French Immersion and Grades 7/8 at Perth Avenue Public School

Perth Public School Needs Our Children


Do NOT CONTACT the school principal

and all front line school staff regarding French Immersion and grades 7/8. Front line school staff does NOT make any programming decisions.

The TDSB makes all the decisions.

Our neighbourhood school needs YOUR CHILDREN! Enrollment numbers are down. A vibrant neighbourhood needs to give educational choices to its residents.

Let's keep our children in the Junction Triangle. The surrounding neighbourhood would benefit greatly from the option to keep our children in our local school. The results would be:

  • community residents becoming invested in the school's success and developing a more active parent council,
  • a safe, livable and thriving community, with children walking to and from their home school,
  • a school principal and teachers who feel supported and empowered to make informed decisions about our children.

To help boost enrollment numbers, Perth Avenue Public School would like to ADD French Immersion AND grades 7/8 to its programming.

UPDATE as of 21 October, 2010:

Perth P.S. SAC Meeting Minutes: French Immersion and and Grades 7-8

Minutes by Carla, Chair of Perth PS Parent Council

On October 18th, 2010 SAC extended an invitation to the community to join us for an update on the FI, Grades 7/8 Supporting a Vibrant Community.

Maria Rodrigues and Curtis Ennis attended

  • FI proposal was rejected by Central Feasibility Committee
  • Maria met with Chris Spence (Director) on October 12th, "He listens to community voices"
  • November 10th this was to be presented@ a board meeting. (There was a request for parents to show up to this meeting.)
  • Maria felt that at this time, it would be futile to do so.
  • Curtis Ennis (Superintendent) is going to research amount of buildings being built in the community and accumulate data for how many people are potentially moving in. Questions-
  • NEXT STEPS- to gather 2-3 parent reps to do a presentation in January 2011 before a board committee explaining "why it's vital we have a FI and a 7/8 program."

  • I will be representing 95% of Perth P.S. parents that want a grade 7/8.
  • Interested in being a parent REP, please contact me at
  • I will book a meeting
  • Janice (Perth Principal) will assist us with preparation.

PLS. DO NOT POST QUESTIONS HERE. I can be reached via email.

Carla Arruda
Perth P.S. Chair

Form Letter Perth PS.pdf46.02 KB
flyer_jul-aug2010.pdf551.58 KB
Maria Rodrigues Letter.pdf49.57 KB

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when I went to kent after

when I went to kent after leaving perth it was like a big new adventure, after years at perth it was not that we disliked perth at the end of grade 6, but it was just a whole new experience with new faces from a greater region to get to meet and make freinds with by going on to kent out side of our specific community...

So I am divided about putting 7&8 in perth, I think the kids need to get out and see more of the greater community and meet new faces from outside the confines of this area, as kids we looked forward to going to a whole new school for senior students, it was a kind of mile stone in our childhood and yes it kinda prepared us for the next transistion to a highschool..... just my opinion...
there are valid pros and cons from both sides on this matter, hope it works out in the end so that the kids are at least happy with the results.. :)

As for french emersion, I like the route some shools are taking in that they let the children and their parents pick a language class of their choosing, this being a multicultural city i hear a lot more of the many other languages spoken on a daily basis on our streets than i ever do french, but french does give a torontonian a better chance at a government job, so maybe thats a good reason to learn a language that is hardly ever spoken on the streets of toronto...... again this is something that all the parents in the community should be asked if it is what they want or not...I kinda like it cause I think the more languages one can learn the better off you are , but i keep thinking how little i hear french on the streets of toronto while hearing so many other cultures languages spoken, so i dont know its up to the parents i guess..?

either way best of luck to all ..



For those that are not yet aware, KENT is CLOSING.

I'm posting this because it amazes me that a lot of parents were not aware that Kent is closing.

June 2012 will be the last school year

Hey Carlaa, 2012 will be there last school year at Kent. This year's grade 7 student will move on to grade 8 sept 2011 and June 2012 will be the last year for kent. Only the gr 8 students will at kent for the last year.


"YES" Jack...I am aware!

That does not change the price of coffee. Kent is still closing.

Thanks for sharing.


I am also surprised at the lack of JT parents in attendance at the community meetings when the discussion of closing Kent was taking place. I would have thought more parents in the area would have been concerned.

points of view and newcomers


You kindly offered a point of view and your passion for Trustee Rodrigues, and I respect the points you made. I didn't take issue with anything you said except for the comment about ushering in community hubs. I just wanted to share the other views I’ve heard – perhaps the tone was negative because it’s what I’ve been hearing. Granted, folks are more eager to share the negative than the positive. The quote above was attributed to a response we both received ( and it isn't innuendo on my part. I also want to be clear that I didn't say anything about Mr. Schein endorsing me - I was just noting an opinion that he expressed. My website mentions any endorsements and support.

I didn’t want to start an off-topic debate here, and apologies for this going into that direction. I’ll conclude with saying that yes I'm a newcomer, but so is every elected official when they first start a new position. A newcomer can bring new perspectives. My view is that anyone that would take years to adapt shouldn’t be running for public office. My experiences working with a wide range of stakeholders and levels of governments on a wide range of shifting issues and priorities in a complex bureaucracy has given me a good foundation for, if elected, building positive relationships and adapting quickly as trustee. I’m a firm believer that all of us, when needed, graft well when we’re committed to a task at hand (like pushing for an important program the community wants such as F.I.).



Max, is there an email or a number I can reach you at as I'm interested in knowing what steps you took to achieve this.
I can be contacted as well at

NOTE: MARIA RODRIGUES has stated that she will support us in the pursuit of obtaining the FI, 7-8.
JOHN COSTA - has stated that he will also support us if voted trustee.

