SWLSB commissioners vote for re-zoning at Laval's Terry Fox Elementary
The council of commissioners at the Sir Wilfrid Laurier School Board has decided with near unanimity minus one dissenting vote to re-zone two blocks of territory from Terry Fox Elementary School in Auteuil onto the nearby St. Paul Elementary School territory in order to resolve an overcrowding crisis at Terry Fox.
During the SWLSB’s regular monthly meeting at board headquarters in Rosemère last Wednesday evening, the commissioners passed a resolution moving St. Paul’s boundaries, so as to take in two parts of Terry Fox territory which includes a few dozen streets.
The commissioners also voted (according to the resolution) to “grand-father the students currently attending Terry Fox Elementary School living in the rezoned area” and to “grand-father for 2013-2014 the oncoming kindergarten siblings of the students currently attending Terry Fox Elementary School living in the rezoned area.”
According to information from the SWLWB, Terry Fox Elementary School has been overcrowded for many years and the enrolment keeps rising. The school was last rezoned two years ago when 39 students from Terry Fox were sent to Twin Oaks Elementary in Ste-Rose.
While parents in the area have been demanding a new school to deal with the overcrowding which is the result of a residential building boom in the Auteuil, the board has made it clear before that a new school will probably not be in the cards for some time.
Families broken up?
During question period, one angry Terry Fox Elementary parent, Mary Anne Di Genova, let the commissioners know where she and others in the same position stand. Di Genova maintains that despite the grand-fathering clause, the re-zoning will separate children who are attending school from other members of the same family.
Steve Kmec, the sole commissioner to vote against the resolution, said afterwards: “I really don’t think it’s going to fix the whole situation of overcrowding at Terry Fox for this year or the coming year because of the population growth, and the people have a strong attachment to the school. So I don’t see how this is going to work.”
Di Genova told The Laval News that the measure will impact her family. “I have three kids and I don’t know what’s going to happen. The board’s whole thing was to keep families together, but I don’t think this is what’s going to happen.” Di Genova said she might just decide to send her kids to a private school as a permanent solution.
Mouhteros steps down
In another development during the meeting, school commissioner Tom Mouhteros of Ward 18 announced his resignation which took effect immediately. Mouhteros first became a commissioner in 2007, but his involvement in school board activities dated even further back. In a letter read out by board chairman Nick Milas, Mouhteros said he had many reasons, but “the main one is that it’s time to move on and explore other avenues.”