WESTVILLE - A growing chorus of concern over the future of two middle schools in the Pictou East area needs to be addressed sooner rather than later, says Pictou East Progressive Conservative candidate Tim Houston.
He says the possible closure of Highland Consolidated School in Westville and the East Pictou Middle School is creating worry and frustration for both students and parents including himself.
“We need to know what the near term future holds for our children. As a parent I know firsthand the range of emotions these school issues are causing,” he said.
Westville Middle School students are taking classes at the Dr. W.A. MacLeod School in Riverton while authorities determine how to address problems – including mold - at their school.
He said they are travelling to classes with heavy book bags because there is no access to lockers. They are bussed to another school for gym classes because of gym limitations at the MacLeod School. Houston questions why a long term solution for the students of the Westville school hasn’t been communicated yet.
At East Pictou, students in Grade 6 at Frank H. MacDonald face the prospect of attending East Pictou for Grade 7, New Glasgow Junior High for Grade 8 and then on to the North Nova Education Center for Grade 9.
“Four different schools in four years can’t be considered a possible solution,” he said
The school board has said that if there is a school closure at East Pictou it won’t happen for several years, however.
Houston said he can’t understand how the province can spend tens of millions of dollars on corporate bailouts and then baulk at investing in kids.
“These young people are more than financial numbers on a piece of paper. We need to be extremely conscidus of the very significant impact school closures can have on them,“ Houston said.