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Eastern Shore Consultation: Have Your Say!

An Invitation

The Regional Executive Director of the Halifax Regional Centre for Education (HRCE), Elwin LeRoux, is inviting students, families and the greater Eastern Shore school community to participate in a virtual consultation. The purpose of this consultation is to solicit feedback as HRCE considers the consolidation of Gaetz Brook Junior High (GBJH) and Eastern Shore District High (ESDH) schools. 

For an overview of the process, click here.

Background

In 2018, the provincial government announced a new Eastern Shore area high school to replace ESDH as part of it's multi-year Capital Plan. To read the news release, click here.

In 2019, the School Advisory Committee for GBJH expressed an interest in having their students included in the new building. 

The HRCE is gathering feedback on the consolidation of these two schools. Before the Regional Executive Director makes a recommendation to the Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development (EECD), we are holding this virtual consultation.

We are inviting all students, families and residents of the Eastern Shore to share their thoughts and ideas about the consolidation of these two schools. Your feedback is valued and will be considered in the final recommendation.

Here's our question: 

As we consider the consolidation of GBJH in the new ESDH school, what do you want us to know? 

Getting Started

There's lots to think about when it comes to consolidating two schools. Here's some information that may help inform your thoughts and ideas: 

What new program opportunities may be available in a school with more students? 
Public school courses will continue to be offered at the new high school. While courses will still be aligned to each grade, co-curricular activities (ex. school band, makerspace) sometimes benefit from more students who are interested to participate.

What about extra-curricular opportunities?
Extra-curricular activities are driven by student interest and available volunteers. In general, the larger the school, the more varied the activities for students.

What about purpose-built spaces?
All students in the school will have access to modern spaces including science labs, technology labs, production lab (i.e. wood working shop) and Youth Health Centre.  

How would student experience be different?
Students create community with their peers, often around shared interests and identities. This can vary with school size.

What is the impact for students with special needs?
Programming for students with special needs is done individually at every school. This that will continue to be done for all students at GBJH and ESDH regardless of the outcome of this consultation.

New schools are built to provide opportunities for all students. This includes being universally accessible for all users.  

Operational Details 

What about bussing?
Bus routing is an annual process. No significant change is anticipated.

What about bell times?
This will be determined before the opening of the school. No significant change is anticipated.

What about the school name?
There is an opportunity for the school to bring forward a name. This is part of the excitement of the new building, and will involve students, families and community.

Additional Resources:

How to Participate

We know conducting a consultation during a pandemic needs to be very different. We are offering multiple options for people to select the way that works best for them to share their thoughts and ideas. This will also allow you to provide feedback at the time most convenient. You can learn more in the following video.

Virtual Town Hall

We will be hosting a virtual town hall through Thoughtexchange. This platform provides participants with an opportunity to contribute ideas and opinions, see what others have offered, and rate the comments.

It’s quick. It’s easy. It’s done anonymously. Contribute as many times as you want. Click the link below to give it a try!

Other ways to provide input

We have created a number of opportunities for you to share your feedback between now and the end of November.

  • Complete this webform
  • Email: consult@hrce.ca
  • Phone: 902-464-2000 ext. 2109
  • Mail:
    Eastern Shore Consultation c/o HRCE
    33 Spectacle Lake Drive, Dartmouth NS B3B 1X7

Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts and ideas. Your voice matters!

Correspondence

  • November 3, 2020 - Link (Message from RED reminding families they can still participate)
  • October 8, 2020 - Link (Message from RED introducing consultation process)