Waterford Valley High School Feeder Systems
The Newfoundland and Labrador English School Board will undertake a review of the Waterford Valley High school system in the fall 2019 for potential changes. This review is required due to current enrolment pressures being experienced at St. Mary's Elementary which are expected to continue.

The Waterford Valley High school feeder system includes:

Correspondence
Information Booklet
In the interest of informing school community discussion around the system review, the District released its Information Booklet for the Waterford Valley High school system on November 19.
Presentations
District staff met with the administrators and representatives of the School Councils for St. Mary's Elementary (October 30th) and Hazelwood Elementary (November 4th). Preliminary information was shared with the two school councils during these meetings and the District presentation can be accessed through the link below.

During these meetings, the possibility of changing the catchment area and grade configuration of St. Mary's Elementary was discussed as well as the availability of space at Hazelwood Elementary. It is important to note that the information contained in the presentation below is preliminary.

Following feedback from the school communities, an adjusted and updated presentation has been released for public information.
ThoughtExchange

The District has engaged ThoughtExchange, a Canadian company with experience in school district communications throughout North America. ThoughtExchange will help the District provide an inclusive opportunity for all members of the school communities to participate in the decision-making process, and have their ideas and thoughts considered by their peers. The overall goal is to enhance the District's communication with stakeholders; enhance the transparency of the consultation process, and to ensure all members of the school community have an equal opportunity to have a voice. This process and information collected within will assist the Board of Trustees in determining what, if any, adjustments should be made to the Waterford Valley high school system for the 2020-21 school year.

In conjunction with other traditional public consultation tools, the Newfoundland and Labrador English School District is using a new way of collecting input to provide an inclusive opportunity to ensure the maximum amount of school community members are able to participate in this important discussion. First utilized for school reviews conducted during the 2018-19 school year, the District will be using ThoughtExchange as an online conversation tool.

As part of the school review consultation process, we would like to get everyone's input on this question:

What are the most important things for the District to consider in reviewing the grade configuration of St. Mary's Elementary, with the possibility of changing it to a K-4 school and having the grades 5 and 6 students attend Hazelwood Elementary?

The results of this ThoughtExchange will help the District make a decision regarding changing the grade level configuration of St. Mary's Elementary. All voices matter, so your participation is crucial and valued. Please take the time to thoughtfully participate before 10 pm, Friday, November 29, 2019.

You will be prompted to add and verify your email address, and create a password you will remember in order to participate in this online conversation. ThoughtExchange will allow you to share our own individual thoughts, consider and rate the thoughts of others, and learn what is important to the community. It will be important to not only share your thoughts but explain why it is important, as it will help others determine if they agree. ThoughtExchange keeps confidential who shared each thought and who assigned what ratings.

Next Steps (UPDATED)
The District has used the consultation tool ThoughtExchange as a means of ensuring members of the St. Mary's Elementary and Hazelwood Elementary school communities had an opportunity to share their thoughts and help inform the decision-making process.

Following discussions with the school councils, and feedback received through the consultation process, the timelines have been adjusted and updated as follows. If there is a further need to make a significant change to the anticipated timelines, school communities will be advised:

  • October/November 2019 - District staff met with the school councils of St. Mary's Elementary and Hazelwood Elementary to discuss options and gauge the desired direction of the school community.
  • November 19, 2019 - The District released the Information Book for the Waterford Valley High School System Review and launched an online consultation through ThoughtExchange which was available until November 29, 2019.
  • December 4, 2019 - The District updated timelines associated with the WVH School System Review following feedback from the school communities. An updated public presentation for the Waterford Valley High School System Review was also posted.
  • December 5, 2019 - The District will post a summary report on the feedback received through the ThoughtExchange consultation and provide it to the school community with an update via memo.
  • December 7, 2019 - At a meeting of the Board of Trustees, attendees will receive an update on the Waterford Valley High school system review, specifically as it pertains to enrolment pressures at St. Mary's Elementary.
  • January 2020 - District staff will hold further consultations with the school communities and provide options for comment.
  • At a future meeting of the Board of Trustees - Trustees will review and revisit any proposed changes to the Waterford Valley High school feeder system (specific date to be determined).
Process Summary
The process for the Waterford Valley High school system review will include:
  • Consultation with the school councils of St. Mary's Elementary and Hazelwood Elementary;
  • An inclusive survey mechanism (ThoughtExchange) will be provided for members of the school communities of St. Mary's Elementary and Hazelwood Elementary to outline possible changes to the grade configuration of St. Mary's Elementary and the possibility of Hazelwood Elementary receiving extra students;
  • A report on the results will be provided to the school community;
  • District staff will hold further consultations with the school communities and provide options for comment; and
  • At a future meeting, the Board of Trustees will review and revisit any proposed changes to the Waterford Valley High school feeder system (specific date to be determined).
It is important to note that no decisions have been made regarding any schools within this school system, and any changes to take place as a result of the review process would not be implemented until the 2020-21 school year at the earliest.

Should you have any questions about this process, please contact the Director of Schools for your school system:

Waterford Valley High School System
Michael Tobin · Tel: 758-2377 · michaeltobin@nlesd.ca.



95 Elizabeth Avenue
St. John's, NL · A1B 1R6
Tel: (709) 758-2372 · Fax: (709) 758-2706
95 Elizabeth Avenue
St. John's, NL · Canada · A1B 1R6
Tel: (709) 758-2372 · Fax: (709) 758-2706

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