Residents rally around school
Catalina Elementary is one of five schools in the Eastern School District to be recommended for closure in June 2013. — Photo by Laura Button/TC Media
- There was a full house at the Port Union Lions Club Tuesday, as more than 225 parents and concerned citizens gathered to express their concerns that the Eastern School District has recommended Catalina Elementary for closure. They called for strength in numbers, and planned to fight the recommendation on all fronts. — Photo by Laura Button/The Packet
- Trinity Bay North resident Brandon Peters said people of the area need to stand together to fight the recommendation to close Catalina Elementary. — Photo by Laura Button/The Packet
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- St. John's Resident
- - October 15, 2012 at 16:06:54
Per Wilma Norman's comments - “Rural nflders should not expect much in the way of anything?”. Seriously? Look at the amount of EI and social assistance that both the federal and provincial government spends to keep communities and families in rural Newfoundland alive. How can you say you don’t expect much of anything when a large proportion of rural residents already rely on government help as it is? The statistics speak for themselves. Please explain to me why the residents of Newfoundland who ARE paying into taxes (versus living off of EI and social assistance) should then have the “sub-standard” education so the school board can accommodate lower class sizes for your children, but yet not for the rest of urban Newfoundland’s children? It’s nice to dream and demand that we are all entitled to this type of 1-8 teacher/student ratio, but at the end of the day, it’s about money and being able to afford quality education for ALL of our children in this province. Equal access to education for all kids is what is fair if we're talking about managing a budget - which we are. And, as far as I am concerned, a longer bus ride after they combine schools doesn’t mean that these children won’t get a good education. It just means they’ll have less time to sit in front of the tv before supper-time.
- - October 11, 2012 at 16:32:12
I agree with Elaine, the Catalins school should remain open and judging by Elaine's grammar she should enroll herself. It don't work? Grow up.
- St. John's Resident
- - October 11, 2012 at 14:15:12
Okay, time for a basic lesson on how the education system is funded. Tax dollars pay for education. Then, money is distributed based on population. When there is a disproportionate amount of money being spent to run schools in under-populated areas, it means that tax-payers in urban centers are not getting the same quality of education for their kids because there is less money to hire more teachers and to open new schools. So, essentially, the areas of the province (ie: rural areas) who are contributing less tax-dollars to fund education are then getting smaller class sizes which can potentially lead to a higher quality education. How can you justify this? The school board is not trying to ruin your town – they are just trying to better allocate spending. At the end of the day, we all choose where we live, and unfortunately, that means that there will be a longer bus ride for some kids, and a longer trip to get to a grocery store. However, in my opinion, it doesn’t justify forcing schools in the city to be over-populated and under-staffed so that the school board can fund your school that only has around 150 kids.
- - October 11, 2012 at 13:28:23
here we go again. Every time a school closure is announced you can be prepared for the whining.many more schools that are in close proximity should be closed. It's just that nobody has the political will to so so, here in Souithern Alberta children travel to schoolng distances from rural communities. Think about the long term realities and close out many of the smaller schools and give children a quality education. If parents don't like that , there is always the option of home schooling.
- - October 11, 2012 at 13:21:08
Every time a school closure is announced in Nl ,one can expect to hear the whining. I live in Alberta where children travel on buses for long periods every day. There are dozens of schools in Nl that should be closed but because of politics remain open. I can think of Lawn and St.lawrence .. Englee and Roddickton and many more that are only a few kilometers apart. Get behind the school trustees and do what will be in the best interest of everyone in the long run. It seems that every decision made regarding change is met with ranting instead of calm rationalization.
- Fred Russell Port Union
- - October 11, 2012 at 13:10:11
Mr. Peach if you and your board members are true to your words and are making these decisions based on facts and not emotions, to give our students the best programming possible, then your decision in relation to Catalina Elementary will not take any more than a few minutes of your usual 1 to 1 1/2 hour board meetings. Its that simple ! Catalina Elementary stays open.....and these are the facts as spoken by Mr. Cullimore and others.
- - October 11, 2012 at 12:43:11
send your kids to school anyway and if its not open then send them home again that way they can say the went to school but it wasnt open so they had to go home keep doing it until they give bin ... it will work dont let them go to othere schools .even if you hv to home schoool them good luck
- - October 11, 2012 at 12:40:05
The CRT scores, extra-curricular opportunities, community support - including fundraising for technology and equipment is second to none. Catalina Elementary is an excemplary model of a successful rural community school. I suggest Catalina Elementary continue as it has been, Matthew Elementary receive the upgrades that is required to bring it to at least an equal opportunity for their children. Leave the Grade 7s and 8s where they are. If Discovery Collegiate has available space, perhaps some of the programs and services being offered in the adjoining College of the North Atlantic Campus take in some of this available space. Rumour is they are interested in some expansion. Is this the case of one government department not communicating with another department?
- Roger Cullimore
- - October 11, 2012 at 10:00:55
Mr Peach is saying these decisions are based on facts and what is best for the students. Well the facts are that Catalina Elementary surpasses all the regulations and policies. They only had to look at the CRT's, structure, after school programs and the higher than predicted enrolments, than this recommendation would never have been made. Catalina Elementary is offering the best possible education to it students. In fact they are getting a better education than they could possible get at any other school. So what is the real reason. We keep asking for the board members to explain but there is no response. Is it money like many are suggesting? Where in the Eastern School District policies does it state that they have the authority to close a school based on $$$. This is simply wrong to announce this recommendation with nothing to back it up. The Board say they are so concerned about students but what about all the stress they have added to their lives with the knowledge that someone wants to close their school. And what is so sad is they have no real reason to so.
- Peggy White
- - October 11, 2012 at 09:36:08
If you think our students aren't getting quality education at Catalina Elementary, look at the latest CRT results. Our marks are 10-15% above the district and province!
- Ed Samson
- - October 11, 2012 at 08:49:25
Ms Elaine Tilley better get used to the fact that she didn't move her family back to 1960's -70's NL. For better of for worst, I'm not sure, but things have changed drastically in NL.I have lived in numerous places across Canada, Medicine Hat, AB most recently, not much differant living in AB than NL, oh the traffic was a little more dense on the highways in AB, that's about it. Actually, I felt much safer in Medicine Hat than I do in NL. But that was probably an illusion on my part. But wait now? Didn't a recent national survey indicate that the crime rate was actually higher in NL than AB.
- - October 11, 2012 at 08:15:56
Dear Elaine If your husband has a job overseas and if it is a place you can go as well, my advice would for you to all go. As one who is currently living the expat life I can tell you it is very rewarding experience for the whole family. Children make good friends and learn to adapt. The educational system is usually really good for Canadians; if not, the Canadian curriculum is available on the internet and they can be home schooled. Expat kids are educated in more ways than in the classroom as this life provides real life experiences, not just from books. Its a rich life for them. Its nice to see and experience life outside North America.