Hi Carla,
Yes, if elected I would support expanding grade 7/8 and F.I. at Perth. There is a clear community desire to have these programs at Perth (i.e., I haven't heard anything against the idea). As trustee I feel my role is to represent the hopes and aspirations of the community, and this clearly fits within that role. I will definately continue your fight for F.I. and expansion to grade 7/8 at Perth, if I'm elected. This will include bringing a proposal to the Board and working with other trustees to secure the support needed to bring these programs to the school.
John Costa

humewood parent council

carla, another parent has suggested that we might also want to contact the parent council at humewood and pick their brains. they've come through the other side and now have a FI program AND a 7/8 split. this parent also got a copy of the ARC recommendations from the JR Wilcox CS, Cedarvale CS, Arlington MS, Rawlinson CS, Humewood CS
Accommodation Review. did you get that email?


re: Maria Rodrigues, FI, diesel trains, and the Trustee election

Thanks for sharing this information about the accomplishments of our current trustee and her Board colleagues. I recognize that alternative schools are a complex issue that takes many years (and patience) to realize. It’s important that we fight for schools that offer programs our community wants where.

The community hubs initiative has been a great shift back to pre-2000 use of schools, thanks to the hard work of the Community Use of Schools Task Force (I don't believe our current trustee was a member - at least she wasn't one of the trustees listed in the 2005 policy that the Task Force released). An increase in provincial funding for these types of initiatives in recent years has also helped, especially in designated priority schools. I admire those who develop these initiatives and, if elected, will be a strong proponent of similar forward-looking strategies and policies. My passion is developing public policy and the ability to do that in a way that directly benefits my community is why I'm running. I'm not looking to become a career politician, I'm running because I admire public service.

I'd like to quote a response that was given from a parent when you shared a similar review after I introduced myself to the Brockton Neighbours group: "And for another viewpoint..... I have never met a parent who has had a positive experience with Maria Rodrigues, myself included." I've heard many comments about the general lack of communication with our current trustee. I think the issue isn't accomplishments, but rather her selective responsiveness to community members and reliance on the achievements of the Board as whole as her only platform in this election. It's something I've heard time and time again. Just today my dad was out helping me canvass and he met with Jonah Schein (candidate for City Council in Ward 17) and Jonah expressed his frustration with the current trustee. Ana Bailao expressed similar frustrations to me, and has been kind enough to help spread the word about an alternative. I don’t have party or trade union support, so getting this type of support from other candidates and community members means a lot to me. I wanted to say how much I appreciate the support I’ve been getting from the Junction Triangle area in particular (and not do so using a proxy).

Working with Aboriginal communities for the past two years has made me appreciate the importance of sharing information and consultation/engagement – not just at the start of a process or during an election, but throughout a mandate and throughout the development of an initiative. Whoever is elected on Monday, I hope they at the very least embrace this concept.


re: Maria Rodrigues, FI, diesel and the Trustee Election

John, I guess your accusatory tone is to be expected, considering you are running against her, but I'm simply writing as an appreciative parent, not as a "proxy" for Maria Rodrigues. There are always people with an axe to grind who don't get what they want when they want it and will try to place blame or badmouth elected officials. That's politics. No doubt Maria has enemies and detractors like all elected officials. Comes with the territory. I think it's important to keep in mind that, unlike a City Councillor, the Trustee is not a full-time position. Maria, like many Trustees, has a full-time day job so she probably doesn't communicate as effectively or as quickly as a Councillor who has a large staff, a big budget, and full time hours to devote to the job. I can't speak for anybody else's experiences with her, but it's a little insulting to people who know better to claim that she only relies on the achievements of the Board to pump up her own accomplishments. I base my admiration and support on my own personal experiences as a parent and as a co-founder of a school in the Ward. I personally saw what she did for us and our kids and followed in the media her efforts to ally the TDSB with the CTC and fight against diesel and for electrification of the Corridor. I saw her speak up for the Africentric School with an eloquent defence in the Toronto Star. And I watched her efforts to relocate the Dovercourt Boys and Girls Club after they were evicted. She has concrete achievements to run on and certainly deserves to be re-elected. If I were a parent hoping to add grades 7 & 8 or French Immersion to my school, I would not take a risk on a newcomer who will likely have to spend spend months if not years learning how the system works and building alliances when there is somebody who already has a proven track record on these issues.
And if you have the endorsement of Ana Bailao or Jonah Schein, or even a School Council in the Ward, by all means publicize them on your website. That will indeed prove you have forged important political alliances and have garnered strong community support, which might cause observers in the Ward to stand up and take notice. But the dubious innuendo quoted above makes me very wary.

-Max Wallace

Maria Rodrigues, FI, diesel trains, and the Trustee election

I've noticed that some Trianglers are frustrated by the pace of the process required to bring French Immersion to Perth PS. I can sympathize. I spent two years with a bunch of west end parents trying to start an alternative school, which eventually became the Grove last year. The TDSB bureaucracy is indeed frustrating to deal with and for awhile it looked like we had done all our work for nothing. It was only after we approached Maria Rodrigues for help that things took a huge turn for the better. She was incredibly helpful in helping us navigate the required hoops and whistles. But her real value came when we encountered a giant hurdle that looked like our project was doomed. Because of the controversy over the Africentric school, the TDSB staff had imposed a moratorium on new alternative schools just before we were due to seek approval. Yikes!
Wasting no time, Maria successfully lobbied a coalition of fellow Trustees to overturn the moratorium, personally introducing the motion at the Board, and we were approved soon afterwards. It was VERY impressive to observe her in action. Then once we were up and running, we started a coalition with other parents to reverse the Board's three-decade long policy of denying Special Needs supports to alternative and French Immersion schools. Thanks in part to Maria's support, and the high regard that TDSB chair Bruce Davis seemed to have for her, we won our fight in only a few months. Those are some of the reasons why I'm strongly supporting her re-election and why I'm not shy to broadcast it.
For those who aren't parents, she also helped usher in the new policy of using schools as community hubs after hours. And, like most people in this group, I'm very much against the plan to bring hundreds of diesel trains a day through our neighbourhood. I thought it was kind of cool that Maria Rodrigues and some of her progressive colleagues on the Board found a way to ally with the community and enlist the TDSB in the fight to electrify the Georgetown Corridor. They commissioned a study that found the health of thousands of children in 76 schools along the line would be affected by the diesel trains and convinced the Board to support electrification. Check out this article about her efforts:

As for bringing FI to Perth, her own daughter attends a French Immersion school and I think it's a pretty safe bet that she's on your side. Hang in there a little while longer and you'll get your wish. I wish you Bonne Chance in your fight.

