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School's Out For Thousands Of G.T.A. Students

Welcome to the last day of classes for Toronto District School Board students.

When the bell sounds to end afternoon classes, kids of all ages will finally be free from all those rules, regulations and even recesses. For the next eight weeks, it’s nothing but fun in the sun.

And they’re ready.

“I’m going to have a party, party, party!” squeaks Deline, a Grade 4 student.

“I’m going to swim a lot,” vows Alegria, exiting Grade 5. “I’m going to go to Ontario Place, Centre Island. I’m going to the Ex.”

But not everyone is ready to let the kids forget their blackboard jungle just yet. Some contend school should be a year-round event and that students lose much of the progress they made during the long layoff.

“In September when the children come back, we can see a difference in the students that have not continued with their studies,” warns Laurie Levay, the principal of St. Mary’s Catholic Elementary School.

She’s suggesting the kids hit the books as well as the swings this summer, and has issued a challenge to all her pupils to read more than eight novels until the next school bell rings in the fall.

And she has some data on her side. A recent study found that kids stand to lose up to one month of learning in their reading levels if they slack off over the summer.

But not all the young ones will be celebrating the big adios on Wednesday. Toronto’s Catholic School Board students and those in other G.T.A. jurisdictions won’t be free until Thursday.