St. Thomas High School is moving in August into the building that is currently known as Lindsay Place High School — the latter will cease to exist by the next school year. In preparation, construction crews will be moving in earlier than current students at the Pointe-Claire high school thought.
The Lester B. Pearson School Board told parents on Tuesday night that the final two weeks of school will take place online. The last day of in-person classes is Tuesday, June 8.
“I read the email and was absolutely stunned, completely stunned,” said Lindsay Place parent Michelle Falardeau.
Falardeau describes the decision as devastating because of the impact it has on her daughter Aislinn Marchand, a Grade 11 student who is graduating this month. Marchand told Global News it will be hard not saying goodbye to teachers she’s gotten close to over the past five years of high school.
“I’ll see them on Tuesday and that’s it,” she said. “Then I graduate online, which I just like, I think it’s kind of weird, you know?”
In a written email statement, the school board administrators write “they understand the decision to move to online learning is upsetting,” but go on to add “the work must be done now to properly welcome staff and students next August.”
Falardeau said with just two weeks left alternate arrangements should have been made to let students finish the year.
“It’s a new school, I get it — there’s juggling that has to be done but it’s not fair that our kids have to bear the brunt of their construction management,” she said.
With another high school experience being taken away, parents wonder how their children will celebrate the accomplishment?
“They usually get their yearbooks on the last day and they can get their friends to sign and whatever,” said Priya Rehnsi, whose daughter is also graduating. “They won’t have that opportunity this year. So I’m really sad about that.”
Falardeau said after a difficult year for everybody due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s even tougher that they have no prom, no grad and no events for parents to celebrate with their children.
Along with other Lindsay Place parents, she wants closure for the kids. Concerned parents are pleading with Lester B. to reverse its decision and let graduating students hear the final school bell one last time.