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Proposed boundaries for the new public elementary school being constructed in southwest Milton have hit the streets for public opinion.

Four boundary options, which would see some students who currently attend Anne J MacArthur and Tiger Jeet Singh schools redirected to the new facility, were presented at a public information meeting Tuesday evening.

Dozens of local parents turned out to the session at Milton District High School to learn more about plans that have been in the works since October for the school, which is slated to open this fall on Farmstead Drive, south of Louis St. Laurent Avenue.

While there were originally 14 potential boundary scenarios, Milton Trustee Donna Danielli explained the Boundary Review Committee worked hard to whittle those down to the four most viable options.

"Now, we need to take it to you, the community. We need to find out, did we get it right? And if we didn't get it right, where did we go wrong?" she said. "Our ultimate goal, because it's what's best for kids, is stable, long-term boundaries."

Two of the options would see the new facility open as a dual track school, meaning classes would be offered in English and through French Immersion. If it were to open as a single track school, then French Immersion students would be directed to PL Robertson or Anne J MacArthur schools, depending on where they live.

While each boundary scenario is slightly different, the proposed catchment area for the new school — which has yet to be named and is currently referred to as SW Milton #9 — will generally be bounded by Thompson Road in the east, Tremaine Road in the west and Britannia Road in the south.

The northern boundary proposal varies the most, with each option presenting different ways it could be configured between Derry Road and Louis St. Laurent. It's where this line is drawn that will impact some students currently attending other schools in the area, like Marissa Fortune's five-year-old son, Declan, who attends senior kindergarten at Anne J MacArthur.

Declan, like many other students in Milton, has already attended two different schools since he started. Depending on the boundary option ultimately chosen, he may have to move again come the fall.

"I think that for him, in terms of where we live and our proximity to the new school, it would actually be better for him to attend Milton #9," said Fortune.

During small group discussions after the presentation on Tuesday, parents learned that another boundary review may be imminent as Martin Street Public School is scheduled for redevelopment in 2016. This means some students may have to move again.

"That would be his (Declan's) fourth school before grade 2," said Fortune. "I just think that's a lot of shifting around for one child."

For Karen Cormier and several other parents, ensuring there are enough crossing guards to keep students' safe while walking to the new school is paramount.

"It's a very busy area. I want to make sure the proper safety protocol is in place," said Cormier.

Decisions on crossing guards have yet to be made. Superintendent of Education Rob Eatough told the Champion that the board puts in requests for crossing guards to the Town of Milton, which makes the final decision.

Input on the proposed boundaries will be accepted until Monday, Jan. 11 at noon. Feedback forms, along with maps of all the proposed boundaries, are available at under the Program and Accommodation section on the main page.

Following the Monday deadline, the committees charged with the boundary review process will consider the public input and make a recommendation, which will be presented to school trustees at the February 4 board meeting. The recommendation will also be posted on the above noted website.

A final decision will be made when the board meets again on February 18. Parents who wish to do so may speak as delegates at one of the meetings.
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