Board sup­ports Strait schools

Board agrees Dal­brae, Bayview needed af­ter leases ex­pire in 2021

Cape Breton Post - - Cape Breton - BY CAPE BRE­TON POST STAFF

The fate of three In­ver­ness schools was clar­i­fied at a spe­cial meet­ing of the Strait Re­gional School Board on Wed­nes­day night when board mem­bers voted unan­i­mously to no­tify the De­part­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion that it will still need both Dal­brae Acad­emy and Bayview Ed­u­ca­tion Cen­tre af­ter their P3 leases ex­pire in 2021.

That de­ci­sion came af­ter a re­view of the Dal­brae Acad­emy feeder sys­tem that be­gan last fall and fin­ished April 30. The re­view was held to de­ter­mine if Port Hood’s Bayview Ed­u­ca­tion Cen­tre or Mabou’s Dal­brae Acad­emy would be needed af­ter their leases ex­pired on the P3 build­ings. Bayview and Why­co­co­magh Ed­u­ca­tion Cen­tre are both feeder schools for Dal­brae but the Why­co­co­magh school is al­ready owned by the Strait Re­gional School Board. Bayview Ed­u­ca­tion Cen­tre and Why­co­co­magh Ed­u­ca­tion Cen­tre are P-8 schools while Dal­brae Acad­emy cur­rently serves Grades 9-12.

Danielle Ma­cLeod, a mem­ber of the school op­tions com­mit­tee, said there’s a feel­ing of re­lief af­ter Wed­nes­day’s vote.

“This is very good,” said Ma­cLeod in a tele­phone in­ter­view on Thurs­day morn­ing. “We’ve been fight­ing for this since last Oc­to­ber. It’s a good feel­ing. We had to look at each school, we had to do tours of each school and we had to look at the costs of run­ning it — the prov­ince owns Why­co­co­magh Ed­u­ca­tion Cen­tre but the other two schools were be­ing leased.

“We’re very pleased — we showed 100 per cent com­mu­nity sup­port through letters and pe­ti­tions at all three of our pub­lic meet­ings and then the Strait Re­gional School Board voted unan­i­mously in our favour, which is nice. They took a recorded vote from each per­son and it was a unan­i­mous vote so that was great.”

The school re­view also ad­dresses is­sues in­clud­ing ex­cess space and re­or­ga­niz­ing the sys­tem to best use school fa­cil­i­ties.

The Strait Re­gional School Board will now no­tify the pro­vin­cial de­part­ment of ed­u­ca­tion that they will con­tinue to re­quire Bayview and Dal­brae.

“So with all that sup­port now, it’s ba­si­cally up to the gov­ern­ment now — if they de­cided to go against all of us and de­cide to close one, there’s not much we can do about that. Hope­fully that won’t hap­pen,” said Ma­cLeod.

The prov­ince has the fi­nal de­ci­sion on whether to pur­chase those schools.

“We’ve been fight­ing for this since last Oc­to­ber. It’s a good feel­ing. ” Danielle Ma­cLeod

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Dal­brae Acad­emy in Mabou is shown in this file photo.

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