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New Broad Street Schools: Your Questions

Q: How will families (and students) choose between Charles P. Allen High and the new school on Broad Street? What will families and students base their decision on? How will HRCE:

  • Prevent overcrowding?
  • Balance enrolment?
  • Prevent competition between schools, or the perception of one school being better?

A: At this point in our consultation, we simply want to hear your thoughts about this unique approach. Is this something you and your child/ren would be interested in? Would more traditional boundaries for the high schools be the better choice? The idea of choice is just an idea and details about specific programming, etc. will not be determined until boundaries are finalized.


Q: What will student transportation look like? Can you provide routing details now?

A: HRCE provides student transportation based on the criteria outlined in the provincial School Transportation Policy. Families will receive routing information for the 2023-2024 school year in July 2023. 


Q: What about the overcrowding at Basinview?

A: A modular classroom structure was built at Basinview Drive Community School in the summer of 2021 and opened its doors to students that fall. The modular allowed HRCE to remove the portable classrooms on site and will help support future enrolment growth. The structure includes 12 classrooms and washroom facilities and has a capacity for 300 students. To read more, click here. To see what a modular addition looks like up close, click here.


Q: How was the proposed Pre-Primary to Grade 8 (PP-8) boundary determined?

A: Our guiding principles in determining the proposed boundary for the new PP-8 school on Broad Street were:

  1. Easing enrolment pressures at Bedford South School, Kingswood Elementary School and Madeline Symonds Middle School; 

  2. Addressing current growth projections for the Charles P. Allen Family of Schools (CPA FOS); and

  3. Creating space for the proposed grade reconfigurations for the CPA FOS. 

Here’s how growing enrolment pressures are impacting these schools:

  1. In the CPA FOS, there are 29 portable classrooms in use. Fifteen of those portables are located at these three schools. 

  2. Kingswood currently requires seven portable classrooms and Bedford South requires two portable classrooms, even though Kingswood’s Grade 5 and 6 (English program only) students, and Bedford South’s Grades 5 and 6 students were relocated to Rocky Lake Elementary.

  3. Kingswood Pre-Primary students attend their program at a leased space on Kearney Lake Road.


Q: How do I decide which high school my child should attend? Will different programming be offered at each school? When will this be announced?

A: To help families with their decision, we would like to offer different programming at Charles P. Allen High and the new Grades 9-12 school on Broad Street. Our team is in the planning phase with this approach and specific programming has not yet been determined. Please remember that this is just a concept. No decisions have been made.


Q: You indicate that it may take a few years to complete the transition plan for the items outlined in the proposal. What does this mean? How will next school year look?

A: Our focus at this time is to collect input on our proposals. Once these have been finalized and boundaries are established, we will begin to communicate other items including our transition plans. You can expect more information in February.


Q: Will the new schools have French Immersion?

A: Yes. We plan to offer Early French Immersion at the new Pre-Primary to Grade 8 school. French Immersion will also be offered at the Grades 9-12 school.


Q: Will the proposed high school model be based on a first come, first served approach? What if everyone chooses one high school over the other? Is there an enrolment cut off?

A: Our focus at this time is to collect input on our proposals. Once these have been finalized and boundaries are established, we will begin to communicate other items. We are currently in the planning phase. You can expect more information in February.


Q. Is there enough time to properly conduct this review and genuinely consider the input?

A. We have every confidence that the community will be engaged from the start and will give us plenty of input to make the best decision for all students in the CPA FOS.


Q. Why are you not having a public meeting?

A. We recognize people are busy and holding a one-time meeting to hear from the community often means people are left out if they are unable to attend. We have also heard from past consultations that not everyone feels comfortable sharing their views in public. Instead, we will be hosting a Virtual Town Hall using ThoughtExchange which will allow people to provide as much input as they wish at any time during the consultation. It is accessible, always open and anonymous.


Q. What is ThoughtExchange?

A. ThoughtExchange is an online platform that provides participants with an opportunity to contribute ideas and opinions, see what others have offered, and rate comments. All the responses and input are gathered anonymously.


Q. Have you used ThoughtExchange for this purpose in the past?

A. We used ThoughtExchange to engage the Eastern Shore Family of Schools in a similar consultation when determining the grade configuration for their new school. We were pleased with the interaction it generated. We had more than 350 participants who provided almost 550 thoughts. Those thoughts generated close to 13,000 ratings which indicates a high level of interaction among those who participated.


Q. Originally, the plan was to conduct this review in 2021. Why the delay?

A. The intention was always to conduct the review the year prior to the school opening. When the school opening was pushed to September 2023, it made sense to move the review forward by one year. That allows us and the community to use the most up-to-date information at hand to make the most informed decisions possible.


Q. Who makes the ultimate decision on the boundaries?

A. The Regional Executive Director will determine the boundaries of the Broad Street schools as well as any necessary grade reconfigurations in the other schools within the CPA FOS. This consultation seeks to provide input to the Regional Executive Director’s decision-making process.


Q. What does a choice boundary mean?

A. With Charles P. Allen High and the new Grades 9-12 school on Broad Street so close to each other, there is an opportunity to develop and offer specialized programs for students. When these programs are established, families will be able to choose which high school to attend. Picture both schools having the same boundary map, but offering different programming. Please remember that this is just a concept. No decisions have been made.


Q. What will the enrolment numbers be at the new schools?

A. It is projected the new schools will have an enrolment of approximately 2,000 students (800 at the PP-8 and 1,200 at the 9-12).


Q. Who will be the principals of the new schools?

A. The principals have already been appointed and are actively participating in the design process along with a representative of each School Advisory Council. They are Susan Casey (PP-8) and Sean MacDonald (9-12).


Q. How many teachers will the new schools have?

A. The number of teachers depends on enrolment. All schools will be staffed to ensure compliance with provincial class cap guidelines.


Q. What happens to school staff?

A. The principals will work collaboratively with Human Resources Services and the Nova Scotia Teachers Union to facilitate the staffing process in accordance with the applicable provisions of the collective agreement.


Q. Will the new high school have a football team?

A. Extra-curricular activities depend largely on the interest of students and the availability of volunteers (teachers and others).


Q. Will students currently at Charles P. Allen High be able to graduate from CPA?

A. Yes.


Q. What will be the names of the new schools?

A. It will be up to the community, led by the principals, to decide. In the interim, they are known as the Broad Street schools.


Q. Will schools in the CPA FOS still require portables?

A. Yes, it is anticipated there will still be portables required within the FOS but they will be greatly reduced.


Q. Who should I contact if I have questions?

A. Reach out in any of the following ways:

  • HRCE Website: Click here

  • Email: consult@hrce.ca

  • Phone: 902-464-2000 ext. 2109

  • Mail: Broad Street Schools Boundary Consultation
             c/o HRCE 33 Spectacle Lake Drive, Dartmouth, NS B3B 1X7