School Review Process: A Letter to Parents & Guardians in Northwestern Pictou County

CCRSB News: 
Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Dear parents and guardians of students at Pictou Elementry, Dr. Thomas McCuloch Junior High, Pictou Academy and Northumberland Regional High School:

As many of you may know, Pictou Elementary is a Public, Private, Partnership – or P3 – school, which the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development currently leases from a private owner. The lease on Pictou Elementary expires in June 2020 and the Minister of Education has asked CCRSB to decide if Pictou Elementary will be needed for the future by April 30, 2017.

On July 27th, CCRSB’s governing board members accepted a staff recommendation to review a group of three schools: Pictou Elementary, Dr. Thomas McCulloch Junior High School and Pictou Academy. Northumberland Regional High School is also included in the review process as a school that could potentially receive students. We are looking at four schools, not just one, in accordance with the Provincial School Review Process, and with the goal of creating the best educational opportunities for all of the students involved.

The School Review Process includes public meetings and representation for each school on the School Options Committee (SOC) which will provide guidance and options to CCRSB’s governing board members. The SOC includes two representatives from each School Advisory Council, as well as two business/community representatives. Over the coming weeks the SOC membership will be finalized through consultation with school principals and SAC chairs, and an independent facilitator will be hired to assist the SOC with its work.

All of the information required for the School Review Process, including our Long Range Outlook which contains important data about all four schools, as well as public meeting notices, minutes of School Options Committee meetings, and links to CCRSB and provincial policies and documents can be found on the School Review Process page on this website. The full SOC membership and Terms of Reference will also be available via this page by early September.

It is not ideal to begin a process like this in the summer, however, it is important that we respect the timelines of the School Review Process while working towards an April 2017 decision. We recognize and appreciate the significance of this process in the lives of everyone connected to these schools. We are committed to sharing information with you in as timely and transparent a way as possible.

I hope your summer has been enjoyable so far, and that you will have the opportunity to take advantage of the warm weather still to come. Please rest assured that you have not missed any public information or consultation opportunities during the summer, these will begin early in the next school year. We look forward to the opportunities that this process presents as we continue to examine how we can provide all of our students with the best educational opportunities and programs possible.

Respectfully,

Gary Adams, Superintendent of Schools/CEO Chignecto-Central Regional School