Students, parents protest possible end of Maria Goretti school
Catholic board looking at possible school closures, consolidations
Parents and students alike demonstrated outside St. Maria Goretti Catholic elementary school in Windsor on Friday.
They were protesting the possible closure of the school on Eastlawn Avenue.
The Windsor Essex Catholic District School Board is considering consolidating the school with one of a number of potential schools.
The protest comes a day after parents of children who attend St. Gregory elementary school in Tecumseh raised similar concerns at a meeting Thursday night.
For the last year, an accommodation review committee has been taking a look at closing St. Gregory.
Its numbers are below what's needed to get full provincial funding.
Thursday night, parents gathered at St. Pius elementary school.
About 200 parents were in the gymnasium to give reasons why St. Gregory shouldn't close.
"It's only another 30 or so students that St. Gregory would need so we have to keep that in mind," Luciano Carlone said.
Carlone has two children at the school. Currently, St. Gregory is at 81 per cent capacity.
That's not enough to get provincial funding, according to Sherrilynn Colley-Vegh of the Windsor Essex Catholic District School Board.
"To have administrators there, and caretakers and staff - even for students to be able to have full access to technology and all the programs - it gets very difficult," Colley-Vegh said. "It's the capacity of the building, but it's enrolment numbers as well."
Parents argue the quality of the education at St. Gregory is incomparable.
"We have found at St Greg's school, not only are the students recognized by name, the parents are as well," Richard Janik said. "We're as welcome as they are. It's very impressive."
For Carlone, it's not just the one-on-one that stands out.
"Plain and simply, it's a great community. Scholastically, this school has shown great results," Carlone said. "I can speak to the great care my kids bring home every day."
While the accommodation review committee has suggested keeping St. Gregory's open, the school board gets the final say.
That decision will happen the end of May.
Parents of students at Maria Goretti elementary school are also worried.
Some have planned a lunchtime demonstration at the school on Eastlawn Avenue.