Verdun fights to keep Riverview

December 23, 2015
Riverview welcomed in 1962; to close in 2016. Photo of article courtesy of Rohinton Ghandi.

Riverview welcomed in 1962; to close in 2016. Photo of article courtesy of Rohinton Ghandi.

Earlier this week, Verdun’s mayor joined Riverview parents and teachers and his opposition councillors in expressing shock that the English school will close after the current school year ends.

I think this decision is irresponsible,” said Jean-François Parenteau in an English-language press release late Monday afternoon. “It shows a lack of vision and cooperation between the two School Boards established in our territory and is made without regard to the English‐speaking population of Verdun. I am convinced that the Borough and the two School Boards can work together to protect this important institution of our community.”

Read the rest of my story in The Suburban online. It was also published on page 6 of the City edition today.

Also note:

Alumni of the school are also coming forward to try to reverse Lester B. Pearson’s decision.

How shameful to close such a great public place that many of us still consider the heart of our community,” said Rohinton Ghandhi, just before sharing a 1953 newspaper clipping from the expansion of Riverview. “Where will our children’s children get as proper an education as we did, if all our English schools are eliminated?”

Please note that Riverview’s brief to the major school change process mentioned current and future collaboration with the Francophone population nearby.

It said:

Our yard has caught the eye of the French language schools in the neighborhood, who have expressed an interest in having the children come together after school for shared activities. The linguistic and community partnership benefits to this would be beneficial to all…Riverview would be interested in exploring the possibility of renting space to a local French Language school that includes an intensive English program. École Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde offers an intensive English language program to students and is over capacity. Bringing these students to Riverview would bring the English and French communities together and would allow students from both schools increased exposure to their second language.”

Parenteau’s press release says he’s asked the two school board presidents, Suanne Stein Day (Lester B. Pearson) and Dianne Lamarche Venne (Marguerite-Bourgeoys) to meet with him to discuss creative options to break the current impasse. It also says he will send a letter to the Quebec Education Minister to inform him of Verdun’s dismay.

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Tracey Arial

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Tracey Arial

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