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Schools are vital to community life.

That is why school closures trigger a variety of human emotions that range from denial to anger, fear and ultimate acceptance. Regional school boards have reviewed several schools across the province for more than 20 years until the recent announcements that some of them would be disbanded.

Groups have studied schools to determine their long-term viability based on a building’s age and condition, as well as current enrolment as a proportion of its capacity. These are some of the over-riding reasons why some local schools are closed.

Declining student enrolment has also driven a school review process. Across the province and by region, especially outside the Halifax Regional Municipality, school populations have plummeted from near capacity to less than half.

In some cases, new schools are a way to update resources and course options available to students. New schools by times are seen to make more sense than renovating or upgrading older facilities. Consolidation has preserved schools in some Nova Scotian communities and has cost other communities their schools. This is evident in both urban and rural areas.

Restoring communities’ once healthy populations and thriving economies is a long-term solution to reversing the trend to close schools. Until then, school reviews need to be done with great wisdom and care.

The Hub model that surfaced in recent years, whereby buildings house a variety of community activities besides those connected directly to education, is worth considering. It’s a way to save schools and communities, while preserving the goal of achieving the best possible outcomes for students.

This series of articles, compiled by Advocate Media newspapers in Nova Scotia, is a sample of some of the many articles on school reviews and closures that were written over the past several years by staff members. We hope they give insight into some of the closures and the effects they have had on the students and communities.

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School Closures
March 3, 2018

Pictou Advocate: List of Pictou County schools closed, facing closure, demolished or repurposed

Following is a partial list of Pictou County schools closed, facing closure, demolished or repurposed:…
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School Closures
March 1, 2018

The Reporter: School board ‘celebrates’ St. Andrew’s renovations

The Strait Regional School Board (SRSB) gathered at an Antigonish County school for its latest…
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School Closures
February 28, 2018

Lighthouse Now: Education minister advocates giving power to local schools

Decentralizing decision making and giving it back to the schools is one of the important…
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School Closures
February 21, 2018

Lighthouse Now: Co-chair of Pentz Elementary School Advisory Council: Pentz to remain open

In what looks like another stunning victory for South Shore parents, Pentz Elementary School will…
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School Closures
February 8, 2018

The Reporter: Parents air concerns with school review

Emotions ran high as the Strait Regional School Board (SRSB) set the wheels in motion…
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School Closures
April 6, 2017

Pictou Advocate: Academy students to remain in Pictou

High school students will continue to attend school in Pictou. There was wide-ranging reaction during…
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School Closures
March 7, 2017

The Reporter: Minister grants extension to Inverness County school review

The committee reviewing the future of three Inverness County schools for the Strait Regional School…
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School Closures
January 31, 2017

The Reporter: Status-quo among options for two school reviews

The status-quo is among the possibilities under consideration for each of the two committees carrying…
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School Closures
June 10, 2016

Pictou Advocate: Anderson hopes work at East Pictou gets done

Hope remains that work to transfer students to F. H. MacDonald School will proceed. Gordon…
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School Closures
June 14, 2015

Pictou Advocate: Hopes fading to keep River John school open

Stakeholders are searching for what few options remain to save River John Consolidated School from…
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School Closures
June 15, 2014

Enfield Weekly Press: Parents not happy with board’s decision

Parents of Maitland District Elementary School were not pleased with the decision of the Chignecto-Central…
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School Closures
March 20, 2014

Pictou Advocate: Board keeps HCMS closed, votes to upgrade MacLeod

The Chignecto-Central Regional School Board has begun the process of completing the conversion at Dr.…
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School Closures
March 6, 2014

Pictou Advocate: Stakeholders keep support for F.H. MacDonald option

The distinctions and similarities of two school closure studies emerged once again from meetings last…
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School Closures
September 19, 2012

Pictou Advocate: Landry pledges $18 million for New Glasgow P-8 school

One more step was taken Friday toward building a new school in New Glasgow. Justice…
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