Parents of students at Denman Island Elementary got a new principal, but they are still far from satisfied.
A 100-per-cent teacher turnover rate made a substantial impact on students, said Kathrina Meglic, whose daughter was led by a new teacher halfway through the school year.
“She was basically lying awake at night crying because she didn’t know what was happening,” Meglic said. “After a number of conversations about her anxiety, we as a family decided to allow her to study at home until she was comfortable with going back to school.”
Jennifer Turner is the new principal at the school, which has been a blessing, according to Meglic.
“We consider this an excellent beginning for the school. Since Jen Turner has come to the school she (Meglic’s daughter) has agreed to try school again.”
Other parents aren’t as forgiving.
Lisa Lundy pulled her son from the 2013 school year after bringing three of her children through the elementary school.
“It’s really affected the kids. My experience is that a lot of the energy ends up being spent between adults, and having a struggle between adults. I think it’s highly unfortunate the needs of the children have been compromised.”
Once Turner replaced Dr. Shelly Robinson as principal at the Denman school, Robinson moved to Navigate (North Island Distance Education School).
At the beginning of the school year, Lundy moved her son to NIDES. Once parents heard about the Denman turnover rate and learned Robinson was coming to their children’s school, it caused some worry.
“There has been a lot of concern and activity on the Facebook page,” Lundy said. “Parents had seen and heard the concern on Denman Island so they were concerned about the relevance of what they read and heard.”
“Parents seem to be left in the dark and we all need to know what’s going on,” said Meglic. “We really don’t know anything. “The other teachers (formerly at Denman) are essentially on leave and we don’t really know the reason for them so doing, or if they would be able to return.”
Meglic wants to see some more change in the school and she says she can’t comment for all the parents, but she said most parents are still troubled by everything that has happened.
“I would say a large number of parents would like to see the teachers that left return to the school when that’s possible. Certainly in September.
“If it were possible to get the teachers back that we started the year with I think that would be a reason for celebration.”
Turner and School District 71 superintendent Sherry Elwood were not available for comment.