Link: “Keep ‘newcomer high’ at Greenwood, students plead”

As reported by Kristin Rushowy for the Toronto Star, today:

Greenwood is unique in that it caters solely to newly arrived teens, offering numerous English-as-a-Second-Language course offerings, as well as settlement and social supports until the students are ready to move into a mainstream high school. Newcomers typically stay for one to three semesters. The school has nurtured waves of immigrants, from Hungarian Roma to, more recently, teens from Syria.

Mike Gallagher, the area superintendent, said the board is under orders from the provincial government “to make better use of our space.” As enrolment declines, that means “the status quo isn’t an option.” The committee, comprising representatives from all schools, met many times and held six public meetings.

However, unlike the other schools involved in the review, Greenwood is not under-enrolled — in fact, it is at almost the ideal 80 per cent capacity, with a small alternative school also housed in the building. Danforth, by comparison, is not even half full, at 41 per cent capacity.

[…] Greenwood students wonder why they weren’t deemed just as vulnerable a population, given that many have fled war-torn countries and are adjusting to new lives in an unfamiliar country.

Afshar also pointed out the Greenwood students’ safety concerns, given ongoing disputes that included a carful of Danforth [Tech] teens coming to the school looking to fight.

And here I was thinking that school boards exist to serve the people….