© Diane Crocker
Paula Grudich is encouraging Corner Brook Regional High students and graduates to return any textbooks that they may have from previous years before the start of the new school year.
CORNER BROOK There’s still a few weeks until school opens, but Paula Grudich wants students at Corner Brook Regional High to start thinking about their textbooks now.
She doesn’t want them to start studying, she just wants them to find any they may still have from previous years and return them to the school.
Grudich is head of the English department at the city high school and said a conservative estimate on the number of missing textbooks would be in the hundreds.
“This is over a number of years, not just one year,” she said.
Textbooks are provided free of charge to students for use during the school year and the school has a computerized system to track their distribution and return.
“Those don’t work if the students don’t bring back the books,” said Grudich.
Penalties for not returning books could include a bill to cover the replacement cost, which could be anywhere from $10 to $80. There’s also the possibility of withholding report cards from students, but Grudich said grades are available online, so most students know there is a way around that. And students who fail to return textbooks could even be barred from graduation events, though Grudich said that’s not likely to happen.
As both a parent and a teacher, Grudich said she understands how textbooks don’t get returned.
“It’s the end of the school year, they’re tired, they’re excited about summer and one of the last things on their list of priorities is returning their books to school.”
Grudich expects the students think the school won’t miss one book and agrees with that thought.
“We won’t miss one book, but we miss many books.”
She said every student needs a copy of every book that will be studied. “And so what happens when September rolls around and we’re planning our units for our classes, we face the dilemma of not having enough books.”
She said “we’ve actually had situations this (past school) year where we were borrowing between teachers, between classes, asking students who’s willing to bring their books back early so another class can use it. So, it’s certainly not optimal for learning, at all.”
Grudich added it’s very costly to replace the missing books. Every year the Department of Education will provide the school with funds to replace up to 10 per cent of the number of required copies of each title used. Beyond that the money comes from the school’s instructional budget.
One positive thing that Grudich can see in the missing books is that it seems some of the novels go missing because they are popular with the students. That includes books like “The Catcher in the Rye” and some of the Shakespeare plays.
While it makes Grudich ecstatic that students take such an interest in those books, she said “we still want those books back.”
In an effort to get the books back Grudich is issuing a plea to current and former students, and parents and guardians, to start looking for text books that could be under a bed, stuck on a book shelf, hidden under the couch cushions or bouncing around the back of an SUV and return them to the school. She said she’s sure the problem is not unique to the high school and encourages the same of people from other area schools.
Grudich said the books can be returned to the school during the last week of August or returning students can bring them with them when school starts in September.
She promises there will be no fines or detention ordered as she just wants the books back.
The following is a list of textbooks missing from Corner Brook Regional High School:
A Midsummer Night's Dream
To Kill a Mockingbird
Lord of the Flies
The Theban Plays
The Catcher in the Rye
A Separate Peace
The Stone Angel
Fellowship of the Ring