You might call it a class-action, but only because it involves movement of some students from their classrooms at St. Bernard’s Elementary in Witless Bay to the high school in Mobile come September.
Grade 5 students at the elementary school will join their Grade 6 schoolmates and move to the newly extended Mobile Central High School in September.
The decision was made by the board of trustees of the Newfoundland and Labrador English School District during its regular public meeting on Saturday, a news release states.
The board considered input from the school community, gathered over the past several months through in-person and online consultations, as well as long-standing concerns over space limitations at St. Bernard’s Elementary, currently a K-6 facility. The decision means that in September, St. Bernard’s Elementary will be reconfigured for Kindergarten to Grade 4, while Mobile Central High School will serve grades 5-12.
“There were issues raised in the consultations that have been, and will be, considered as we move forward,” said board chair Goronwy Price. “For example, the school will plan its space so that younger students are together in one part of the school and older students are in another space, with options to stagger lunch periods.
“Parents had expressed concerns about younger and older students in the same facility, but board trustees considered that there are various grade configurations in schools throughout Newfoundland and Labrador, including more than 80 K-12 facilities, where administrators and staff create safe environments where older students serve as mentors for those in the younger grades, and where bullying of any kind is not tolerated.”
Many parents in the area over the past decade have been lobbying for a new middle school in the growing area. There was also opposition to adding an extension onto Mobile Central High rather than building a new high school for the area.