• The following statement was released by Shadow Minister of Education Cole Simons, MP, One Bermuda Alliance…
Cole Simons, Shadow Minister of Education

The Ministry of Education “needs to urgently deal with the teaching conditions at Dellwood School caused by a poorly planned merger with TN Tatem,” Shadow Education Minister Cole Simons said today.

The teachers at Dellwood School are continuing their work to rule and continue to feel stress caused by cramped quarters and lack of proper IT equipment, which will enable teachers to record the standards based grading assessments which ensure our student performance and outcomes are improved.

This current situation did not have to occur if the Ministry had dispersed the teachers and students around our Middle Schools on a more equitable basis.

It is my understanding that Dellwood and Sandys Middle School were the primary recipient of the TN Tatem students and teachers.

Couldn’t the Government’s distribution be based more on the zoning practices which have proven to be acceptable in the past?

I have also been advised that the integration plan for the merging of Dellwood and TN Tatem’s students and teachers are woefully deficient.

When it comes to the current culture from a teaching perspective, the TN Tatem staff feel totally displaced. Some of them still do not have classrooms . All of the teachers at the school are now sharing classrooms .

They are meeting with students in any room that they can find and or in the library, in whatever space is available. As one teacher said to me, ‘we are all scrambling resources so that we can do a better job in educating our students.’

In light of this Government’s mismanagement, we now have two middle schools bulging at the seams, and two underutilized middle schools premises which could accommodate more students.

Again where is the leadership? This situation did not have to happen and it must be remedied.

I know that the teachers at Dellwood are doing their best given the trying circumstances. They continue to meet regularly with their B.U.T. representative to find ways to address the challenges.

There is a real sense that these meetings are in held in vain as these challenges remain unresolved. This is exacerbated by the fact that there is very little input from the Ministry in regards to the proper management, implementation and assessment of the Dellwood/TN Tatem school’s integration plan.

This includes holding people accountable and resolving these space problems and IT deficiencies and dependable and reliable access to Gradebook.

On another matter, the teachers still have concerns about the health of the physical plant, as they have yet to receive the most recent report which was produced by for the Government’s health and safety officer.

I have been advised that they have asked for this health and safety report and were advised that it will not be forthcoming.