Vocational programs a priority

Monique Chiasson
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TRURO - The Chignecto Central Regional School Board's superintendent thinks

the provincial school board association is on the right track with its

funding priorities.

TRURO - The Chignecto Central Regional School Board's superintendent thinks

the provincial school board association is on the right track with its

funding priorities.

Elliott Payzant, the Nova Scotia School Board Association's (NSSBA)

president, recently spoke at a school board meeting in Truro and outlined

some of the priorities the provincial association would like to see

addressed. School boards across the province have lists of priorities they

want to see fulfilled, and each is hoping the provincial government will

come forward with $30 million, over five years, to help fulfill those

priorities. Board wish-lists are passed on to the NSSBA for further

consideration, but ultimately go to the provincial government for funding

approval.

"We want to increase pressure for vocational programs in the province," said

Payzant, regarding one of the priorities the provincial board is working

toward.

The current O2 program - Options and Opportunities - is a move towards

vocational learning, said Payzant. The O2 initiative introduces students to

hands-on vocational opportunities such as woodworking, tourism and culinary

arts.

Payzant said other priorities include recognizing the different learning

skills of students, enhancing opportunities for gifted students, and

encouraging the use of professinal learning communities (PLCs).

CCRSB superintendent Noel Hurley told the Truro Daily News he's pleased with

the priorities being sought by the association.

"Our board has encouraged PLCs," Hurley said, adding the local school board

has many other items on its wishlist.

"We need more learning programs and we have a large deferred maintenance

list" that needs financial attention as well, he said.

"There hasn't been adequate funding for education for years," said Hurley.

"(But) I'm very optimistic the government will deliver on its commitment."

The provincial government did not put additional money toward the initiative

last year because of budget concerns, said Hurley. School boards were told

it was a "one-year hiatus" from the extra funds.

Payzant said word of the priority list funding won't come down until the

spring.

There are eight schools boards in Nova Scotia. Priority lists were

determined by communication between the NSSBA, school boards,

superintendents, and other school board personnel. Hurley estimated, if the

money comes forth, that CCRSB would receive about $5 million of the $30

million because the local school board has about 17 per cent of students in

the province.

Organizations: Truro Daily News

Geographic location: TRURO, Nova Scotia, Chignecto

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