Despite Commissioner Syd Wise’s best efforts the school board has indeed failed the English-speaking community in Cote Saint-Luc and the West End with this botched attempt to open Wallenberg Academy. Wise, along with CSL Mayor Anthony Housefather spoke passionately and earnestly about the need for a Wagar 2.0. The absence of an English language public high school in CSL has been an obvious failing on the part of the EMSB for several years.
Housefather was strategic and passionate in promoting the new high school. He rallied City Council to ensure that our sports facilities be an attraction to young families and long time residents. This plan has met with great success. But the school board laid out far too many conditions and restrictions that ultimately sabotaged their own efforts to see the high school take shape.
I attended all the information sessions. The frustration and despair in the faces and voices of the prospective parents was plain to see. What is needed, and wanted, is a high quality secondary school in CSL. This desire does not attack the fine reputation of Royal Vale nor the strong attraction of Royal West. It speaks to the desire of the English-speaking community to have choices for the education paths for their children. The EMSB should listen to these parents and find a way to open a great high school in CSL, without roadblocks and potholes on this new road ahead.