Inner City Model Schools Selected

The first three schools in the “Model Schools for Inner Cities” initiative were approved at tonight’s Board meeting – Willow Park Public School, Nelson Mandela Park Public School, and Firgrove Public School. Phase One of the “Model Schools” initiative will be implemented in
September 2006. Four more schools will be recommended in 2007.
“Simply put, this is the right thing to do,” said Trustee Sheila Cary-Meaghar, Ward 16. “Clearly, poverty has an impact on school achievement and our students living in poverty need our support. This initiative is the TDSB’s first step in building a dynamic new network of inner city schools with the first three “Model Schools” acting as lighthouses within their area.
Successful programs and services developed in schools which are the ‘heart’ of their communities will ensure that all successful inner city students grow up with choices.”
“These schools will be a hub for professional development and research that benefit all our staff,” said Gerry Connelly, Director of Education for the TDSB. “The knowledge gained will help inform policies and resources for inner city schools.”
Principals of the three chosen schools are very honoured and excited about tonight’s decision:
Vicky Branco, Principal of Firgrove Public School said, “This decision will allow our children and their families to take back their community and allow them to participate fully and access necessary resources. With additional resources dedicated to Firgrove, our dreams will become a reality.”
Ed Malabre, Principal of Nelson Mandela Park Public School, upon hearing the news, stated that “We are very honoured and excited about the decision made this evening. As a Model School, we will be able to share best practices and resources with other schools in the TDSB and increase the level of collaboration with our partners in education.”
Heather Groves, Principal of Willow Park Junior Public School, went on to add that, “this will create opportunities for everyone to work together to further enhance student learning. We look forward to providing improved learning conditions for students, ESL programs for parents, partnerships with faculties of education for staff and before and after school programs for our

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students.”
The original Inner City Committee was formed in June 2005. The Inner City Advisory Committee (ICAC) had its inaugural meeting in December 2005. This committee was given the mandate to select three “Model Inner City Schools” for September 2006. Seven clusters were established and ICAC has been mandated to identify one school in each cluster. ICAC will continue to actively advocate and work with all levels of government to secure funding and resources in order to ensure sustainability for schools in the seven clusters.

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