Laval school reshuffling worries students, parents

English-language secondary schools in Laval are about shift students, and some aren’t happy about the changes.

Several junior and senior high schools may merge due to registration imbalance

Laura Petrilli of Laurier Senior High School is worried about the coming merger of the two junior highs and two senior highs in Laval. (CBC)

Four English-language secondary schools in Laval are on track to become two, and students aren’t happy about the changes.

Current enrolment

Souvenir Blvd. W.

-Laval Liberty High School 792

-Laval Junior High School 462

Daniel-Johnson Blvd.

-Laurier Senior High School 987

-Mother Teresa Junior High School 679

Currently, Laval Liberty High School and Laval Junior High School share a building on Souvenir Boulevard West, and Laurier Senior High School and Mother Teresa Junior High School share another building on Daniel-Johnson Boulevard. All the schools are under the Sir Wilfrid Laurier School Board.

But starting this summer, the junior high schools and senior high schools will be grouped together, though they will continue to operate separately for now. However, the eventual plan is to merge the two junior highs and two senior highs into a single school each.

The buildings that house all four schools are about 800 metres apart.

"The problem we have now is that there's over-registration in one building, and the other school is suffering with less registrations," says Nick Milas, the school board’s chairman.

Hundreds of students and parents signed a petition against the change.

“We want to keep the extra-curriculars that made us so happy over the years, and we want to graduate at the school that we feel so proud of,” says Michael Messina, a student at Laurier Senior High School.

“Our relationship that we built with our teachers, we’re not sure we’re going to see them as much as we do,” says Laura Petrilli, also of Laurier Senior High School.

Nick Milas, chairman of the school board, says a registration imbalance at both buildings has been a problem for a long time, and the proposed merger of the schools would help solve that. (CBC)
Milas, though, says the move will actually improve the quality of education the students receive.

“When we have fewer students, especially at the senior levels — the electives that you have in Grade 10 and 11 — if you have fewer students, well, you have fewer electives to choose from,” Milas says.

He says the registration imbalance at the schools has been a problem for years.

Jennifer Maccarone, the chairwoman of the Sir Wilfrid Laurier School Board Parent Committee, says the school board should done more to consult with parents.

She says the committee agrees that change is needed, but not without a more comprehensive plan.

“Everybody cares about the students… However, we do require some alignment. It would be nice, if once our committee is consulted, that they take our feedback into consideration,” she says.

The schools are supposed to move July 1.