the school can present their opinions and suggestions during two public hearings scheduled for Nov. 26 and 27. The board will analyze the briefs and reach a decision before the end of January 2020.

Major school changes at LBPSB raising concerns
Major school changes at LBPSB raising concerns