After an absence of nearly 10 years from Cote Saint-Luc the century old elementary school returned yesterday with Kindergarten to Grade 6 students moving into their new quarters on Kildare Road. The Jewish Peretz School set down roots in CSL with its new building on Wavell Road back in 1957. In 1971 that school merged with the Jewish Peoples School on Van Horne to form Jewish Peretz and Peoples Schools (JPPS). Bialik High School was established in 1972 on Wavell as well. 10 years ago the Wavell site was sold to the Yavne School and JPPS merged all elementary classes at Van Horne.
I attended Jewish Peretz School since Nursery (now called Pre-K) along with my three brothers. I also went to Bialik High School on Wavell and served as the founding President of the Bialik Graduates Society. My children attend JPPS-Bialik as well. So, as a graduate, parent and city councillor I am particularly pleased with the school’s return to Cote Saint-Luc, opening up an educational venue rich in history and reputation for local, young families to consider.
Head of School Maureen Baron and her team signaled this move last spring. The JPPS building on Van Horne was sold to Yaldei (early intervention treatment and specialized therapies for children with developmental needs) and now JPPS-Bialik is once housed within a single, unified campus.
Hats off to Maureen, JPPS Principal Marnie Stein, President Harley Eisman, Past President Jamie Ross, Move Committee chair Lee Wise, the parent leaders and the staff, past and present, as well as Bialik Principal Avi Satov for this tremendous project and for shaping the next generation of youngsters at JPPS.
I toured the newly renovated facilities located within the Bialik High School campus two weeks ago and could not help but feel the tremendous enthusiasm of Marnie and VP, Debra Michael. The new classrooms are bright and very modern. One entire wall in each room is a whiteboard (gone are the days of chalk and blackboards). The entire wall is free to be written upon, by teachers and by students. Smart boards will be installed as well.
The childrens’ desks are organized in pods, with the teacher’s desk able to be moved to any location in the room, complete with extra stools for students who need to sit with the teacher. Each class also has a stand-up desk and a bicycle-desk for those students needing to burn off a little steam or who are otherwise fidgety and could have been disruptive if not for these innovative ideas.
I suspect it won’t be too long before JPPS students will be assigned iPads for their work assignments as the Hilroy and #2 HB pencil take their place in history.
The Drop-Off on Day One were expertly coordinated by the school and CSL Public Safety Department, together with the Commander of Police Station 9 to ensure that the drop-off and pickup of students ran smoothly.
Public Security agents were out in full force ensuring safe flow of vehicular and pedestrian traffic. PS Director Jordy Reichson and Lieutenant Anthony Tsakon were in control along with agent Tony Labataglia masterfully waving traffic through the intersection and assisting students safely across the street. Visual markers were extremely clear and well-organized. JPPS personnel were also well positioned and helpful in moving things along together with Marnie, Maureen and a few parent volunteers.
My wife, Judy, was one of those volunteers and had this to say,”We are so fortunate that our children attend a school with such dedicated leaders.”
All in all it was the best drop off I’ve witnessed in CSL. I’m sure that every parent was pleased with the city’s involvement in making this a very secure scene.
JPPS-Bialik spokesperson Shelley Paris thanked the city for its cooperation. “The security team was out in force directing traffic and explaining parking rules to parents,” she said. “Everyone felt so welcome and taken care of! Kudos to all!”
The city has put up banners on Cavendish Blvd. at at its underpasses to formally welcome JPPS to CSL.
District 2 Councillor Mike Cohen said,”Over the years I have worked very closely with the administration to make sure that parents abide by the existing parking regulations and not block driveways. Police Station 9 do patrol the area and they have been known to hand out tickets, so please before you park see if there is a sign warning you not to pull up there.”
Additional reporting by Mike Cohen