400-plus English school kids shuffled with off-island rezoning
St. Patrick students most affected by Pearson change
Close to 500 Lester B. Pearson elementary school children, most from the offisland region, will be shifted to new schools next year as a result of a rezoning plan the board's council of commissioners approved Monday night.
Commissioners adopted several resolutions during a lengthy meeting at their head office in Dorval that concluded an 18-month Major School Change process dealing with the rezoning of the board's off-island territory.
The process also included Christmas Park elementary in Beaconsfield and Dorset elementary in Baie-d'Urfé.
Vaudreuil-Soulanges elementary schools with new zones include: Edgewater and St. Patrick in Pincourt, Evergreen, Forest Hill Jr. and Sr. schools in Saint-Lazare, as well as a new school currently under construction in Saint-Lazare, Mount Pleasant in Hudson, Pierre-Elliott-Trudeau (PETES) in Vaudreuil-Dorion, and Soulanges school in Saint-Télesphore.
Marcus Tabachnick, board chairman, confirmed yesterday morning that 435 Vaudreuil-Soulanges elementary kids, and some from Christmas Park and Dorset, will be moved to different schools next year as a result of the new school zones.
"There is finally some relief for chronically overcrowded schools now," he said, adding the board is sensitive to how hard it is to move students.
"This is never easy but it has been our experience that kids adjust well and make new friends almost immediately (at a new school)," he said.
The board sent letters home yesterday to all families affected by the change.
By the numbers
St. Patrick elementary school in Pincourt will be most affected by the zoning change.
Twenty-two St. Patrick students will be bussed over the bridge to Christmas Park in Beaconsfield next year, while another 29 St. Pat's kids will attend Dorset in Baied'Urfé. Sixteen others will be moved to Evergreen in Saint-Lazare.
"St. Pat's community is being sent to the greatest number of schools," Tabachnick confirmed, adding, "It does split up friends but it's an adjustment."
Meanwhile, Edgewater elementary will welcome two PETES students and lose 16 of its current students to PETES. Six additional Edgewater kids will be zoned to attend the new school in Saint-Lazare.
Forest Hill Jr. will accept two Mount Pleasant students, while 22 current Forest Hill Jr. kids will be moved to Mount Pleasant. Fifty-two other Forest Hill Jr. students will be moved to the new school along with 137 students from PETES.
Another 43 PETES kids will also be moved to Mount Pleasant, allowing the school to be under capacity for the first time in several years.
"We will finally be able to remove the portables (in July, 2011) at PETES," Tabachnick said.
Sixty-six students from Forest Hill Sr. will attend the new school next year, while another 68 will be re-zoned to Mount Pleasant.
In addition to those mentioned, a handful of current Mount Pleasant students will be relocated to the new school or Forest Hill Jr.
The board says it will have several tools on its website to help parents understand the new zones.
Such information is crucial for those participating in the registration process which will get underway on January 25 and run through February 14.
By the end of this week, the board's School Finder 2011-2012 program will also be up and running. The program lets people know which school they're zoned for once a civic address is entered.
In addition, Major School Change documents for the rezoning were posted yesterday on the board's website.
The rezoning process was halted while the search for land to house a new English elementary school was underway.
It began again once Saint-Lazare offered space.
Construction began early last month on the school, which will be located at the corner of Jolicoeur and du Bosquet streets in Saint-Lazare.
The new school is expected to open in time for the 2011-2012 school year.
The board also passed a resolution Monday identifying the need for another English elementary school in the region. That process is expected to take four years to complete.
To access all major school change document, including a list of new attendance zones, go to www.lbpsb.qc.ca. The School Finder 2011-2012 program will be available at the end of the week.