PA students feeling stressed as teachers pack for move

Pictou-Advocate-opinion

To the Editor:

(To Mrs. Trudy Thompson, chairperson, Central Office, 60 Lorne Street, Truro)

I am a student at Pictou Academy School. I am writing to express my concerns over the timeline to close Pictou Academy in the Town of Pictou.

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The decision to have P-8 move into the P3 school and 9-12 into the Dr. Thomas McCulloch building by September of 2017 seems to be too rushed. I believe that the board members should have given us more time. The period of time that has been given is creating a lot of stress on teachers as they have to pack up their things and move. That stress is also negatively impacting the students. We are feeling anxious that this is taking place so rapidly. I really think that more time should have been provided.

The expectation is to move to the other schools by September of 2017, but how do you expect teachers to pack up and move in such a small time frame?

Fact: teachers are done working as of the end of June. They do not get paid to be at school in July. Most teachers would want to pack their own things, but how do you expect them to pack when their jobs are to teach? June is a busy month with exams, marking, graduation and end of the year events. Teachers can not be expected to volunteer their time in July, especially after they were just legislated back to work. The Pictou Academy building will be not be accessible as of July 31 2017. Teachers have to get their stuff packed up and moved out before that date, and really before the end of June.

You are willing to maintain the education of the middle school students by busing them from the P3 school to the Dr. Thomas McCulloch building to use the Home Economics and Technology Education facilities for $6,000 a year. Education of all students is important, but are you making middle school students a priority over high school students?

The Dr. Thomas McCulloch building does not have the facilities that it should have to give high school students a proper education; there are no available biology and chemistry labs. These two subjects are extremely important for students who are studying sciences. Will there be enough time, and are you planning to renovate the McCulloch building so that there will be proper labs for students by September 2017?

Students are feeling some stressors because of what is going on in their community. With teachers packing up their classrooms already, students are feeling uncomfortable with the chaotic environment. It is upsetting to see everything being boxed up.

A short time ago, the Pictou Academy students were excited about an important time in our lives. Now it feels like we have no direction.

Change can be good, and we all adapt to it but it would be nice if all the changes were not happening so fast.

Ross MacLeod
Pictou Academy student