-Max Wallace

Public Meeting October 18

Hey Everyone,

Just a reminder that Perth Avenue Junior Public School invites you to attend a public meeting about adding grades 7/8 and French Immersion programming. Curtis Ennis, Superintendent and Maria Rodrigues, Trustee should both be in attendance. Your support is very important so please try to attend..and pass it on!

When: Monday, October 18, 2010
Time: 6:00 p.m.
Where: Perth Avenue PS Library

Child care is available.

really looking forward to

really looking forward to hearing the TDSB's response to our campaign. everyone did a great a job and i have thoroughly enjoyed being a part of the committee. our school and this community have become even more important to me over the last few months. i can't wait to see what comes next!

French Immersion Campaign: The Epilogue

A new school year has begun and with the chilly weather in the last few days, it feels as though summer abruptly left us. At the start of the summer season, a group of Junction Triangle residents decided to unite under the banner of "Pump Up Perth". After a well attended public meeting with our school Trustee Maria Rodrigues and former Superintendent Manon Gardner, it was explained that the TDSB needed at least 100 letters from the community. The letters would prove to the TDSB that the Junction Triangle community was, and is indeed serious, in acquiring a French Immersion program. This would lead the way to expanding the school into grades 7/8 in the future. Letters are required to prove that there is a need for the TDSB to begin looking into a French Immersion program at Perth PS.

Cue the drum roll ....the Pump Up Perth Residents Committee is happy to announce that we have collected 100 letters!!

We would like to thank ALL the parents who have signed a letter in support of, not just, a French Immersion program at Perth PS but in support of OUR COMMUNITY. We could not have done this without you. Thank you! Thank you for all your effort.

We would also like to thank the wonderful library staff at the Perth-Dupont branch and Joanne Bigham, from Open Door Designs. They have supported our campaign from the very beginning by providing a place for residents to sign and drop off letters and broadcasting our cause through their business e-newsletters. Thank you!

The 100 letters are now in the hands of Perth PS Principal, Janice Robinson, who will give them to Maria Rodrigues. If all goes well with the TDSB study plan, Perth PS may have their first French Immersion Senior Kindergarten class by September 2011.

In union there is strength. ~Aesop

Pump Up Perth in Local News

The Pump Up Perth campaign has an article written about our cause at We hope this article will be published for this Friday's Villager newspaper and reach out to more parents.

Thank you Lisa Rainford for a very positive article.

Reminder to Sign a French Immersion Letter

The summer is here, the weather is hot, people are thinking of vacations, barbeques and nice tall glasses of mojitos, especially since the new LCBO had their grand opening earlier in the week. In the midst of all the summer fun, school seems very far away. But before we know it, the CNE will start and that certainly marks the end of summer.

Before we see the end of the long, hot, leisurely days, please remember that Perth PS has a strong opportunity to boost it's academic choices with an early French Immersion program. Adding French Immersion would also pave the way, in a few years time, for the TDSB to revisit the issue of adding grades 7/8.

Please download a pre-written form letter, available just below the introductory paragraph on this web page. You can input all the information in the active fields of the .pdf letter and email as an attachment to We will then print out the letter to collect and add to the others for delivery.

Thank you!

Summary of July 5 Meeting with Trustee Maria Rodrigues

Overview: The meeting was very well attended with many enthusiastic and pro-active parents and soon-to-be parents in attendance. Bravo! It was an one hour information packed meeting from Superintendent Manon Gardner who has lots of experience implementing French Immersion programs at the TDSB. Moreover, come September 2010, Ms. Gardner has been promoted into a new position. A new Superintendent for TDSB Ward 9 will be phased in throughout the summer. Trustee Maria Rodrigues has expressed her full support of our local public school and its parent community, however, there will be a formal process to follow.

The process for French Immersion: The TDSB looks at community patterns and trends to predict future enrollment for all its schools. For example, the TDSB is now predicting educational patterns up to 2018. There are two types of French immersion programs. Early immersion that begins in senior kindergarten and middle immersion that starts in grade four. Superintendent Gardner made it very clear that a middle immersion program would NOT be a good option for junior schools that end in grade six.

The TDSB will look at the demand for French Immersion in our area to predict a "critical mass" for future enrollment patterns. The term "critical mass" was heavily used by Superintendent Gardner, who also spoke of the need to consider how the overall “flow” would be affected by a change at Perth. For instance, would some students likely to attend other schools within Ward 9 (Regal Road, Rawlinson, Pauline, etc.) now attend Perth if French Immersion was implemented? The study will also look at live birth counts happening in the Junction Triangle to calculate future junior kindergarten enrollment. Additionally, the TDSB will need to analyze the pathway of French Immersion students from Perth PS to grades 7/8. Which schools can accommodate them in their senior years?

Grades 7/8: This leads to the issue of Perth PS acquiring senior grades. The process to opening up the school to senior grades is a much more difficult and labourious process. In order to convert a K-6 school into K-8, a science lab must be allocated and a larger sized gym is needed. Currently, Perth PS does not have the two requirements. TDSB planners also need to map out how many extra classrooms maybe needed: more or the same? There are student population growth statistics already mapped out to 2014. These numbers will be able to inform the planners if Perth PS needs a school retrofit OR additional space constructed. Moreover, expanding into grades 7/8 will impact surrounding schools that offer K-8, such as Carlton Village PS and Dovercourt PS. Will those children, owned by cachement address, in other area schools return to Perth PS?

