Review urges school merger

Combining Brown and Selwyn among public school changes proposed

Major changes may be coming to area elementary and middle schools as early as 2013, if the Toronto District School Board approves recommendations of its local Pupil Accommodations Review Committee.

The group of students, parents, and educators suggested extending O’Connor Public School enrolment up to grade 8 from its current limit of grade 5 and creating a new campus school by combining Gordon A. Brown Middle School with neighbouring Selwyn Public School under a single administration.

While the committee also looked at Presteign Heights and Victoria Park public schools, it recommended no changes to either site.

So far the parent reaction has been positive.

Nevada Couture, mother of Selwyn students Berlin and Kansas, said fusing Selwyn with Gordon A. Brown would improve communication between the schools.

“Even though the schools are right beside each other, parents never really get together and talk,” Couture said. “If the schools become one we can talk about our worries about the kids’ transition from elementary to middle school. It’s good to know what my kids are going into.”

“We’ll also have the same friends,” chimes in Berlin.

Once recognized as a campus, Selwyn and Gordon A. Brown will have unified enrolment and one principal. It will also use space from both buildings.

Likewise, O’Connor parent Anwar Saif said turning O’Connor into a K–8 school lifts a weight off his shoulders.

“I have four kids going to this school and another who’s in a different middle school,” Saif said.

“It will be more convenient if I can have all my kids in one place.”

But the board’s regional superintendent Roula Anastasakos said it’s too early to tell if the changes will go through.

In the end of June, a report summarizing the committee’s decision and one with recommendations from board staff will be sent to the director of education for review, with trustees voting on the changes in the fall.

About this article:

By: Sarah Taguiam
Posted: Jul 4 2012 1:41 pm
Filed in: NEWS
Edition: Toronto