Parents fight for Holy Cross Elementary to stay open

Josh Pennell
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There was some confusion over the purpose of a meeting at Holy Cross Elementary Monday evening.

A public meeting was held at Holy Cross Elementary School Monday night.

The St. John’s school is scheduled to close and the students are to join the student body of St. Teresa’s at a new facility currently under construction on Mundy Pond Road.

School council members and school board representatives arrived prepared to listen to and alleviate any concerns parents had about the move of their kids to a newer, bigger school. Parents showed up prepared to argue why Holy Cross Elementary should remain open.

Lacy Ivey is one parent who is concerned about her daughter, currently in Grade 1, being moved to a larger school.

“My daughter is behind in school as of now. Her reading, her writing. She’s behind,” Ivey said to The Telegram after the meeting. “If she goes to a bigger school she’s not gonna get the help that she needs. She’s gonna fall behind and she’s gonna be behind for the rest of her life.”

Natasha King, whose son is in Grade 3 and has special needs, is worried her boy won’t get the same tutoring attention he gets now. On Mondays and Thursdays after school, he goes to the library.

“There’s a teacher that stays here after school for an hour,” she said, adding she’s not convinced her son will get the same treatment if Holy Cross closes.

King said she has concerns about the classroom size increasing. It was said at the meeting that the average class size at Holy Cross is 19. At St. Teresa’s it will be 21.

MHA Tom Osborne was in attendance for part of the meeting. He said that when the closure of the school was agreed upon, all-day kindergarten had not yet been announced by the government.

“That’s something that wasn’t included in the equation when the decision was made,” Osborne said.

Osborne added that the extra classroom space will be needed once the extended kindergarten day comes into effect in 2016.

Despite the effort of the principals of both Holy Cross and St Teresa’s to address concerns they have been hearing from students about the transition, the more than 30 parents repeatedly brought the conversation back to keeping the school open.

The new facility being built on Mundy Pond Road specifically for Holy Cross and St. Teresa’s students is almost complete.

This is a corrected version

Organizations: Topsail Road.School council

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Recent comments

  • Anonymous
    May 06, 2014 - 22:23

    Class size of 21? Be grateful! My 7 year old is in a grade 2 class of 27 in paradise. I highly doubt a change from 19 kids to 21 will have much impact on the students.

  • Anonymous
    May 06, 2014 - 09:29

    Just to clarify for Sam and others who may not be aware... The current students at St. Teresa's are attending school each day on Topsail Rd in the building that used to house the School for the Deaf. The new building will be a new school for all of the students who begin in September. It would be my sincere hope that much of St. Teresa's student body, having gone through a similar transition themselves, will be sympathetic and welcoming to the students of Holy Cross who are joining their student body. The students of St. Teresa's will have an equal number of changes to adjust to with many teachers in a new school building as well as many new peers.

  • Sam
    May 06, 2014 - 07:05

    The new school is being built on Mundy Pond Road and Natasha's son is in grade 2 going to grade 3. I am also a parent of a child at holy cross and I have another child starting in September who had a social phobia and don't do well in a setting with a large number of people, I feel that her starting at a bigger school is going to be very hard on her. The school says the kids are excited but what kids wouldn't be when they're hearing there's new this and new that, any kid will be hapy with "brand new things", I have no doubt that this new school is going to be on top with technology, equipment, and other things but my concern is bullying number one because the kids of St. Thresas are going to look at it like this is our school what are u doing here? I know there's bullying everywhere but I'm Afarid that it's going to be overwhelming here. I feel holy cross is a positive learning environment for my child and I don't agree on the closure of Holy Cross, the schools building is in tip top shape with Millions in renovations in 2010, they couldn't even give us a good reason on why the school was closing. If u ask me it's a load of horse monure.

  • arh
    May 06, 2014 - 06:50

    The new school is being built on Mundy Pond road, not Topsail road.