This will decide if Perth PS can achieve French Immersion RATHER THEN grades 7/8 OR French Immersion AND grades 7/8. Acquiring grades 7/8 requires much more funding. Superintendent Gardner, stressed that we cannot ask for everything at once but we as a community must be very careful at we ask to implement first. Currently, adding grades 7/8 will cost too much money to implement. Perth PS must be able to retain it's current crop of children in the area PLUS increase enrollment.

Early French Immersion: This brings things back to early French Immersion. Superintendent Gardner stated that, currently, the most viable plan for Perth PS is to acquire early French Immersion. The process is much faster and will help predict the need for expanding into grades 7/8. The potential would be to open ONE UNIT, i.e. one SK class, of French Immersion by 2011, with 20 students. It would begin as a half day kindergarten class and will expand to full day once Perth is approved for full day kindergarten. Critical mass is built one group of children at a time with early French Immersion. Therefore, if French Immersion is approved by 2011, then by 2012, there will be two classes, SK and grade one. 2013 would see three classes, SK, grade one and two. Then year by year, the expansion continues until there is full implementation of French Immersion until grade six. This will predict the need for grades 7/8.

Next steps: Trustee Rodrigues and Superintendent Gardner made it very clear that to get our issues on the TDSB's next planning meeting, WE as a community of parents must be able to collectively give them a large number of letters, to which, they can give to the Director of Planning, to prove that there is a need for the board to begin looking into a French Immersion program at Perth. The deadline for us to hand in our letters is September 8.

Over the next few weeks, the Pump Up Perth Residents committee will be updating everyone as to how and where we can all sign pre-written form letters. The TDSB is looking for real home addresses, number of children and their ages, as well as parental name(s).

For those interested in helping with this issue, please contact us at Now is the time the Junction Triangle needs extra help and as a community we can certainly come together to make things happen.

"The whole is greater than the sum of the parts."
- Unknown


Just saw your message on Facebook. Unfortunately, I don't have access at work. I will help you distribute at the Festival today, and I will give copies to Perth Daycare. I will be at the Festival around 4:30pm. Look for me, I will be the one with the crazy twins!!!!!!!!!!


Hi Irmina,

Thank you for all your work.

I was talking about distributing the letter from Maria. I will print the letter and distribute to parents I know with young children.


Also, will we be pushing for Early Immersion (SK) or Middle Immersion (Grade 4). I would be happy with Early Immersion, but if Middle Immersion is all we can get, that would be good too. Better than no Immersion.

Everyone is Helping

Hey Jennifer,

Everyone truly is doing their part to help this issue along! We couldn't have gone this far without so many people contacting the TDSB and spreading the word via email and verbal.

It's a good question, about Early Immersion or Middle Immersion. I think at this stage ANY TYPE of Immersion on the TDSB radar is good. We can ask Maria R. at the public meeting what she thinks is most feasible. My two cents, Early Immersion at Perth would be great!

See you at the festival later!


Will the letter be distributed to other parents in the neighbourhood? I could help with distributing them. We may be missing many parents with very young children, who are not aware of this website, and initiative. This could help bring up our numbers. Just an idea.

Congrats for setting up the meeting

Congrats, For all those who helped organize the meeting in July. I also spoke to the Superintendent and Trustee and encouraged them both to organize a meeting with parents. Only realizing when speaking to the Superintendent that we had worked on a event together along with other staff and parents of Parkdale School on the memorial for Kaitlynn Sampson, the young girl who was murdered by her caregiver, small world. However I agree with Jen C. I hope that a letter will go out to all present and future parents in the JT. We have a lot a young families who have moved on or are planning to move into the neighbourhood. Both Virginia and I have a new next door neighbour, who have moved in less then 3 months ago. They also might be interested in hearing this information. JF



I'm not sure why you are bringing up this topic of murder and I don't want to know. It is not really fitting for this forum & I say this because at today's festival, I heard about it from parents.

A meeting was set up because "we" requested to have one to clarify all the misinformation and there were numerous phone calls made to myself and the principal from parents without children that did nothing but waste people's valuable busy time.

THE GOOD NEWS IS, we are moving forward and , if you would like to assist this group in accomplishing what they need to, you can print off the flyer and give it to your next door neighbor and anyone else that you feel should be informed. Spread the word. Not everyone comes onto this site.

Go Teamwork!


I have pasted the posting, I think it said more then murder

Carla, I have cut and pasted the posting. I think it said more then murder?? See below.

June 17, 2010 - 7:59am — Jack (not verified)
Congrats for setting up the meeting
Congrats, For all those who helped organize the meeting in July. I also spoke to the Superintendent and Trustee and encouraged them both to organize a meeting with parents. Only realizing when speaking to the Superintendent that we had worked on a event together along with other staff and parents of Parkdale School on the memorial for Kaitlynn Sampson, the young girl who was murdered by her caregiver, small world. However I agree with Jen C. I hope that a letter will go out to all present and future parents in the JT. We have a lot a young families who have moved on or are planning to move into the neighbourhood. Both Virginia and I have a new next door neighbour, who have moved in less then 3 months ago. They also might be interested in hearing this information. JF

Form Letters OR Maria Rodrigues' Letter

Hi Jennifer,

Which letter are we talking about? The pre-written form letter or the letter from Maria Rodrigues?

Letter from the School Trustee

Maria Rodrigues has sent a letter to the JT community. The attachment is available for download just beneath the introductory paragraph of this web page.

Public Meeting with School Trustee

A public meeting has been set up with Maria Rodrigues to discuss acquiring grades 7/8 and French Immersion at Perth PS.

When: Monday, 5 July, 2010
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Where: Perth Avenue Junior Public School

It is important that as many parents as possible attend this meeting. It's your chance to ask questions and tell our school Trustee the importance adding grades 7/8 and French Immersion at our local school.

Please spread the word about this meeting to as many people as possible.

7/8 Grades

Grades 7/8: Are we still pushing for this? Will it be discussed? or is it taking a back seat.

