Queen Victoria Public School in Parkdale, Toronto, has been renamed Dr Rita Cox-Kina Minogok Public School. This development happened in a bid to honour Dr Rita Cox, who retired as the school’s Head Librarian.
In a letter written to the community, dated on May 26, Dr Debbie Donsky, Superintendent of education, and Darlene Jones, the school’s Principal, said the vote to rename the school was conducted at the regular board meeting that took place on May 25.
According to them, they have been sharing information with the community about the process to rename the school since the session started.
“The School Naming Committee, in an act of solidarity, recommended merging the two names, Dr Rita Cox Public School and Kina Minogok (All Things Grow Well Together). The name was chosen, after months of consultation work with the Committee composed.”
While reacting to the development, Cox said she was honoured, much humbled, grateful and proud” of this action by the school board.
The suggestion to rename the school was presented to the board of trustees in May 2021, and the process was supervised by TDSB (Toronto District School Board) policy and procedure (P047 and PR592).
A call for submissions for potential new names to replace Queen Victoria PS was launched by the committee. Over 150 names were presented by the community for consideration, and a shortlist was submitted for feedback to the community, during a town hall meeting which took place in February.
The school officials said: “We want to thank each one of you for your participation and interest in the renaming process, including those, who came to the town hall, to advocate for their choice of a new name. Your dedication to ensuring the new name reflects the values of the school and the broader community has been a learning experience for all involved.
“We acknowledge, that although the proposed name is worthy of celebration, we also recognize that major fundamental changes to curriculum and culture are required to bring about the desired outcomes. Our sustained growth depends on the continued engagement in the learning and listening that began this name change. We look forward to continuing this work with the school community,” said the school officials.
Queen Victoria Public School was founded in Parkdale in 1887 and a new school was built in 1999. A lot of the students are relatively new immigrants to Canada.
In 1960, Dr Cox joined the Toronto Public Library as a children’s librarian and became the Head of the Parkdale branch in 1972. She pioneered the Black Heritage and West Indian Resource Collection at the branch in 1973.
She retired from the Toronto Public Library in 1995 after serving as Head of Parkdale for over 20 years.
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