Dollars, not sense

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I am writing this letter as a very concerned parent of a child attending Grade 5 at Catalina Elementary.

By now, due to recent media coverage, most people are aware of what our school has to offer: only 23 years old, new roof, new gym floor, soccer field, playground, heating, ventilation and air conditioning system, security system, Smartboards in every classroom, computer lab and an excellent after-school program, which amongst other activities, includes skating and swimming — at no cost to the children.

Our criterion reference testing scores were also high above the district and provincial average in many areas.

I would like to take a moment to speak about the teachers and staff at the school, as well.

Having volunteered there for four years, I can truly say that they are dedicated and caring individuals who go above and beyond to provide our children with the highest quality education. They provide a safe, caring environment where our children feel nurtured and valued every day.

I wholeheartedly agree with Pete Soucy in that our school should be used as a model for all other schools.

Central to the community

There is another aspect here as well. Our school is an integral part of our community — one that has been devastated by the loss of our two major employers, OCI and NuTan Furs.

For the Eastern School District (ESD) to even consider our school for closure at this time is an insult to the town of Trinity Bay North and its residents.

I feel that the ESD is not being honest with us in its proposal to close our school, in that the real underlying issue is money.

The ESD may be able to measure the cost of closing our school in dollars, but the cost to our children and their education will be immeasurable.

In closing, I would like to thank our school council, parents of Catalina Elementary, residents of Trinity Bay North, our town council and its Economic Development Committee, and the media for all their support in recent days.

I sincerely hope that you will continue to support us in our fight to save our school.


Gail Doody


Organizations: ESD, Economic Development Committee

Geographic location: Trinity Bay North

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Recent comments

  • t
    November 06, 2012 - 09:37

    I agree with you completely. Our school board was elected to represent our children, and act in their best interests, but that is not what they are doing. Instead of learning from, and making an example of schools that have gotten things right, and are prospering, they are closing them down. I have been through this same fight with them in St. John's, and lost. No matter what arguement or proof you have, they have their minds made up before any public "consultations" have been done. Take a look at the board members during the public consultations. Some will be listening, and considering what they are hearing. Others are like teenagers at a boring lecture, slumped at the table with their chins propped on their hands, looking around, fidgeting, one I'm certain actually fell asleep. Aside from being disrespectful, it also shows that what you say makes no difference to them. They want to shut down smaller, successful schools, and cram as many kids as possible into larger schools, no matter the consequences. Studies have shown that larger schools don't work, and are produce far less successfull students, acedemically and personally. Fight hard for your children, and for their school, because the majority of the school board care about money, not children. And once a school is closed, it won't be re-opened.