Im all for FI, but......
Remember: Kent is closing down in less then 2 years. We don't have much choice for grades 7 and 8.

Both are Important

Both issues are important, but according to Carla, from what she can gather, when speaking with Manon Gardner, FI is more complicated to implement than grades 7/8.

This morning, Maria Rodrigues has forwarded a letter to the JT community. Just below the introduction paragraph, there is a download of Maria Rodrigues' letter, for anyone to download.

Great Initiative!

What a great initiative Irmina! Your efforts to rally the neighbourhood and get people to contact the the appropriate authorities about French Immersion is clearly making headway. The meeting is another step forward. Nicely done. I'll be there for sure.

It's a Team Effort

I am not alone working on this project. There are lots of other people in our area who find this issue important. A big thank you to Carla, for setting up the meeting; Janice, the school Principal in her support; Ranajit, Kristen, Vic, Jennifer, Terri, Sharon, Scott and of course you too. (Edited to add: A thank you also goes out to Ann and Carmen at the library, as they are always supportive of community initiatives. They have been helping with the petition and giving out flyers and the pre-written form letters.)

A big thank you to all the parents who have thus far contacted the TDSB. We are all doing what we can. A huge back slap to us all!

BUT we still have a long way to go, our work is still not done until we know for sure that there will be a FI program at Perth PS. We need to continue promoting our campaign and contacting the TDSB so as not to be forgotten over the summer holidays.

"It is amazing how much you can accomplish when it doesn't matter who gets the credit." -- Unknown

that's a nice quote Irmina

"It is amazing how much you can accomplish when it doesn't matter who gets the credit." -- Unknown
If we ever manage to form a Residents' Association, we should use that as our motto.
Signing in as anonymous for this one....

French Immersion

I'm thrilled to see this action taking place! I swear, I love this neighbourhood more every day...which is one of the reasons we decided not to send our oldest (currently in JK at Perth) off to Rawlinson for FI. Initially we were turned down at Regal Road but they called us about two weeks ago to offer us a spot. After two days of discussion, my husband and I decided that our community ties were very important to us with our children so young (we also have a two year old) and for that, and a few other reasons, we decided to stay at Perth. It was only last week that I learned, from another local mom, that our entire school was shut out of the RR program. When speaking to RR later that same day, I was told the same thing and thought...that's just not right. Why our school? What's going on here?

I've been to the library and signed the petition and signed the letter. I'd be interested in joining the "Pump it Up Perth Residents Committee", or at the very least, i'd like to volunteer my services to help spread the word about this movement and petition.


Regal road

Sharon, I can 100% say that is not true, our son in in JK at Perth is will be at Regal Road in Sept for FI. As well another class mate is also going to be at RR for FI.
I would love FI at Perth! It was a real tough choice to take our son away from a school that he like, knows and can walk to and to have to put our 5 yr old on a bus every day. I will miss the interaction with his classmate and teachers.

Many Hands Make Light Work

Hi Sharon,

Thank you for your support! We can always use more help. Please email, to send us your contact information and we'll get in touch with you.

The summer school vacation period is almost here and we need to keep making our voices heard, so Perth PS will not be forgotten.

We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Our Collective Voices are Being Heard!

A quick shout out of !CONGRATULATIONS! to all those parents who have already contacted the Superintendent and Trustee.

Score one for the general masses here folks!

Carla, Chair of the Parent Council at Perth PS, received a message from Superintendent Manon Gardner, this morning. Here is an excerpt:

"I’ve received a number of emails supporting a French Immersion program at Perth as well as an expansion to 7 and 8. I have shared that info with Maria Rodrigues. The addition of gr 7 and 8 has to go to a Central Feasibility committee made up of the Planning, Program and Facilities departments. They would look at the enrolment in the area, impact on current receiving schools, cost of the addition since gr. 7/8 would require a decent size gym and a science/tech lab. The French Immersion program would be somewhat similar and go through Central Feasibility also. The central coordinator of French would look again at the other schools in the neighbourhood offering the F.I program and verify their catchment addresses, look at the demand, the trend and the impact of closing or reducing another site. I totally understand why the parent community is looking at those possibilities and I applaud them for it. We want to ensure that the school offers viable and sustainable programs to a greater number of local students."

Let's keep going viral with the Pump Up Perth campaign. As a reminder, if you scroll part way up to the top of this web page, there is a pre-written form letter available for download. It's a .pdf file that you can either print out and snail mail to the TDSB (the address is already on it) OR one can input their information on the .pdf itself and email as an attachment to others.

Letter sent

Thanks everyone. I've sent my letter today including my March emails with the TDSB. We were originally denied our spots at Regal PS for FI (it was later changed). They wanted to send us to Rawlinson PS, when we have 5 FI schools closer to our address. We obviously have a huge demand in our neighbourhood. I can't wait to see what happens.

RE:Early years centre

I thought Perth School already had early years or a daycare. The daycare at perth is one of 3 daycares in one. Perth, Carlton Village and General Mercer public school on Turnberry Rd.

What about the empty school on Franklin street, St Josephat Ukrainian School that the Boys and Girls club was looking into. Can they not clean it up and make that into a Early years???

Early Years Centre

The Early Years Centres have nothing to do with the day care. The Early Years Programs are drop-in centre for parents of small children. It benefits the school by familiarizing the parents with their home school and lets the child get aquainted with the school that they would be attending. The program offers parents valuable information on a variety of childhood issues. This would benefit both the parents and the school. Why would you send them to a building that they would not benefit from?

Perth PS and French Immersion

This morning, I was at Perth PS for a JK orientation, for my little guy, and just so happen ended up speaking with the new principal, Janice Robinson. So, this for all you would-be-French-Immersion parents who now have toddlers and want a program in the neighbourhood.

