News release

No Plans to Close Inverness Academy

The Strait regional school board has assured Education Minister Jane Purves it supports plans to keep Inverness Academy open as long as possible.

"Here, we have a new multimillion-dollar school just opened in 1992," said Ms. Purves. "We want to make good use of that school as long as possible."

At a meeting Aug. 31, parents and community members said the board's removal of junior high students from Inverness Academy, coupled with declining enrolments, could lead to the loss of high school programs. The minister recognized the reality of declining enrolments, but she wants the school to benefit as many students as possible.

"Rather than move students out of their community, why not move Inverness students from lower grades into the new school?" asked the minister. "The school has plenty of room and the facilities are great."

Ms. Purves raised this idea with the Strait regional school board. The board, with community participation, will form a school steering team to plan the transition. The team would work to ensure the high school program remains for a minimum of five years.

"This plan is a win-win for the children of Inverness and for the taxpayers of Nova Scotia," the minister said. "The children in Inverness can stay together in one school, in their own community, and we can protect our investment in a school that is less than 10 years old."

FOR BROADCAST USE:

Nova Scotia's education minister says Inverness Academy won't be closing any time soon.

The Strait regional school board has assured the minister, Jane Purves, that it supports plans to keep the school open as long as possible.

Community members who met with the minister late last month feared the school could close because of declining enrolment, and because the board had moved junior-high students to another school.

The education minister suggested the board move students from lower grades into Inverness Academy.

The school board supports the idea, and will form a steering team to plan the transition.

The steering team will work to ensure the school remains open for a minimum of five more years.

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Contact:

Donna MacDonald
Department of Education 902-424-2615 E-mail:

NOTE TO EDITORS: A fact sheet on issues facing the Strait regional school board is available by e-mailing or calling 902-424-4492.

kjd                      September 21, 1999    3:30 p.m.