Nova Scotia

Reprieve may be in the works for Sydney IB program

A member of the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board says a plan is in the works to save the International Baccalaureate program at Sydney Academy.

School board member offered hope at a meeting Monday night

About 200 people attended the meeting to fight to keep the IB program at Sydney Academy. (Joan Weeks)

A member of the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board says a plan is in the works to save the International Baccalaureate program at Sydney Academy.

Some people were shocked when a committee of the board recommended cancelling the program. Sydney Academy is the only school in Cape Breton where students can take advanced courses as part of the internationally-recognized diploma.

About 200 students, former students and parents gathered at Sydney Academy Monday night to show their support

"I don't want to promise you anything or get your hopes up," Board Member Gary Fraser said to the crowd. "But come Monday, the 18th, the program is going to stay here."

Fraser was the only board member to attend Monday's meeting. Earlier in the night, the board met to discuss the IB program.

The board will make its final decision at a meeting on June 18.

"I will be voting to keep the IB program here at Sydney Academy," Fraser said.

Fraser wouldn't say how many other members will vote to keep the program, but he said he's optimistic.

Many who spoke at the meeting at the school expressed dismay board officials were ready to phase out the program. They said the board had few facts, and those facts were incorrect.

Last week, Lorne Green, the chair of the board, said the decision was about redirecting resources rather than budget issues. He said some classes have as few as five students.

Backers of the program have formed a committee that will make a presentation at the next board meeting.

The IB program is offered at 13 public schools in Nova Scotia.

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