She wanted to make it clear that, as much as she will be supportive and may want a FI program at Perth PS, she cannot start a FI program. The DEMAND has to come from the neighbourhood PARENTS. Ms. Robinson says that there is definitely room for a FI program in the school and she is encouraging as many parents as possible to contact Trustee Maria Rodrigues and Superintendent Manon Gardner. If there is enough pressure from the parents' side and (hint, hint), if Maria Rodrigues wants to be re-elected, then power to the people.

Moreover, Ms. Robinson would like to expand Perth PS to include grades 7 and 8, as it now only goes up to grade 6. Regal Road only goes up to grade 6 too and if Perth gets a FI program AND expands to include grades 7 and 8, then current Regal Road students in FI, who actually live in the JT, will have an option to go back to Perth PS before highschool. Currently, Regal Road FI students filter to Winona Drive Senior PS to continue on in the program.

Everything from FI to expanding into grades 7 and 8 boils down into a numbers game. We as parents must prove there is enough children to sustain it all. More voices need to be heard and who knows perhaps by the time today's toddlers are five years old, they will have the option of going to Perth PS for French Immersion.

Contact Info:

Superintendent Manon Gardner (SW2 Region)
Phone: 416-394-2044

Trustee Maria Rodrigues
Telephone: 416-397-3069

Revitalizing our Neighbourhood School

If more parents feel strongly about campaigning for French Immersion AND expanding Perth PS to include grades 7 and 8 foremost because it will revitalize our neighbourhood school and encourage more JT families to support it; then perhaps we should coordinate a more focused approach so our collective voices WILL BE HEARD.

I would be curious to find out how many parents would be interested in helping put together something to get the word out, beyond this forum. More voices and louder voices are definitely needed to spread the word and get the Trustee's and the Superintendent's attention.

Also, with all the new homes being built in the area, it would benefit all those upcoming residents with families, who are waiting to move into their new homes, to join in the campaign.

What are other people's thoughts?

If some prefer a less public forum to voice your thoughts about this subject matter, please send an email to, subject line stating "Revitalizing our Neighbourhood School" and the message will be forwarded to me.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Isn't the 3rd floor of Perth, Given to St. Luigi School

Irmina, It's been 4 yrs since my son left Perth to go to Kent. If I remember correctly been in the Parent Council for 4 yrs, the enrolment was down every year, losing teachers and having more split classes, which kids hated.

The other thing is St. Luigi's numbers were getting higher, that is the reason why the 3rd floor of Perth School was given to St. Luigi's students. I heard they signed a contract for many years. I was apposed to this long term deal. As you never know how the dynamics of a community might change.

Personally, I favour Senior schools(7 & 8). It makes the transition from Elementary to High School a lot easyer. Now, are all French Immersion Schools from Jr-K to gr 8 in all there schools.

I would support French Immersion if the demand was there. Meeting the community's needs. I would think Maria the Trustee would support this to. JF

Maria Rodrigues

Unfortunately, there is NO other candidates running for Trustee position in our TDSB Ward 9.

Early Years Centre

I just wanted to make a comment about other uses for Perth School. Last year the Early Years Centre that used to be on Randolph was looking for a new location and approached Perth. The Principal at the time did not agree with this suggestion and it was picked up by Pauline P.S. The centre is always full and it helps the community become familiar with their local school. It wouldn't hurt Pauline's location one bit if a second location was picked up at Perth. All that is needed is a spare classroom and use of a kitchen. I know some parents in our area who do not currently go to Pauline because of the distance and would totally benefit from a second location at Perth.

Perth P.S.


That is correct!
The last principal was very challenging and agreed or supported very little so great opportunities were missed. EYC being one of them.
Perth had a difficult year and enrollment numbers dropped as many parents pulled their children out as a result of this.

I took on the challenge of getting a much deserved person to benefit this school and I have to say is that "she is here!"
In the past, Perth was a stomping ground for new principals to try out and now you have an experienced principal that is committed to this school and has begun bringing in new programs to benefit the kids.
This is a great opportunity for parents to bring their kids back to the school as Perth has a lot to offer

Go in and speak to Janice or call 416-393-1410 to inquire about the school.
Come to our festival fundraiser (for Perth P.S.) on June 17, after school and pick up a pamphlet/brochure about Perth.

Bottom line- More children enrolled, less opportunity for the school to shut down.

Work with what we have(Maria Rodrigues)

I am currently working with Maria Rodrigues office right now trying to secure Kent School for the Mayor's Debate in September, 2010. Many of us don't want to see Kent or any other school closed. Donna, Chair of Dig In suggested that maybe having the Mayor's debate at Kent School, can bring some attention about the closing of the schools in Ward18/Davenport.

Maria's Rodrigues is all we have, so work with what you have. Can Carla set up a meeting at Perth School with the new Principal, the Trustee and residents. To see how we can get French Immersion at Perth.

But you would need to get more then the parents that you have now, that are other parents and residents in this neighbourhood who would support this, like myself. Just a suggestion.

Irmina, there are pro's and con's to Senior schools(gr 7 & 8) some parents like it, others don't. I support it and I think the opition should be there for families who want it. I know many of my son's exclass mates who are doing well, so is my son. I remember meeting Gerry Connelly at the TDSB building when my son got the "George J. Bassel- Citizenship Award" few years back. Very nice person

But with these economic times, specially in our ward/riding is becoming even more scarce. JF


When there are meetings, the number of residents versus the outcome of attendance is lacking!

We are all aware that this website does not represent the majority of the community.
It is always the same voices/same group of people (including myself) doing projects to better the community. More voices need to be heard.

I've had many discussions with parents in this school and some support it and some don't.
I've given them Maria Rodrigues contact info and advised them to spread the word to their neighbors.

So my suggestion with this Jack, is that your inform those parents/residents that will support this to write Maria.

Irmina has posted the contact info on the site.

When I speak with Maria, I will then ask hear what is the proces

Carla, When I speak to the Trustee's office regarding Kent School for the mayor's debate. I will ask her about what needs to be done in order to get French Immersion.

I have already been asking some people, even my next door neighbour about French Immersion who has two children who go to daycare and school in the Roncessvales area.

