Look­ing back, look­ing for­ward for Sackville ed­u­ca­tion


Tues­day, Nov. 27 will of­fer an op­por­tu­nity for all mem­bers of our com­mu­nity to voice their hopes and vi­sions for the fu­ture of ed­u­ca­tion in Sackville.

The District Ed­u­ca­tion Coun­cil (DEC) will be at Tantra­mar Re­gional High School to con­sider the clos­ing of Marshview Mid­dle School, based on its phys­i­cal con­di­tion. This is where we look back on the many gen­er­a­tions of Sackville chil­dren, teach­ers, staff and fam­i­lies who have walked the halls of that fa­cil­ity, played sports in the gym­na­sium, vol­un­teered or at­tended a class or meet­ing.

But after 70 years, we rec­og­nize that this struc­ture has out­lived its phys­i­cal life, suf­fer­ing from mul­ti­ple in­fra­struc­ture and health con­cerns, be­ing lo­cated on prop­erty that has been red flagged un­der the Dept. of En­vi­ron­ment toxic soil re­me­di­a­tion plan, ven­ti­la­tion and wa­ter in­fil­tra­tion prob­lems—all items that would cost mil­lions of dol­lars to fix. All stud­ies of the fa­cil­ity sug­gest it is best to re­place the build­ing. This is the ac­tual fo­cus of the cur­rent Sus­tain­abil­ity Study process, so an easy de­ci­sion for the DEC to agree to.

Marshview will likely be closed. Look­ing for­ward, the cur­rent Sus­tain­abil­ity Study al­lows the DEC to rec­om­mend pos­si­ble sce­nar­ios for fu­ture ed­u­ca­tion fa­cil­i­ties in Sackville to the gov- ern­ment, and that is where it is crit­i­cal to have mem­bers of our com­mu­nity present their vi­sion for the fu­ture.

The DEC has out­lined four pos­si­ble op­tions: 1. Main­tain the sta­tus quo; 2. Close Marshview Mid­dle School and re­con­fig­ure Salem El­e­men­tary to a K-5 school and Tantra­mar High School to a 6-12 school; 3. Close Marshview Mid­dle School and build a new K-5 school and build a new 6-12 school; 4. Con­sider a com­bi­na­tion of items 2 and 3—or an­other op­tion brought for­ward dur­ing the study ( see ac­com­pa­ny­ing graphic).

Over the past three years, the Sackville Schools 2020 group of lo­cal cit­i­zens has been work­ing with com­mu­nity mem­bers, the Town of Sackville, Mount Al­li­son Univer­sity and the De­part­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion and Early Child­hood De­vel­op­ment in re­search­ing and imag­in­ing a new model for ed­u­ca­tion in the prov­ince, start­ing right here in Sackville.

Sackville Schools 2020 is ask­ing the DEC to sup­port the idea that the com­mu­nity needs to be in­volved in any new school con­sid­er­a­tions, and that they rec­om­mend the build­ing of a Com­mu­nity Learn­ing Cam­pus to the min­is­ter of ed­u­ca­tion. This model would present an op­por­tu­nity for Sackville ed­u­ca­tors, stu­dents, par­ents and oth­ers to de­sign and build a new, com­mu­nity-based ed­u­ca­tion com­plex. Un­der this pro­posal, com­mu­nity mem­bers would be con­sulted on the lo­ca­tion of ed­u­ca­tion and re­lated com­mu­nity fa­cil­i­ties (this is not the norm for the typ­i­cal school-build­ing process). The shape, spe­cific con­fig­u­ra­tions and fa­cil­i­ties would also be de­ter­mined by the com­mu­nity.

The Com­mu­nity Learn­ing Cam­pus could:

– In­clude a wide range of fa­cil­i­ties and keep, move or repli­cate ex­ist­ing com­mu­nity as­sets, such as the Wet­lands Cen­tre.

– Build mod­ern, well-de­signed ed­u­ca­tional spa­ces in­te­grated into the cam­pus for all of the chil­dren in Sackville dur­ing the day.

– Act as a com­mu­nity cen­tre with shared fa­cil­i­ties and ser­vices with a wide range of part­ners, such as the Town of Sackville and Mount Al­li­son, Se­niors Col­lege, and the School District.

– Have some fa­cil­i­ties that could be open to the com­mu­nity as a year-round, com­mu­nity man­aged fa­cil­ity in the evening, on week­ends and dur­ing the sum­mer – a true 24/7 model for the en­tire com­mu­nity.

– Of­fer a rev­enue-gen­er­at­ing, ef­fi­ciently-run, year-round fa­cil­ity that op­er­ates as a non-profit (there are in­vestors and fa­cil­ity de­vel­op­ers al­ready es­tab­lished and wait­ing to part­ner with us).

– Be main­tained and man­aged with more au­ton­omy and lo­cal con­trol over op­er­a­tions.

– Cre­ate a so­cial and eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment model that will at­tract fam­i­lies and busi­nesses to Sackville, and truly pro­mote ed­u­ca­tional qual­ity for our cur­rent and fu­ture gen­er­a­tions.

Com­mu­nity mem­bers are en­cour­aged to come and voice their wishes for the fu­ture of ed­u­ca­tion in Sackville…. Our chil­dren de­serve no less!

De­tails on the Sackville Schools 2020 model can be found at www. sackvilleschools2020.com

Check out our FAQ for more spe­cific in­for­ma­tion, in­clud­ing de­tails on how to show the DEC your sup­port.

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