Infrastructure assessments have begun for all three Sackville schools
Sackville Schools 2020 presented their vision for education to the District Education Council (DEC) of the Anglophone East School District at their meeting last Tuesday evening. Formed in the winter of 2015, the group has worked to address some of the major structural issues associated with the three schools in Sackville, particularly the 66-year-old Marshview Middle School. At the time, the school district suggested that Marshview students might simply be transferred into the empty spaces at the nearly 50-year-old Tantramar Regional High School. Students, parents and educators were concerned about this possibility, given the many structural issues associated with Tantramar, such as windowless classrooms, regular leaks in the roof, as well as heating and cooling issues.
The group grew and developed through a series of community meetings on the state our schools, as well as searching nationally and internationally for research on modern school design principles and the types of spaces that are ideal for teaching and learning. The group concluded that new construction will be required to provide students and teachers with the type of facilities appropriate for learning in the current world, not the factory model of the past. The presentation presented a rationale for studying all three schools in Sackville, so that we can have an integrated approach to education in the community, rather than short-term fixes to our old, tired schools.
The first step of the school review process, known as Policy #409, is an analysis of the costs of bringing the existing schools up to current design principles, as well as health and safety standards. This was the focus of the recent presentation to the DEC, as well as addressing what our community-wide vision for education would look like. Shortly after the presentation the DEC and superintendent confirmed that the Anglophone East School District has engaged the firm of Ernst and Young to conduct a review of the infrastructure of all three schools in Sackville, as part of a data gathering process, to be considered by the DEC later this spring (May/June). Sackville Schools 2020 is delighted by this decision and vows to monitor the reviews and continue to work with students, parents, teachers, government representatives, and education officials in designing new spaces and programs for learning in our community. Interviewed on the Sackville Schools 2020 approach, Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development Brian Kenny stated: “I wish to commend the group for the work you are doing in Sackville. A community-based effort is very important to the NB Education Plan and I support this innovative approach to integrating education into the overall community."