Parents fight for Holy Cross Elementary to stay open

Josh Pennell
Published on May 5, 2014
A public meeting was held at Holy Cross Elementary School Monday night.
— Photo by Keith Gosse/The Telegram

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

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