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Oxford students to begin school year in Pugwash

Students at Oxford Regional Education Centre will start the school year in Pugwash after routine maintenance at the eight-year-old school found an issue with masonry work.
Students at Oxford Regional Education Centre will start the school year in Pugwash after routine maintenance at the eight-year-old school found an issue with masonry work. - Darrell Cole

Following issues with masonry work at OREC

OXFORD, N.S.- Students at Oxford’s Primary to Grade 12 school will start the school year in Pugwash.

The Chignecto-Central Regional Centre for Education announced Thursday that students at the Oxford Regional Education Centre will begin the new school year in just over a week at both Cyrus Eaton Elementary School and Pugwash District High School.

A news release from the regional office said the Oxford school was found to have an issue with the masonry work and will need to be repaired when students and staff are not present.

The school opened in 2010.

“While we recognize this is disruptive for teachers, staff, students and parents, we must err on the side of caution and conduct necessary repairs while the building is empty. Our students and staff safety must always be our top priority,” said CCRCE system development supervisor Chris Boulter said in the news release. “We have a contingency plan in place to ensure we can support our students, parents, and staff so they can have a smooth transition for the start of the 2018/19 school year. We deeply appreciate our school community’s patience as we move forward with these changes.”

Students in Grades Primary to 3 from both Cyrus Eaton and Oxford will attend classes at Cyrus Eaton in Pugwash with the pre-primary classes at both schools also being housed at the Pugwash elementary.

Students in Grades 4 to 6 will attend classes at Pugwash District High in a designated area, while students in Grades 7 to 12 will attend Pugwash District High in a split shift format with Pugwash students attending classes in the morning and those from Oxford in the afternoon.

Start times and bus pick-up times are still being determined.

Both of Cumberland County’s MLAs called on Education Minister Zach Churchill to provide more details.

Cumberland South MLA Tory Rushton said the upheaval is unacceptable and is calling on government to work “day and night” to ensure the impact is minimal.

“There’s no question that this government can speed things along when it wants to,” Rushton said in a news release. “If it requires round-the-clock shifts from now until the first day of school, it should happen. Shipping our children to Pugwash to receive education is an unacceptable course of action.

Cumberland North MLA Elizabeth Smith-McCrossin said parents must be told what the plan is for these repairs and how long their children’s education will be disrupted.

“This government has caused chaos to students and parents here,” Smith-McCrossin said. “I do not question the importance of safety, but parents and students need to be given the full plan. Anything less is unacceptable.”

darrell.cole@amherstnews.ca

Twitter: @ADNdarrell

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