Thorn­hill School re­view on hold

Au­dit has post­poned clo­sure re­view to par­ents’ de­light

Richmond Hill Post - - News - — Kristina Kirkaldy

Par­ents at Stornoway Cres­cent Pub­lic School (SCPS) wel­comed the York Re­gional Dis­trict School Board’s ( YRDSB) de­ci­sion to put the re­view of pos­si­ble clo­sure of their chil­dren’s school on hold.

The school, lo­cated in Thorn­hill, south of High­way 7 and north of John Street, has a low pop­u­la­tion of ap­prox­i­mately 84 stu­dents.

On Feb. 1, Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Mitzie Hunter sent a let­ter to par­ents ex­plain­ing the pos­si­ble clo­sure re­view of SCPS would be post­poned be­cause of the cur­rent re­view of eq­uity and gov­er­nance pro­cesses in the board.

Alexan­der Repet­ski has two chil­dren who at­tend the school; his daugh­ter, who is in ju­nior kin­der­garten has spe­cial needs.

Repet­ski moved into the neigh­bour­hood about seven years ago.

“We have re­ally seen [the com­mu­nity] in a state of real flux in the past years,” he said “Ev­ery­one who pur­chases are pretty much peo­ple of child-bear­ing age.”

Repet­ski also cred­its SCPS for his daugh­ter’s con­tin­ued suc­cess.

“She is very de­layed cog­ni­tively, and the school has been re­ally good to her, in both the sense that be­cause it is a rel­a­tively small pop­u­la­tion ev­ery­one knows her and ev­ery­one has been very ac­cept­ing.”

Repet­ski is part of a com­mu­nity group called the Stornoway Growth So­ci­ety (SGS), con­sist­ing of about 50 com­mu­nity mem­bers, which was formed last spring af­ter par­ents found out that the board was con­sid­er­ing a re­view to pos­si­bly close their school.

Hi­lary Neubauer, an­other par­ent, helped formed SGS. She added clos­ing their school does not make sense, es­pe­cially be­cause the neigh­bour­hood is grow­ing.

“When the Langstaff [Gate­way, at High­way 7 and Yonge Street, an 116-acre] prop­erty is de­vel­oped, there are go­ing to be con­dos there, and when the Stornoway prop­erty is re­de­vel­oped into homes, they are go­ing to be lack­ing a school,”said Neubauer

“I think what has hap­pened is the min­istry has of­fered school con­sol­i­da­tion and cap­i­tal fund­ing. [the YRDSB prob­a­bly has] al­ready ac­cepted it, and now they kind of have to close a couple of schools.”

Ac­cord­ing to Christina ChooHum, cor­po­rate com­mu­ni­ca­tions spe­cial­ist at YRDSB, there will be “op­por­tu­ni­ties for pub­lic in­put, in­clud­ing pub­lic meet­ings, writ­ten feed­back and an op­por­tu­nity to be a part of the ac­com­mo­da­tion re­view com­mit­tee (ARC).”

The min­istry’s fo­cus is on the eq­uity au­dit. In the mean­time, SGS is de­ter­mined to grow its mem­bers and raise money to save SCPS.

L–R: Rea­gan Repet­ski, Gwen­e­vere Repet­ski, Alexan­der Repet­ski, Damien Repet­ski, Sophia Neubauer, Hi­lary Neubauer

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