GUYSBOROUGH: Strait regional school board (SRSB) officials say they are continuing with business as usual until they receive further information on the board’s impending dissolution.
Following February’s monthly meeting of the SRSB, chair Jamie Samson said he is waiting for instructions from the Education Minister following last month’s decision by the province to dissolve its seven elected English school boards. The boards will be replaced with a provincial advisory council. The announcement was part of the government’s response to the 22 recommendations included in a recent review of Nova Scotia’s public school system by education consultant Dr. Avis Glaze.
“When Dr. Glaze released her report two weeks ago now almost, there was that surprise and disappointment in the board, but there’s been no new information other than that the minister released some directives last week, telling the boards what we couldn’t do going forward,” said Samson.
On January 29, Education Minister Zach Churchill issued letters to school board officials. The letters outlined specific directives to be followed during the transition period as the government prepares the new legislation required to dissolve the boards. Under the new directives, decisions on a variety of board matters will require approval from the minister, including the approval of new board policies, entering agreements or making any substantive changes including decisions on transportation finance, operations and staff. The board will need approval from the minister before initiating any new school reviews. The letter also stated that boards must continue to work with the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development to implement universal pre-primary programming.
“Other than that, we haven’t heard any new information, so we’re waiting to hear back from the minister or from the government on what’s going to happen with the boards,” said Samson.
Samson says that for now, the SRSB will continue to function until they receive further information.
“The minister was very clear that we are still a governing board until told otherwise, so we’ll continue to govern until then,” he added.