6 schools may close at Que. school board

Parents packed a Wednesday night meeting in which commissioners from the English Montreal School Board (EMSB) voted to consider closing or moving six schools.

Parents vow to continue the fight to keep Montreal schools open

Commissioners from the English Montreal School Board (EMSB) voted to consider closing or moving six schools at a board meeting Wednesday night.

Dozens of concerned parents packed into the meeting room, determined to fight to save their children's schools.

They held signs, reading "Don't Take Nesbitt From Our Children" and "Hands Off Bancroft".

The final decision on which schools will shut will be made in January 2012, after a public consultation process.

While six schools are threatened, several other schools were saved from the chopping block, including Bancroft and Our Lady of Pompei.

Board officials said they are forced to close down several schools because of declining enrolment, which has dropped by 20 per cent in the last decade.

Parents upset

Many parents at the meeting left disappointed, and some shouted and booed while commissioners were voting on the closure list.

"There's no way we're going to let this go by without a fight," said Sam Ben Ahmed, whose daughters go to Nesbitt Elementary School.

Even before the meeting, Nesbitt parents had begun a social media campaign  to keep the school alive.

They posted a video to YouTube and started an online petition.

Commissioners were presented with a paper-version of the petition, signed by 4,000 people, at Wednesday night's meeting.

The schools that may be shut down or moved are:

  • Nesbitt
  • St. Brendan
  • Fraser Academy
  • St. John Bosco
  • St. Gabriel
  • James Lyng High School