January 2002
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School Change
By: Leanne O'Leary and Amanda Murphy, Grade 8, North Shore Collegiate, Northern Bay, NF

Our names are Leanne O'Leary and Amanda Murphy. We are grade eight students at North Shore Collegiate, Northern Bay in Newfoundland. Next year there is going to be an extreme school change for the North Shore of Conception Bay and Lower Trinity Shore areas.

In September 2002, teens all around this area will be moving to different schools. This means that friendships will be broken apart and kids will have to adjust to a different environment. As students we think this change is very unfair. The kids involved didn't even get a fair say in the decision as to whether or not they wanted to go to a different school.

To get another person's perspective on this situation, we interviewed our principal, Mr. Roger Gilingham.

Q: How do you feel about the school closing?
A: I would like to see the school stay open and be part of the community. However, it is necessary for the students to have the best education. If bringing schools together is what we have to do for a better education, then it must be done.

Q: What do you think should become of the school after it's closed?
A: After the school is closed, I would like to see people from the community and surrounding communities look after the school and use it for a recreation center. It would be nice if the school could benefit the people of the communities.

Q: To your knowledge, where will the students of this school go in September 2002?
A: As far as I know, from Caplin Cove to and including Ochre Pit Cove, grades 9-12 will go to the new school in Old Perlican. All grade 7 and 8 students will go to Cabot Academy in Western Bay (formerly known as Jackson Walsh Elementary). From Western Bay to and including Kingston, grade 9-12 will go to Carbonear Collegiate in Carbonear. All elementary and primary grades will go to Cabot Academy.

Q: Do you think that Old Perlican was the best place to build the new school?
A: The new school was meant to be built in a central location of all communities where students will be coming from. This location also has a number of things to offer such as the hospital, fire station, etc. Therefore, I think that this was the best place to have built the school.

Q: Do you think that the education system will improve in the new school?
A: Yes, I think that the education system will improve. There will be more opportunities and courses offerings than here. There will be new and better equipment, labs, and so on for the best possible opportunities.

Despite our principal's belief that this will improve educational opportunities for students, many people felt the same way we do. We wish that people would listen to us and recognize the way that we feel. We want to be left the way that we are. We don't want to be taken from our friends and we DON'T want to be taken from a school that we love.