WILL YOUR SCHOOL, COURT, OR LIBRARY BE NEXT?
Help Whitbourne Elementary Commitee is a group of concerned parents and community volunteers who work full-time with family committments. We are very disappointed with the flawed school review process along with unelected Trustees who continue to make ill informed decisions. We are disappointed with our Liberal Government's inability to provide any form of control over these individuals. Our advocacy is NOT about closing any school in this area. Its about a flawed school review process. Its about unelected Trustees who have chosen NOT to represent our interests. Its about ensuring ALL our children receive the best programming in a supportive environment.
In September of 2013, the NLESD launched a review of five schools in the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador including its FIRST school review of Whitbourne Elementary; a nine month process. The board had planned to close our school primarily because of declining enrollment. After a legal challenge, the decision was overturned the the school remained open.
In January of 2016, the NLESD launched a review of four schools in our Province including a more detailed and improved SECOND school review of Whitbourne Elementary; a six month process. The board had planned to close our school because of major capital repairs and costs to the roof structure but these repairs are MOSTLY UPGRADES. Declining enrollment was no longer an issue. On July 29th, 2016 Justice Marshall quashed the decision and motion to close the school because of shortcomings in the school review process implemented by the NLESD. The school would remain open in September.
On August 10th, 2016 and just twelve days since the court decision, the NLESD passes a new motion to close our school in June of 2017. They will continue with the CURRENT school review process that started in January. This will be a six week continuation of the flawed process. Whitbourne Elementary has been a designated and a fully, accessible school/playground for children with mobility issues for over forty years; all of the infrastructure continues to be in place with NO financial investment required by NLESD. The issues and costs(read about costs not considered-click here) surrounding mobility challenged students, teachers and individuals have not received the necessary attention in this school review which is simply unbelievable.
On September 20th, 2016 the unelected trustees voted by secret ballot to close Whitbourne Elementary in June of 2017. Ballots were counted by three employees of the NLESD. The ballot count was not made public. The voting process was not done in a clear and transparent manner.
On February 28th, 2017 our committee has filed an appeal in the Supreme Court of NL challenging the decision making authority of unelected, appointed and former Board of trustees. Our law firm is expecting a hearing date in April of 2017.
WHAT WE SAID
We told our Premier and our Minister of Education about the problems with these three school review processes. We highlighted the issues to the NL English School District. We sent letters, statistics, government reports, and other factual information. Nobody listened! Government has NO control of the Unelected Trustees! Listed below are links to correspondence sent to the NLESD (click on a name to read about what they said).
PROBLEMS REMAIN AT NLESD
Many disturbing problems were identified in all of the school review processes for Whitbourne Elementary. Here are but a few;