Members of the Working Group have met regularly over the past many months and anyone is welcome to join our discussions. Here is a brief update on some of the activities we have been engaged in during the Spring:
- Met on several occasions with our local MLA Bernard LeBlanc. Bernard has been most welcoming and very positive about the Sackville Schools 2020 concept and the huge role that education plays in our community. He has been helpful in navigating changes to government education policies and school liaison roles at the District Education Council and the Dept. of Education, including assistance on the details on the new Education and Innovation Fund being developed through the Premier’s Office. We will continue to meet with M. LeBlanc over the summer months. In particular, we are looking forward to a joint meeting with the new Minister of Education, Hon. Brian Kenny, along with the Mayor of Sackville, John Higham, and our federal MP, Dominic LeBlanc. We are gathering details on the emerging opportunities for infrastructure funding that would work in assisting in the development of new school buildings in our community.
- Met with students and teachers at our local schools to discuss their ideal teaching and learning environments and how they would like to see our education system delivered here in Sackville. We have gathered much data on the existing challenges to effective learning in the range of school buildings we currently have operating.
- The Working Group has benefited greatly from meetings, tours and advice from Mr. Harry Doyle, Member of the Anglophone East School District Education Council (DEC). Harry has met with us and toured the existing schools in our region and has represented our concerns to the DEC these last several months. We look forward to working with our new elected member of the DEC, Michelle Folkins, who will be joining the DEC this fall.
- Hosted an Open House for area teachers to provide details on how Sackville Schools 2020 might be able to work with them in addressing their ideas and needs in our schools.
- Visited a number of different schools in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia and we have worked with educational architects, land developers and school designers in seeing the kinds of learning places that would work for Sackville. We have a number of proposals under consideration and hope to work with the school district and Dept. of Education on some of these new school design concepts.
- Met with officials at Mount Allison University in outlining and proposing enhanced models for an integrated education community, where experiential learning across pre-school to post-secondary levels of education can be the central focus of our community.
- Held discussions with the Mayor and Town Council and economic development staff at the Town of Sackville on making education a central feature of our community, with discussions with other Canadian communities on how a community development corporation might work in achieving this goal.
- Held workshops on how 21st Century learning skills are changing the nature of education in Canada and around the world. Former Assistant Deputy Minister David Roberts is assisting us in connecting to these important changes.
- Hosted the 10-Year Education Plan Advisor, Karen Branscombe Power, in her community consultations on the overall direction of education in New Brunswick. A Working Group member participated in the provincial roundtable on education and social policy changes with the Advisory Committee on the 10-year Education Plan, which has just been released.