St. Gerard’s preparing for changes in teaching system

Cory Hurley
Published on June 27, 2014

A small elementary school in Corner Brook is preparing to adjust to declining enrolment by eliminating the homeroom teaching concept.

St. Gerard’s Elementary, which is targetted to close under the Corner Brook school system reorganization plan, had just 100 students this year. It is expected they will have 105 in September.

Principal Bill Chaisson says the school has to adapt its teaching environment based on its teacher allocation.

Based on that, it appears the school will eliminate the homeroom teacher concept in September and have teachers for each subject.

He said it is still dependent on teacher allocation and student enrolment, but it has been approved and accepted within the school and at the school council level.

“We are still growing through a staffing process,” Chaisson said.

“It looks as if that is the way we are going.”

If the school was to gain a staffing position or there was an influx of students, it could alter plans.

It is a return to the system that was used in the past at St. Gerard’s and something Chaisson said is more common in schools this size. It is also representative of the junior and senior high structures, which he said parents of students who attended a meeting this week appreciated.

The change is because of the loss of teacher allocations due to declining enrolment, according to Chaisson.

However, he does not see it as challenging. It is suitable to their particular school environment.

“The advantage we made is all of our teachers know all of our children,” he said. “It is not like a bigger school. Every teacher knows every child, by name, and every teacher pretty well knows every student’s parents by name.”