PORT HOOD: Inverness Municipal Council is telling the Strait regional school board that the status-quo is the only reasonable option for schools in the county.
“We need the status-quo with the schools until we get caught up with the population, and that’s what we’re working on,” said Warden Betty Ann MacQuarrie.
“If you look at the last few years, the student counts are either stabilizing or getting better. That’s what we as a council hope will continue to happen. We’d like to push that train forward for sure.”
Right now, a School Options Committee (SOC) is reviewing the Dalbrae Academy feeder system. The SOC recently announced two scenarios are being looked at for Grades Primary-8 schools Bayview Education Centre (BEC) and Whycocomagh Education Centre (WEC).
Maintaining the status-quo is one option, but also on the table is the option of closing BEC and moving students from the Port Hood-based facility to Dalbrae Academy in Mabou. WEC would maintain its P-to-8 status.
The SOC originally began with 11 options, but eventually narrowed things down to two.
Warden MacQuarrie said she and council want both WEC and BEC to remain open.
“The last two options are basically status-quo or closing the school, and we highly recommend to the school board that the status-quo is the only option to look at given that Inverness County is moving forward,” MacQuarrie said.
“Moving P-to-8 students out of their environment, with their playground and gymnasium, their soccer field, into a high school where there’s probably not much room for a playground or space for another gymnasium – how do you schedule a gym for eight more grades when it’s busy with high school sports?”
The warden added that council is drafting a letter to send to the school board, expressing its opinion.