A Night at the School Council

I wrote this a few years ago as a Facebook Note. It seemed an appropriate time to revive it:

My son’s school is considered a high-needs school according to the school board’s Learning Opportunity Index, at the top end of the range, just edging into the middle of the pack.

The neighbourhood is full of working class families, Canadian-born or from other lands, who grow vegetables rather than landscape rocks in their front yards. Nearby homes are, increasingly, filling up with young professionals, congratulating themselves on finding homes so cheap within easy commuting of downtown.

However it is also a school that stands out. The Toronto Star says that its EQAO scores are above what they “should” be given the student demographics. The school librarian picked up a book and taught herself cricket so that she could coach the group of young boys who asked for a school team. We have family dances and great community movie nights in the gym. And we still have itinerant music teachers. My son has learned cello and steel pan for the past couple of years. One of the Grade Six teachers organized a knitting club this year, and kids knit 750 dolls, which will be used as packing for medical equipment being sent overseas to hospitals which need it. (The dolls will then be distributed to kids in those places.)

So this is what I learned at this week’s school council meeting:

1) Rosedale Public School (a small K-6 school that serves one of the richest enclaves in the country) recently contacted our school principal. They wondered if they could borrow our steel pans this summer. Parents had raised $16,000 to send their junior students to Australia for a tour. (We’ve loaned them, because we know the importance of cooperation, in a place like this.)

2) My son’s graduation trip has been set. They are going to the well-treed park, five minutes north of the school, on the other side of the tracks, and bringing some Frisbees. The price is right, and the school council is going to buy everyone a Popsicle.

Sigh.

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