There has been a smorgasbord of media coverage on this over the past week.
Led by the St. Catharines Standard, who published an article before District School Board of Niagara trustees were scheduled to discuss the concept, being the first to publish on the decision and having a few other pieces in the mix (see articles here, here, editorial here).
The Star has also thrown its coverage into the mix (article, editorial) and though I thought I had seen something in the Globe and Mail a search of their site doesn't immediately pull it up.
My curiosities-- what is the DSBN going to gain through setting up this school, which for all intents and purposes is an alternative school? Do administrators have a plan for how they might extend any successful best practices from this school to the other elementary schools in their board? How does it help the largest number of students possible?
If the school doesn't address those questions in the medium to long term, I don't understand the rationale. I say this as someone who worked at a recreational summer camp explicitly for children from low-income families, one that was created and continues to exist because that opportunity is largely not available for these families. Whereas there are no barriers to entry for publicly funded elementary schools in Ontario.
If the academy allows the DSBN to teach us all a few things about practices that all teachers, all schools can adopt to better address the needs of students from low-income families, we're all better for it. If not, I somewhat share the concerns argued to-date in the editorials from St. Catharines and The Star.