See what happens???JF

Grades 7 and 8

With Kent slated to close there are fewer options for the students of Perth. Their filter school is Carlton Village. I know some parents who put their children in St. Luigi's because they didn't want them going to Carlton Village. The TDSB is in favour of fewer transitions for the children and are in support of K- 8 schools. In the event that Kent does close Brock and Dovercourt will be transformed into k-8 schools. Too bad we didn't have more Perth parents out voicing their opinion of Kent being closed. If adding grades 7 and 8 increase enrolment then it may be a good idea to look at it. However, coverting a school from k-6 to k-8 is not that simple. The gym needs to be enlarged, there needs to be enough room for science and technology lags and there needs to be enough room to expand the library. What I would really love to see is the removal of the portables, some greening of the school yard and a playground added for the older grades. Adding French Immersion seems the easier option.

Extra Space

According to the Principal, there is extra physical space at Perth, to accommodate BOTH French Immersion and grades 7 and 8. Speaking from personal experience, my sister and I went to a K to 8 junior school and didn't find the transition to highschool difficult. Perhaps it all depends on each child's personality and level of maturity on how they transition both in junior high and highschool.

There are pros and cons from both sides of the debate. Here is a link from "The Campaign for Public Education", a Toronto group fighting for better public education.

This is an excerpt from an article on their web site:

"There is definite research that the more transitions a student makes, the greater their chance of less success in school," said Gerry Connelly, the board's director of education. "Transitions matter."

She said the board should do whatever it can to decrease the number of times students need to switch schools. "And we find in this board that the most vulnerable students are often making the most transitions."
The research is mixed; some has shown better test scores among students in K-8 schools, others no difference. A study of Philadelphia's system, however, found that students felt safer and better about themselves if they'd been in a K-8 school. Other studies have found fewer discipline problems among Grade 6 students in K-8 schools compared with middle schools

"The problems with middle schools, some researchers say, is that children arrive from various feeder schools and are preoccupied with finding their place in a new school."

making contact

I think it's really important for parents of younger children to make contact with the trustee and let her know what they'd like to see at Perth. I know some people have already started writing letters and I plan to do mine today. Perhaps we can all keep each other in the loop as far as how she responds to our requests and/or concerns. We've already heard from Irmina through the principal that we ourselves need to take up the issue with the trustee, so the more people Maria R. hears from, the better.

RE: Spoke to Principal

Spoke to Janice Robertson Principal of Perth, Very nice person, a breath of fresh air, compared to past principals. I spoke to her about 2 things. Perth going from Jr-k to grade 8 and French Immersion.

The most important thing is the numbers. The numbers of students at the present time at Perth School is about 200. That is a lost of about 40 students, since my son was there about 4 yrs ago. Janice said that we don't want those numbers to get to low. She said with Kent School closing in a couple of years, she is not 100% about the actual closing date. With Kent closing and parents choosing not to send there kids to Carlton Village, that means they might send there child to St. Luigi or other schools, my next door neighbours kids go to Fern school.

The issue with French Immersion also depends on the numbers game, you need a least one or two classes of students before they might even consider it and this will be decided by the French Program people. Janice is game for a meeting with parents, trustee and even the councillor's office, because the amount of new people and new people with kids moving into our hood is important.

Personally I know many past alumni's who went to Perth like myself, who don't want to see perth closed. It will be a shame to see Perth closed. JF

Thanks for Repeating

Thank you for repeating the very things the rest of us have been saying since the beginning of this discussion. Yes, we all have a stake at having Perth PS succeed. With more voices speaking out, We will save our local public school from closure.

Edited to add:
Let us all please remember that these issues belong to Maria Rodrigues and NOT the Principal of Perth P.S.

Contact Info:

Superintendent Manon Gardner (SW2 Region)
Phone: 416-394-2044

Trustee Maria Rodrigues
Telephone: 416-397-3069

The average parent would go to the teacher/princiapal first

Irmina, the average parent would not email or phone the trustee or the superintendent, which is the route you would want the parents to go.

The first contact parents have is with there child's teacher and principal. They trust and see them on a daily basis, It's just normal. People like yourself and others who are involved in the community might email the trustee or superintendent.

I personally feel Janice has an important role in all this, specially someone as caring and in support of the parents like she is.

Another idea that a parent and I had. This parent an alumni of perth with grown children, who had there children go to perth, is to start a face book page, Saving Perth from instinction and get anothers involved, maybe past alumni's who went to perth or even their children and get them involved. Explaining to others what is happening and the support you are looking for??? Just an idea. JF

What ?


What are you DOING?

You are going to confuse everyone that isn't already informed.
The PRINCIPAL and the TEACHERS have no control over this!
Did your discussion with the principal not clarify that "the principal has no control over this, She does not make these decisions?"
This is a board level decision and there are processes to make this happen.. Pls. inform yourself before you are just going to encourage parents to waste their valuable time and the teacher's valuable time.

FB is a great idea!
FYI:The BOARD isn't going to go on FB but nothing wrong with awareness.
IF the average parent isn't going to email or contact anyone chances are they are not going to go on FB.

RE: Carla's note, Did email the Trustee and phone Superintendent

Carla, I did email and left a voice message for the trustee and also phone the Superintendent and Anita who works at the super's office, did say that parents and community members should speak to the Principal and you, the Chair of the parents council regarding this. Exactly what I was saying earlyer. I was told that I will get a call from the Superintendent today??

Anyhow, I think what I will do is pull back at bit and wait to see what happens. Keep me updated. Jack

We need parents with children ready for enrollment

Jack, while we appreciate you trying to help Perth PS, the reality is this:

1. Unless YOU YOURSELF have a child that will ENROLL at Perth in the next few years, then unfortunately, your opinion does NOT count. As you know, it is a numbers game. The numbers being children available for enrollment in the next few years. I'm not sure if you and your wife are planning on giving your teenage son a new baby brother or sister anytime soon, but we need parents who have young children NOW.

