Portuguese student task force approved
School board hopes to examine lower graduation rates for students of Portuguese descent
Toronto District School Board trustees have voted to establish a task force to examine why graduation rates are lower for students of Portuguese descent.
The board's figures show that about one in three students of Portuguese heritage fail to graduate from high school.
The task force was created after two trustees floated the idea of creating a special needs school that caters to the ethnic community.
Marcie Ponte is the director of the Working Women's Centre and a Portuguese immigrant.
She said working closely with families would help educators understand why some students are dropping out.
"We want to engage parents in their children's education," said Ponte.
"We want the schools to understand what the cultural issues are. We want schools to look at how they can support high school students while they are still in the system," she said.
Ponte said creating a special needs school for students of Portuguese ancestry is not the answer.
She argues that inclusiveness is a better option.
The school board task force begins its look at the issue in April.