‘I trust the board will make the right decision’
On Tuesday afternoon, Ontario’s Minister of Education was given a whirlwind tour of Glengarry District High School, where she observed dozens of white lab coat-wearing students conducting experiments in light refraction, sat in on a Grade 9 math lesson, and even sampled some homemade meatball soup in the school’s hospitality classroom.
Early in the tour Principal Patricia Brown led the minister, Mitzie Hunter, to one of the school’s bulletin boards, which was filled with photographs of students who took part in co-op classes last year.
“That student says he wants to be Prime Minister one day,” she said, pointing to a photograph at the top of the board. For the next few minutes, she talked about how proud she is that GDHS offers a High Skills Major program in transportation. Later, in that light refraction science lab, Ms. Hunter congratulated the students for their curiosity and their hard work. She assured them that the education they are getting in Ontario is recognized around the world.
Ms. Hunter, who is also the MPP for the Toronto riding of Scarborough-Guildwood, was in the area visiting schools. She also visited Char-Lan District High School, in Williamstown, Longue Sault Public School and Cornwall Collegiate Vocational School, all of which being considered for closure by the Upper Canada District School Board.
Despite this, there was very little talk about the school closures. That’s partly because the Ministry of Education has no say in the UCDSB’s final decision, although Ms. Hunter conceded that the board is dealing with a “unique situation.”
“The board is doing its best to look after the needs of the community,” she said. “We
want to ensure that our students have the best programs available. I trust the school board will make the right decision.” She said that the Ministry is not looking at forcing school boards to amalgamate, though she does encourage them to cooperate in order to make serv- ices more efficient.
After her visit to GDHS, the minister went to Char- Lan where, according to Principal Catherine Cooper, she had a great visit and really engaged with the students.
“Her overall impression of the school was good,” she said. “We toured the resources room, tech classes and the construction shop and she saw the learning commons, a Grade 9 math class and a Grade 8 music class.”