The decision of where students from New Glasgow Junior High will attend classes next year is solely in the hands of the Chignecto Central Regional School Board staff now.
About 150 parents attended a public meeting earlier this week with many publicly stepping up to the microphone to voice which option they felt was best. About 70 people also submitted their thoughts via email on two options the board presented, said Debbie Buott-Matheson, communications manager for the school board.
The students at New Glasgow Junior High have to find a new home for the next two years while a new Primary through Grade 8 school is built on the property where their school now stands. One option would see them go to East Pictou Middle School, while the other would see them move to Temperance Street Elementary and have the elementary school students divided between Acadia Street Elementary and the Brown School.
While no exact time has been set for the decision, Buott-Matheson said it should be announced within a matter of days.
Staff will be weighing the pros and cons of both options presented and take into consideration the opinions of parents and teachers, she said. They’ll also be looking at which option will provide the best environment for the students when it comes to space for the schools needs from room for a guidance office to gym space.
“All of those things are being thrown into the mix,” she said.
Having the parents perspective, she said helps staff to strike the right balance.
Allison Wilson is principal at New Glasgow Junior High and is expected to become principal of the new P-8 school being built.
She said she was pleased to see how many parents voiced their opinions at the public meeting and how articulately they presented their side.
“That’s important to understand where everyone’s coming from,” she said.
She said she is confident the students will adapt to whatever situation they’re put in. That said, whatever option is chosen she wants to make sure there is social justice for the students. Everyone should be able to take part in extracurricular activities and have adequate access to the school’s services. She’s confident if done properly either option will allow that.
“We just need to move forward and make the best of it,” she said. “Our staff is very positive here. Once we know where we’re going to, we’ll make the transition.”
Linda Williams, principal at East Pictou Middle School said they are also eagerly awaiting the decision and would be happy to welcome the students from New Glasgow if that decision is made.
“We’ll make it work,” she said. “It’s all about the students.”