TRURO - School board members say they have to make school review closures based on updated facts and the ultimate well-being of all students; not on emotion.
At the Chignecto-Central Regional School Board's regular monthly meeting in Truro this week, officials again discussed ongoing school reviews. The board is reviewing the fate of Bass River and Maitland District elementary schools as well as East Pictou Middle School, River John and Wentworth Consolidated schools.
Members discussed new enrolment data for the schools in addition to projections for each facility for the next five years. Some members voiced their frustration that new information, such as enrolment, is being made available mid-way through the process.
"We need accurate data in a timely manner," said member Jamie Stevens.
2011 data was initially used when considering enrolment in the reviewed schools because the review process officially began last year.
Board members also remarked that some comments have come to them from the public saying it's the board's responsibility to "save the community" through the schools.
Ron Marks asked, "whose job is it to save communities?"
"We are here to educate children; not to save communities ... communities won't collapse if schools close," continued Marks.
Members voiced their opinions that ultimately what is best for the students in all schools must be the end result.
"We cannot let our emotions make our decision," said board vice-chairman Keith MacKenzie.
"The first and foremost responsibility is to students," said Wendy Matheson-Withrow.
"We need to do what is right thing for everybody," added Glenda Talbot-Richards.
Locally, Bass River Elementary School's public hearing will be Feb. 25 at 6:30 and will take place at West Colchester Consolidated. Maitland District Elementary School's meeting will be held at the school on March 4 at 6:30 p.m.