School board to vote Saturday on Mount Pearl/Goulds rejig
Major reorganization would take effect in September
The province's English school board will vote Saturday on whether to proceed with a major reorganization of the Mount Pearl and Goulds school systems.
If a public meeting held Thursday night is any indication, many parents hope they'll scrap the plan altogether.
Board trustees will vote on several motions that would see a lot of students moved from one building to another in September.
In the Mount Pearl Senior High School system, Mount Pearl Intermediate would go from a Grade 5-9 school to Grade 6-8, with those students moved to the Mount Pearl Senior High building. At the same time, Mount Pearl Senior High would change from Grade 10-12 to a Grade 9-12 school, with those students moved to the Mount Pearl Intermediate building.
Todd Goodyear, chair of Mount Pearl Intermediate's school council, says parents oppose the changes, given the upheaval involved.
"We do not want to do this school swap because, what we can understand, this is all about money," he said. "We're going to lose 326 students and 20 teachers to make the school swap."
If they were to add a modular classroom or classrooms onto Mount Pearl Senior High it would alleviate the overcrowding situation and prevent this disruption of 1,700 students.- Todd Goodyear, Mount Pearl Intermediate school council chair
Goodyear believes there's a simpler way for the board to address the problems they face.
"If they were to add a modular classroom or classrooms onto Mount Pearl Senior High it would alleviate the overcrowding situation and prevent this disruption of 1,700 students."
Morris Academy would also expand from Kindergarten to Grade 4, to K-5.
Meantime, there's another motion to combine the so-called catchment areas for St. Peter's Elementary and Newtown Elementary. That would result in St. Peter's Elementary changing from K-6 to a K-3 school, and Newtown Elementary going from K-6 to Grade 4-6.
Also, all early French immersion students at St. Peter's and Newtown Elementary would feed to St. Peter's Junior High.
The board is also seeking an extension to St. Peter's Elementary and St. Peter's Junior High School "to meet the programming needs of the school communities."
Then there's the Goulds system, with a motion to change Goulds Elementary from a K-6 to K- 5 school. St. Kevin's Junior High would change from a Grade 7-9 school to Grade 6-8, while St. Kevin's High would expand from Grade 10-12 to Grade 9-12.
Paradise motion approved
As for Paradise, the board has already approved a motion to seek funding from the provincial government to build a new junior/high school in the burgeoning town.
The town already has three elementary schools, with a fourth scheduled to open in the fall of 2015.
All of the proposed changes will be voted on Saturday morning at the board's offices on Strawberry Marsh Road in St. John's.
If the motions pass, the changes would take effect in September