Education Dept On Dellwood Middle School

November 11, 2019

Following the comments from Shadow Minister of Education Cole Simons, the Department of Education said they “would like to clarify and provide accurate information to parents.”

A Government spokesperson said, “A variety of issues pertaining to teaching conditions at Dellwood Middle School were raised in an article submitted by the Shadow Minister of Education, Mr. Cole Simons MP.

“The Department of Education [DOE] would like to take this opportunity to clarify and provide accurate information to parents and the public in response to issues outlined by Mr. Simons. It is important to the Department that facts be presented, and context provided for such critical matters that affect Bermuda’s children.

Student/ Teacher Placement:

“Between June 20th and 21st, 2019, all middle schools received acceptance letters outlining how many students were to be expected for the 2019/20 school year. Acceptance letters were distributed to allow schools to plan at the site level, order resources, and establish class schedules prior to the start of the first day of school.

“Additionally, middle school principals were consulted on the staff they would receive for the 2019/20 school year prior to redeployment letters being sent to staff on 28 June, 2019. Before school closed for the 2018/19 school year, middle school principals had a full understanding of student numbers and staffing as it related to the placement of students and teachers from TN Tatem Middle School.

“To assist with this transition, Dellwood Middle School was provided with a second administrative assistant who was redeployed from TN Tatem Middle School. An additional, non-teaching deputy was also assigned to Dellwood Middle School for the month of September 2019.

“TN Tatem Middle School parents were fully engaged in the process regarding student placement. It was very important to give parents a choice in this matter. M1 and M2 parents completed applications for their choice of middle school, with the deadline set for 12 June, 2019. A separate meeting was held with new M1 parents on 19 June, 2019 and they were also given an opportunity to make a choice on their preferred middle school.

“Parents of students who are in functional skills and functional academics special education programmes attended separate meetings to ensure expectations were met for their school of choice for September 2019. Zoning practices for placing students was considered, with the majority of students being placed at Sandy’s Secondary Middle School. Students who preferred other middle schools were placed close to the central and eastern zones. Teachers were also engaged during this process, with the understanding that students would be placed first based on parental choice.

“The majority of T.N. Tatem teachers who were initially placed at Dellwood Middle School for the remainder of the 2018/19 school year requested to remain at Dellwood Middle School during the teacher consultation period which was conducted between June 11th -14th, 2019. Based on results from the consultation, Dellwood received the majority of redeployed core subject teachers [math, science, language arts and social studies].

“Previously Dellwood Middle School had four core subject teachers per year level. Additional teachers assigned from TN Tatem Middle School provided an opportunity to have a fifth core subject teacher at each year level allowing for five sections of each core subject, and smaller class sizes.

“The addition of teachers did result in teachers sharing instructional spaces, but the overall format was based on a student-first model – with the most important variable being the quality of teaching and not the ownership of classroom space. With this model, core teachers are given ample planning time so that if they are using a shared space they can allocate personal and team planning time accordingly.

“The Department of Education put together a team to assist the Dellwood leadership with reviewing scheduling options. The recommendations were shared with the Dellwood leadership team which has the ultimate responsibility of the schools’ schedule.


“An IT representative from the Department of Education was assigned to Dellwood Middle School to ensure any outstanding issues with IT were addressed; the IT Technician is still stationed at the school to assist.

To date, the following has been confirmed:

  • Internet Access – A full upgrade of the fibre optic system is complete. All students and staff are experiencing faster internet speed and connectivity
  • Computer Access – 100% of school staff has access to computers
  • Printers – 100% of printers are operational
  • Telephone System – 100% of school staff have access to phone service

The Dellwood Middle School Physical Plant:

“The Department can confirm that the Commissioner of Education, Mrs. Kalmar Richards, and the DOE Facilities Manager, Mr. Dwayne Caisey met with principals at CedarBridge Academy on Thursday 17 January, 2019 regarding the 2018 Schools’ Inspection Report.

“At that time, the Facilities Section was tasked to ensure each school principal received a copy of their school’s health and safety report by the end of day Friday 18 January, 2019. This task was achieved and confirmed in writing on 21 January, 2019.

“The Department of Education is committed to ensuring that all Bermuda Public School facilities, staff, students and parents receive quality service and attention.

“The Department of Education will continue to take steps to ensure open communication between schools, the Department, and the Ministry of Education remain open and transparent. It is important that a collaborative environment where our students come first is at the center of all communication going forward.”

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Comments (3)

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  1. imjustsaying says:

    I am so glad my children are adults. And not having to deal with this malfunctioning education system.

  2. Things a Gwan says:

    Regardless of who you vote for you can’t help but sympathize and see that the situation in the schools is pitiful. It is especially sad when you know that what is spent per child on public schools is FAR higher when compared to private schools.The system is top heavy, too layered ,bloated and broken. But the ministers are afraid to change it in any way that may mean losing suppor. Burt talks about changing the status quo, but we know that only pertains to those that they believe don’t vote for PLP.

    The buildings at MSS Warwick Saltus and BHS are not much newer so we can’t use that excuse. The sad thing is that the public school system her used to be (and can still be) awesome. However, politics and ons and their greed power destroyed it. We have teachers that are not qualified and others that are technically qualified but not effective. When did we stop understanding that just because one is qualified it does not make them good what they do. Our old qualified accountants mechanics bankers lawyers equally effective and worthy of a job for life? No of course not? A qualification just means that one passed a series of tests stating that they understand the material that they were taught. it does not mean that you are effective and it shouldn’t guarantee your job for life.

    In any other profession many of them would have been dismissed. It said that we don’t hold our children’s future to the same high standards.

    I bet that if we lowered the voting age to six and let children have a vote politicians would feel very differently. But we know no vote,no voice, no count.

  3. wa says:

    Looks like you failed your way through a malfunctioning educational system already.