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The Globe and Mail

Angry Parkdale parents question three-grade split classes at public school

About 130 Parkdale students will continue to study in three-grade split classrooms, while a committee tries to find alternative solutions.

Students in Grades 4, 5 and 6 at Parkdale Public School were combined into a single classroom on Monday, and upset parents met with school staff and trustee Irene Atkinson on Thursday evening to request a change.

Split classrooms are usually the result of declining enrolments. However, Parkdale saw a spike in enrolment, and in an effort to accommodate students and satisfy Ministry of Education-mandated class sizes, staff decided to try this new arrangement.

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Irene Atkinson, the trustee for the school, said the majority of parents at the meeting were "vehemently opposed" to the combined classroom.

"I don't agree with the three-grade split," she said. "There is absolutely no precedent at the Toronto District School Board for this. The only other time it happened was at a small alternative school, because of low enrolments."

She said the superintendent for the school informed her a letter will be sent out on Friday to all parents, inviting them to serve on a committee to find alternative models.

"It's like our kids are involved in some kind of experiment," said Goran, a parent who didn't want his last name used. His son Kosta is a Grade 4 student in the three-way split class. "It makes absolutely no sense."

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