Sunday, March 15, 2015

Low-enrolment schools are more than numbers

The Toronto public board is quietly shutting down Eastern Commerce and Nelson Boylen,
the two most under-enrolled schools in the city.
Not small schools — more like big families.

While they have the lowest enrolment of all high schools in Toronto, students and staff say there’s much more to Eastern Commerce and Nelson A. Boylen than just their numbers.

They are schools that feel like home; places that have nurtured teens’ minds but also their hearts, motivating them to come to school and do well, while forging close relationships with all of the adults in the building — at Boylen, all staff, including the principal, “adopt” a struggling student to mentor, and monitor — something they wouldn’t have done in the hustle of a larger secondary school.

But it is because of their numbers that both are shutting down at the end of June — too costly to keep running with just 67 students (Eastern) or 80 (Boylen). With enrolment expected to continue to dwindle, so, too, would course offerings.

“At my old school, I didn’t even know my home teacher’s first name — here I know every teacher on a first-name basis,” said 16-year-old Delon Jemmott  (more...)

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