2. Calling the Trustee and Superintendent and telling them that you think parents should discuss things with the Principal and Carla is just wasting everyone's time. The TDSB makes these decisions NOT front line school staff. The TDSB needs to hear from parents with children ready for enrollment.

3. Perth PS alumni getting involved with the school's expansion into French Immersion and grades 7/8 is only helpful if they have children ready to ENROLL into the school.

Thanks for your understanding in this matter.

Fully Support an Organized Effort

You have as much of my help as you need.


This is a great opportunity to make a difference in our neighborhood. I am in full support for this and willing to help with the cause.

We are expecting our 1st child, so it would be great if this came into effect and we would definitely be sending our kid(s) there.

Please keep me in the loop:

french immersion at perth

Thanks for posting this Irmina, along with the links to who we can write to. I plan to do so. It would be wonderful to see Perth Avenue Public School get a French Immersion program, and the idea of keeping the kids in the neighbourhood all the way to grade 8 is particularly appealing.

This is SO important for our neighbourhood

I am thrilled to hear that there may be some movement around encouraging more children in the neighbourhood to attend Perth PS. When we moved into the neighbourhood I was so disappointed to hear that a lot of families send their kids outside the area to different schools.

Although I don't necessarily want/need my daughter to attend a FI program, I will write to support it as I believe that this will encourage more families in the neighbourhood to send their kids to Perth. I think it makes obvious sense to have Perth go to grade 8. As a person who grew up in the suburbs and stayed in elementary school until grade 8, I think it's a much better option than kids having to change schools.

Thanks so much for passing this on Irmina!

Walking To School is Safer and Healthier

I thought this was an interesting post with some great links. Basically a Milton elementary school has banned parents from driving their children to school to reduce congestion, pollution, unsafe streets and child obesity. Not 100% applicable to our area I have always felt that far too many kids are driven to schools in our area. Without naming names I can think of a few parents who drive their kid about 2 blocks to school. I would state that 8:30 am to 9 am is the most dangerous time in the area for walkers and bikers. Beyond the obvious I have always felt that carts make communities unsafer because it reduces street presence. I like seeing those "trains" of kids and parents or the Boys and Girls club snaking their way up and down the street.

The Active and Safe Routes to School initiative is funded by the Ontario Government and I think its worth a read.

Great activity to promote

As newer residents to the JT, we have been ferrying our children down to our old neighbourhood in Roncy, when Perth is right around the corner. This year, we will be joining the Perth School community, and walking would be the only reasonable way to get the kids over to school. I guess the major issue is that people are NORMALLY running late in mornings, and even if they are not far from the school, they plan to drop off, and then drive off to work. Down in Roncy, there are far more stay at home Moms that have the luxury of walking their kids to school. If we were to go back 20 - 30 plus years ago when we parents were going to elementary school, recall that we would have walked BY OURSELVES, or in groups maybe - but usually not with parents, as they would have been off to work. I think this is a clear, cultural change over the years around safety - which I think is partially unfortunate as it indirectly supports negative attitudes and habits related to obesity, lack of activity, community integration and involvement for kids and parents, neighbourhood knowledge, neighbourhood fear amplification (and therefore personal confidence in your community), and strengthening the predominence of car culture.

We should support "safe routes to school" if we are to better our community is safe, healthy and interactive ways - for both kids and adults. Check out this quote:

"You may be surprised to learn that 9 out of 10 parents who walk their children to school use it as an ideal way to meet new people, socialize at the school gate and get some daily exercise" - from the Safe Route to School website.

Get out and get some exercise, meet your neighbours, gain more confidence and respect for your neighbourhood while walking / walking your kids to school (if you can and can make the time, of course!). Maybe starting some "Walking School Bus" ( groups could work here - and use this site as a sign up for interest and organisation?

Walking to School

I don't see why a neighbour who is already going that way to drop off their own children at school can't double up and take a couple more kids for parents who have to work. Then the favour can be exchanged another time. Just a thought.

French Immersion

I have sent an email to our school trustee, Maria Rodrigues, and the French Admissions Coordinator, Alison Pearce with the possibility of getting a French Immersion program in the Junction Triangle. I will let you know what they say.

French Immersion

Thanks JC. I know that there are families interested and a few quite upset about the recent bump from Regal over to Bathhurst and St. Clair.

French Immersion in Junction Triangle

My daughter has been enrolled at Regal Road, in the FI program, since SK. She is in grade one and has made lots of friends and has established herself there. My hubby and I think quite highly of the program at RR. I do miss being able to walk to our local school and meeting more parents in the community.

However, I would fully support convincing Perth PS to begin a FI program. I am curious, from Katie's comment, at the suggestion that there is not enough children to offer the program in this area. Most parents I've spoken too, WANT a FI program in our area. What exactly is the magic number of children that is required for to start a FI program? Then start finding out if our area can support a FI program at Perth.

My two cents...

french immersion at perth?

Nice to think this would be a possibility. My daughter is in Grade 1 and has been attending Regal Road in the FI program since SK. She is loving it there, and we as parents like the school very much. What we miss most, however, is having the school close by and feeling that we are part of the community in which she goes to school. She attended Perth during JK, and it was wonderful to walk back and forth with her and to get to know our neighbours and other parents. For anyone contemplating this decision, I would definitely add this to everything you have to mull. Personally (though I can say so many great things about Regal Road and FI in general) I feel it is a lot to give up, sending your child outside the neighbourhood. It would be great for families to have the option of schooling here in the Junction Triangle AND choosing French Immersion.

French Immersion is great!

I would fully support this initiative, as our daughter will be in JK this year at Perth - and I think the FI program would be well suited to her. Please include me if a group is required to make a case for this program at Perth!

French Immersion

This topic came up at a recent ARC meeting and it was said that there are not enough children to offer this program elsewhere. I think the real issue is teachers. I struggled with putting my daughter in French Immersion as well but in the end she stayed at her school because I liked being a part of its community.