Mount Pearl Intermediate school council implores parents to object to school swap

Barb
Barb Sweet
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The school council chairman for Mount Pearl Intermediate fired up parents Friday to object to a proposed grade reconfiguration he says could affect programs and teaching levels.

Todd Goodyear asked the school to send home letters to parents of about 900 students, headlined “Mount Pearl Intermediate School slated to close at the end of the school year.”

The school isn’t actually being shut down, but the English School Board votes April 12 on a proposal to swap grades between schools.

If that option is approved, Mount Pearl Intermediate is to be reconfigured from the current Grade 5-9 school to a Grade 6-8 school and be accommodated in the current Mount Pearl Senior High building.

Mount Pearl Senior High would be reconfigured from its current Grade 10-12 to a Grade 9-12 school and be accommodated in the current Mount Pearl Intermediate building.

Morris Academy would be reconfigured from its current designation as a kindergarten to Grade 4 school to a kindergarten to Grade 5 school.

Goodyear said Friday the board is rushing a decision in time for September and contends there isn’t that much overcrowding at Mount Pearl Senior High.

Building on or adding portable classrooms to Mount Pearl Senior High is a better option, he said.

“They could fix all this,” Goodyear said.

He said if Mount Pearl Intermediate is reconfigured, the school will lose 326 students and the government’s class ratio then could take 20 teachers out of that facility, affecting specialty teachers and programs such as art and gym.

“I’m urging the parents to stand up and be heard, let the board know, ‘This is not the best thing to do here, guys,’” he said.

Goodyear implored parents to contact the board of trustees by the end of Friday in order to reserve a presentation time for the March 31 public meeting or go online to make comments at www.nlesd.ca.

“We will find out if there is (true) public consultation  or if it is all for show,” he said.

Also in the letter to parents, Goodyear warned the reconfiguration and building swap will do nothing to solve busing issues for early French immersion students.

He also said the Mount Pearl Senior High site has no dedicated play area for elementary-age students and has less gymnasium space, and the existing learning resource centre at Mount Pearl

Intermediate is one of the best in the province.

A spokesman for the school board said whatever option is chosen on April 12 will be subject to the collective agreement process with the Newfoundland and Labrador Teachers’ Association (NLTA).

But the board clarified none of the options involve shuttering Mount Pearl Intermediate.

A teachers’ association spokeswoman said there are a lot of could happens and maybes, and with the options up in the air until that decision, the NLTA has no position because it doesn’t yet know what it’s dealing with.

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Organizations: English School Board, Mount Pearl Intermediate building.Morris Academy, Grade 4 school NLTA Newfoundland and Labrador Teachers

Geographic location: Mount Pearl

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Recent comments

  • MS.K
    August 31, 2014 - 12:12

    I think that it is ridiculous that the kids from paradise have to go all the way to mount pearl for school there should be a junior high in paradise! In my opinion I think that there was no need of two elementary schools to be build in paradise they are too close together I think that they should of build just one huge elementary school instead. So therefore they could build a junior high and high school in the other location that they didn't use. It would be a little more work but it is a better solution to there problem. That would be easier on the parents to drop of there kids at school and then get to work on time because the school would be close to them in the community at the most 5-10 minutes away. It also would be easier on gas money to not travel all the way to mount pearl every day to pick up your child for lunch or to drop them off for school.

  • Mr. T
    March 23, 2014 - 07:30

    Busing students from Paradise to Mt. Pearl is not safe anymore, the distance is too far in very, very, heavy, heavy traffice. With thealmost daily traffic accidents we are putting our kids at risk now as it is.

  • Regina P.
    March 22, 2014 - 14:11

    Modular classroom for MPSH!!!! MPI should be left alone. Awesome school community and staff......why would anyone want to destroy???

  • DHawco
    March 22, 2014 - 12:43

    This really seems like a no-brainer! With only a small number of children to be accommodated, do you A. build a modular to accommodate these children or B. uproot hundreds, if not thousands, of children, renovate two schools, likely costing the same amount of money, and give up programming and resources as a result of a reduced student population? One would expect that the least amount of disruption and loss would be the logical choice if we are to act in the children's best interest. Seems like a whole bunch of unnecessary movement and change! Parents would certainly be wise to act against such a move. It appears that Mount Pearl Intermediate has A LOT to lose if this goes ahead!

  • Concerned Parent
    March 22, 2014 - 12:29

    MPI is filled with fabulous and dedicated teachers and the students are happy the way it is. Why change what isn't broken? Add a modular classroom to Mount Pearl Senior High, or change the catchment areas. These problems can be solved without disrupting students and teachers.

  • P. Lambert
    March 22, 2014 - 08:37

    Trustees make the final decision here. I urge all concerned parents and members of the public to express their opinions with them. Their email addresses can be found on the district website, here;http://www.nlesd.ca/about/trustees.jsp