School board votes for Mount Pearl, Goulds reorganization

The province's English school board voted in favour of a major reorganization of school systems in Mount Pearl and Goulds.

Parents upset that some students will be moved to other schools

The province's English school board voted in favour of multiple motions on Saturday that would see some reorganization to schools in Mount Pearl and Goulds. (CBC)

The province's English school board voted in favour of a major reorganization of school systems in Mount Pearl and Goulds.

Board trustees with the Newfoundland and Labrador English School District said yes to a number of motions that would see some students moved to different buildings this coming September.

Some of the parents at the meeting on Saturday morning were upset with the board's decision to move some students to different schools, based on their age.
Mark Fahey, who has three school-aged children, is worried that the transition will have a negative impact on the education of some of the students being transferred to other schools. (CBC)

Mark Fahey was at the meeting to oppose the motion proposed for Newtown Elementary and St. Peter's Elementary.

The motion, which was passed, would combine the schools, resulting in St. Peter's changing from a K-6 to a K-3 school, and Newtown changing from a K-6 to Grade 4-6.

Fahey said many parents of students at both schools were opposed to the change.

"I felt the idea of destroying the school system by making it a K-3 and a [Grade] 4-6 was wrong," he said.

According to Fahey, transitions mean students will have a hard time adjusting, resulting in lower grades.

"Transitions lead to lower grades, difficulty for children adjusting, everything — none of that was taken into consideration and I'm absolutely floored that this board did this."

Fahey said the board didn't take the concerns of parents into consideration when they made this decision.

Overcapacity, overcrowding a problem

But Milton Peach, chair of the board, said problems with overcapacity and overcrowding with schools in Mount Pearl forced the board's hand.
Milton Peach says the board had no choice but to reorganize some of the schools in the region, due to overcrowding and overcapacity. (CBC)

According to Peach, students will be better served after the reorganization.

"Most times, students adapt very quickly — it's the parents sometimes who have more of a difficulty adapting," Peach said.

Peach said there will be help put in place for students who find themselves attending a different school.

"We always put in place, with our schools that we move, transition committees, and they work with the school community, the school council, and the school staff themselves to ensure that the children are the ones who will be given every opportunity to adapt."

The changes won't take place until students resume school in September, after their summer break.