Classrooms in the sky?

School board considering vertical schools due to overpopulation

The Toronto District School Board may be reaching for the sky in the next few years.

The board has been discussing the concept of “vertical schools,” or classrooms in skyscrapers, due to overpopulation in the city.

Trustee Shelly Laskin says her crowded Ward 11, where the first school could open, will benefit from the move.

“In the area I represent, and other areas downtown, there is huge growth due to redevelopment and no space within current schools,” she said.

However, the concept is still a few years away from fruition, forcing the board to come up with something before the first vertical school is able to open, she said.

“My ward is using a combination of grade reconfiguration to deal with growth up to 2024,” Laskin said.

In a report last month, the school board proposes to reconfigure a number of Toronto schools that currently have JK to Grade 6 into schools with JK to Grade 5, effective Sept. 1 of 2017.

Talks to mitigate overpopulation in the schools have been ongoing for the past few months.

“We have no closed schools that we could re-open and the sites are too small for many portables,” Laskin said. “We need creative solutions for students living in the future development within the area.”