Central Mountain elementary school names up for review

News Mar 10, 2015 Hamilton Mountain News

By Richard Leitner, News Staff

Over the objections of some trustees, the names of five central Mountain elementary schools that survived last year’s closure study will be reviewed to see if they should be changed to reflect the influx of students from shuttered schools.

Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board trustees voted 7-4 on Monday to initiate the renaming processes after rejecting a call, by a similar margin, to refer the matter back to their policy committee.

Advisory committees will now be struck as part of a 45-day public consultation on whether to rename all or parts of Franklin Road, G.L. Armstrong, Pauline Johnson, Queensdale and Ridgemount schools.

Three elementary schools in the city’s lower east end – Hillcrest, Parkdale and Viscount Montgomery – will undergo a similar process after surviving studies that will close Woodward and Roxborough Park.

West Mountain trustee Wes Hicks urged his colleagues to reconsider the policy that triggers the reviews, arguing the process was only intended for instances where one school closed and students transferred to another school.

In this case, Franklin Road and Queensdale are each taking students from Linden Park and Cardinal Heights, he said.

“Eventually, you’re going to get yourself in a mess,” Hicks said. “Queendale’s been with us for years. We have two different groups of students totaling 51 students going in there and we’re going to ask maybe to take a look at changing that name.”

But board vice-chair Alex Johnstone said she’s gone through three naming reviews and in each case the surviving schools – Winona, Bellmoore and Mount Hope – retained their monikers.

She said the process can bring school communities together and find ways to honour the closing schools, with a Mount Hope committee recommending the library be named after the shuttered Bell-Stone.

“The school gets to reaffirm its identity or to recreate its identity and that’s really important,” Johnstone said.

“Even if you’re only having a few students join into the larger school, it’s about minority rights. I very much believe it’s important, even if it’s a handful of students, that they’re able to have a voice and an identity.”

Dawn Danko, who represents the affected schools, agreed the reviews should proceed despite suggesting Ridgemount could be exempted.

A JK to Grade 5 school, it is adding grades 6 to 8, retaining students who previously would have switched Cardinal Heights for those grades, she said.

“Changing a name is a sensitive issue not just for the students in the school, but the community around them,” Danko said. “I do think I have to err on the side of caution and allow this to go forward at this point and let the schools say whether they want to really pursue renaming or not.”

Central Mountain elementary school names up for review

News Mar 10, 2015 Hamilton Mountain News

By Richard Leitner, News Staff

Over the objections of some trustees, the names of five central Mountain elementary schools that survived last year’s closure study will be reviewed to see if they should be changed to reflect the influx of students from shuttered schools.

Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board trustees voted 7-4 on Monday to initiate the renaming processes after rejecting a call, by a similar margin, to refer the matter back to their policy committee.

Advisory committees will now be struck as part of a 45-day public consultation on whether to rename all or parts of Franklin Road, G.L. Armstrong, Pauline Johnson, Queensdale and Ridgemount schools.

Three elementary schools in the city’s lower east end – Hillcrest, Parkdale and Viscount Montgomery – will undergo a similar process after surviving studies that will close Woodward and Roxborough Park.

West Mountain trustee Wes Hicks urged his colleagues to reconsider the policy that triggers the reviews, arguing the process was only intended for instances where one school closed and students transferred to another school.

In this case, Franklin Road and Queensdale are each taking students from Linden Park and Cardinal Heights, he said.

“Eventually, you’re going to get yourself in a mess,” Hicks said. “Queendale’s been with us for years. We have two different groups of students totaling 51 students going in there and we’re going to ask maybe to take a look at changing that name.”

But board vice-chair Alex Johnstone said she’s gone through three naming reviews and in each case the surviving schools – Winona, Bellmoore and Mount Hope – retained their monikers.

She said the process can bring school communities together and find ways to honour the closing schools, with a Mount Hope committee recommending the library be named after the shuttered Bell-Stone.

“The school gets to reaffirm its identity or to recreate its identity and that’s really important,” Johnstone said.

“Even if you’re only having a few students join into the larger school, it’s about minority rights. I very much believe it’s important, even if it’s a handful of students, that they’re able to have a voice and an identity.”

Dawn Danko, who represents the affected schools, agreed the reviews should proceed despite suggesting Ridgemount could be exempted.

A JK to Grade 5 school, it is adding grades 6 to 8, retaining students who previously would have switched Cardinal Heights for those grades, she said.

“Changing a name is a sensitive issue not just for the students in the school, but the community around them,” Danko said. “I do think I have to err on the side of caution and allow this to go forward at this point and let the schools say whether they want to really pursue renaming or not.”

Central Mountain elementary school names up for review

News Mar 10, 2015 Hamilton Mountain News

By Richard Leitner, News Staff

Over the objections of some trustees, the names of five central Mountain elementary schools that survived last year’s closure study will be reviewed to see if they should be changed to reflect the influx of students from shuttered schools.

Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board trustees voted 7-4 on Monday to initiate the renaming processes after rejecting a call, by a similar margin, to refer the matter back to their policy committee.

Advisory committees will now be struck as part of a 45-day public consultation on whether to rename all or parts of Franklin Road, G.L. Armstrong, Pauline Johnson, Queensdale and Ridgemount schools.

Three elementary schools in the city’s lower east end – Hillcrest, Parkdale and Viscount Montgomery – will undergo a similar process after surviving studies that will close Woodward and Roxborough Park.

West Mountain trustee Wes Hicks urged his colleagues to reconsider the policy that triggers the reviews, arguing the process was only intended for instances where one school closed and students transferred to another school.

In this case, Franklin Road and Queensdale are each taking students from Linden Park and Cardinal Heights, he said.

“Eventually, you’re going to get yourself in a mess,” Hicks said. “Queendale’s been with us for years. We have two different groups of students totaling 51 students going in there and we’re going to ask maybe to take a look at changing that name.”

But board vice-chair Alex Johnstone said she’s gone through three naming reviews and in each case the surviving schools – Winona, Bellmoore and Mount Hope – retained their monikers.

She said the process can bring school communities together and find ways to honour the closing schools, with a Mount Hope committee recommending the library be named after the shuttered Bell-Stone.

“The school gets to reaffirm its identity or to recreate its identity and that’s really important,” Johnstone said.

“Even if you’re only having a few students join into the larger school, it’s about minority rights. I very much believe it’s important, even if it’s a handful of students, that they’re able to have a voice and an identity.”

Dawn Danko, who represents the affected schools, agreed the reviews should proceed despite suggesting Ridgemount could be exempted.

A JK to Grade 5 school, it is adding grades 6 to 8, retaining students who previously would have switched Cardinal Heights for those grades, she said.

“Changing a name is a sensitive issue not just for the students in the school, but the community around them,” Danko said. “I do think I have to err on the side of caution and allow this to go forward at this point and let the schools say whether they want to really pursue renaming or not.”