COOK’S HARBOUR, NL – Cook’s Harbour parent Tammy Smith was met with surprise and glee to know James Cook Memorial will not close.
Watching the Feb. 3 live stream of the announcement, Smith says she did not expect the Cook’s Harbour school to remain open.
“I wasn’t expecting it, we figured the school was going to close,” said Smith. “It was very interesting to see that they voted against it.”
The Newfoundland and Labrador English School District (NLESD) voted against shutting down four of five schools that had been proposed for closure.
James Cook Memorial currently has an enrollment of 10 students, and Smith’s six-year-old daughter is in Grade 1.
What gives Smith the most relief about the school remaining open is that her daughter will not have to travel 50 kilometres down the highway to White Hills Academy in St. Anthony.
“Our roads are not the best to be travelling on, particularly this time of year,” Smith said. “I really didn’t want my daughter travelling down that road and thank goodness she doesn’t have to now.”
Parent Deanna Adey is also relieved that the Cook’s Harbour school will be remaining open. Like Smith, her major concern was the potential danger of the roads from Cook’s Harbour to St. Anthony during the winter.
As well, Adey said in a previous Northern Pen interview that the road to and from Cook’s Harbour is not always open due to heavy snowfall, and her Grade 2 child could potentially miss a lot of school because of it.
Parents and students can now rest assured that their school will not close.
“I feel a lot safer having her go to school here; I’m really glad they made the decision,” said Smith. “We were very excited and proud on Saturday morning when we watched the meeting.”
The Northern Pen tried to reach Mayor Barry Decker for comment, but he did not respond by deadline.