A good time to take ad­van­tage

Sackville Tribune - - EXTRAS ONLINE -

It would also bring in part­ners such as Mount Al­li­son Univer­sity, the town of Sackville, the Tantra­mar Se­niors’ Col­lege, Tantra­mar Fam­ily Re­source Cen­tre and lo­cal busi­nesses.

A spe­cific con­fig­u­ra­tion has yet to be de­ter­mined and Reins­bor­ough said that would be de­cided upon by the com­mu­nity.

“This is only a draft pro­posal. We want your ideas to make the pro­posal stronger,” she said.

Sackville Schools 2020 com­mit­tee mem­bers have been work­ing since 2015 to de­velop their con­cept. Through meet­ings with ex­perts in the field and ed­u­ca­tional ad­vi­sors, and through host­ing work­shops and com­mu­nity ses­sions with stu­dents, par­ents, teach­ers and ci­ti­zens, Reins­bor­ough said they’ve con­sid­ered, “Is this some­thing that is vi­able, are there other mod­els out there, what does Sackville need?”

“But none of that mat­ters if this is some­thing the com­mu­nity feels they can’t get be­hind.”

The pro­posal comes as the An­glo­phone East dis­trict ed­u­ca­tion coun­cil (DEC) is in the process of con­duct­ing a sus­tain­abil­ity study, look­ing at the fu­ture of Sackville’s three schools – Salem El­e­men­tary, Marshview Mid­dle and Tantra­mar high schools.

As part of the process, the school dis­trict held the first of three pub­lic meet­ings ear­lier this month to pro­vide in­for­ma­tion to par­ents, teach­ers and other con­cerned res­i­dents about the var­i­ous sce­nar­ios the com­mu­nity might want to con­sider as the clo­sure of Marshview Mid­dle School looms. Marshview, at nearly 70 years old, is op­er­at­ing un­der ca­pac­ity and re­quires costly re­pairs.

The Dis­trict will con­sider four op­tions:

1. Main­tain the sta­tus quo

2. Close Marshview, re­con­fig­ure Salem to K-5, and Tantra­mar to Grade 6 to 12.

Close Marshview, build a new K-5 and a new 6-12

Con­sider com­bi­na­tions of items 2 and 3 or an­other op­tion brought for­ward dur­ing the study.

3.

4.

Reins­bor­ough said Sackville Schools 2020 be­lieves now is the time to take ad­van­tage of the op- por­tu­nity to think out­side the box and bring for­ward an ‘op­tion 4’ that al­lows the com­mu­nity to have a say in their school sys­tem.

“The op­por­tu­nity ex­ists to cre­ate the model we want to see here in Sackville,” she said. “We know that changes are com­ing to our schools, that an in­vest­ment is com­ing from the depart­ment. So we’d like to take that and lever­age it... to do some­thing more.”

Rather than re­ly­ing on gov­ern­ment de­ci­sions on things such as the lo­ca­tion, grade con­fig­u­ra­tion, and ameni­ties of the schools, Reins­bor­ough said Sackville could de­velop a model that is “led, shaped and built by the com- mu­nity for the com­mu­nity.”

She said the com­mit­tee will be mak­ing a pre­sen­ta­tion of their draft pro­posal to the DEC dur­ing the next pub­lic meet­ing Nov. 27 at 7 p.m. at Tantra­mar Re­gional High School. A fi­nal rec­om­men­da­tion will be made by the dis­trict ed­u­ca­tion coun­cil at a pub­lic meet­ing Dec. 4, at Lou Mac­narin School in Dieppe.

Reins­bor­ough hopes the com­mu­nity will con­sider voic­ing their sup­port for the con­cept as well.

Fel­low com­mit­tee mem­ber Karen Sears also shared her en­thu­si­asm for the project, point­ing out the com­mu­nity-based model is not a new con­cept and there are other ex­am­ples of how this has worked else­where in New Brunswick, such as Cen­tre Com­mu­nau­taire Sainte-anne in Fred­er­ic­ton and Car­refour Com­mu­nau­taire Beau­soleil in Mi­ramichi.

“This isn’t pie-in-the-sky stuff,” said Sears. “This is a real op­por­tu­nity and it can hap­pen.”

Reins­bourough ex­plained if the pro­posal is given the green light, the next step would be to seek lease agree­ments with var­i­ous part­ners, in­clud­ing the Depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion, the town of Sackville, and the fed­eral gov­ern­ment. Then would come an ex­ten­sive com­mu­nity con­sul­ta­tion process for the de­sign of the cam­pus, fol­lowed by ar­chi­tec­tural draw­ings and blue­prints.

“We be­lieve this can hap­pen in a rea­son­able time frame,” she said. “We could be break­ing ground by 2020.”

CON­TRIB­UTED PHOTO

Mar­jok El­e­men­tary School in West Kelowna, B.C., of­fers flex­i­ble spa­ces for learn­ing and col­lab­o­ra­tion, a con­cept that Sackville Schools 2020 be­lieves could be in­cor­po­rated into a new mod­ern school fa­cil­ity in Sackville.

CON­TRIB­UTED PHOTO

Sackville Schools 2020 en­vi­sions a new cam­pus with el­e­men­tary, mid­dle and high schools that would share re­sources and fa­cil­i­ties with one an­other and the lo­cal com­mu­nity.

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