New appointments and last minute renos at ETSB

By Matthew McCully

The start of a new school year is hectic at the best of times.
The Eastern Townships School Board put on a brave face during Tuesday evening’s council of commissioners meeting, just a few days away from welcoming students back to class while facing unprecedented challenges due to COVID-19 and the looming threat of Bill 40.
The vibe was positive among the commissioners and the plan, as described in Director General Michel Soucy’s report to council, is to “adapt together and succeed.”
Soucy thanked the parents who put their trust in the ETSB community and said health and safety will be a priority this year, but the focus, as always, will remain on student well-being and success.
The lead up to the new school year isn’t without a few hiccups, though.
During question period, Appalachian Teachers’ Association President Megan Seline shared concerns about Ayer’s Cliff Elementary School.
“Can someone explain what’s going on at ACES,” Seline asked, referring to photos sent to the board of classrooms and hallways at the school in complete disarray.
DG Soucy explained that there had been some delays acquiring materials for the renovation project at ACES but said the bulk of the work should be done by Friday, and a few minor repairs will be completed in the coming weeks.
With students expected on Monday, Seline pointed out teachers at ACES would not have the opportunity to properly set up their classrooms and asked if the board would consider delaying the opening of the school until staff had time to prepare their workspaces.
Pointing out that renovation miracles have happened before, Soucy said the board will evaluate the situation on a day-to-day basis, taking the needs of teachers in to account when making a decision.
During the meeting, the board announced a number of administrative appointments.

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