School review process topic of Jan. 14 public meeting

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Tina Comeau
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Efforts to save Arcadia Consolidated School during a school review process by the Tri-County Regional School Board earlier this year didn't work, as the board voted to close the elementary school. TINA COMEAU PHOTO

By Tina Comeau

THE VANGUARD

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Public meetings, which got underway last week by a committee studying the school review process, will make a stop in Yarmouth this week.

The committee leading public consultation on a review of the school review process will hold at meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 14, at Yarmouth Consolidated Memorial High School on Forest Street. The meeting will take place 7-9 p.m. It is one of nine meetings being held across the province.

The consultation committee is headed by Robert Fowler, who will be joined at each at the nine meeting locations by a local representative. In Yarmouth, David Saxton will be involved with the meeting.

The local representatives will listen to the public comments and contribute feedback to the full committee when it meets to discuss recommendations, which will eventually be forwarded to Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Karen Casey.

For her part, Casey is encouraging people to get involved in the consultative process.

"I encourage every Nova Scotian who is interested in improving the school review process to come out and share their views with the committee," says Casey. "We want a full discussion on a solution that works for all – students, families, school boards and communities."

The review was actually first asked for by former NDP education minister Ramona Jennex, who announced – just days after school boards across the province had completed school reviews – that a review of the process was in order because, in her opinion, the existing process was flawed and in need of improvement.

Fowler and a committee, with input from the public and other stakeholders, prepared a discussion paper that forms the basis of the school review meetings and consultation now taking place. Sessions will also be held with local school advisory council representatives in each location. Meetings with other interested groups, such as the Nova Scotia School Boards’ Association, have also been held.

The public meeting schedule, more information on the consultation process and the discussion paper can be found online at www.ednet.ns.ca/schoolreviewprocess. People can make submissions through the website, e-mail or regular mail.

The deadline for the committee to present its recommendations to Casey is Feb. 28.

Organizations: Yarmouth Consolidated Memorial High School, Nova Scotia School Boards

Geographic location: Yarmouth, Forest Street

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