School attendance exceeded predictions for June 23

By Jim Morrison
with files from Robert Frank

In April, Lester B Pearson School Board’s (LBPSB) made a controversial decision to turn Monday, June 23—which was sandwiched between the first weekend of summer and the St. Jean Baptiste statutory holiday—into a regular school day.

LBPSB slated the make-up day to compensate for the school day that it lost to the April 7 provincial election.

Half of LBPSB commissioners had preferred to eliminate a professional day in May, to benefit high school students, whose classes ended June 14. LBPSB chair Suanne Stein Day voted in favour of the June 23 date, to break the tie, following an emotion-laden debate.

During last week’s LBPSB commissioners meeting, Parent Commissioner Alex Perelmiter followed up by asking how many students actually turned up for classes on the last day of school.

“I can request that information but with the closing of the school year it’s going to take a little bit of time to assess,” replied LBPSB director general Robert Mills. 

“In a lot of cases, I’m aware that parents were asked not to attend the actual school, but to take their children to a particular pool or other events,” he added, “so it will take a little bit of a while to tease out the information.”

Several employees of LBPSB spoke to The Suburban on condition of anonymity about attendance at their respective schools.

In four schools, attendance averaged 55 percent, with another school reporting 75 percent attendance.

“I am missing only two out of 21 in my classroom,” one school reported. “Most teachers in my school are saying the same. I have to say I’m pleasantly surprised!”

“We had about 320 kids out of 590 who attended,” said another. “Report cards were given out on the Friday and day camps started on Monday so we had about half our kids absent.”

“We have 75 percent of our students here at school today,” stated a third school official.
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