Students at two Annapolis Valley schools will continue sharing one building this September, meaning shorter days and staggered class times.

 

School board superintendent Margo Tait said yesterday that 600 students at West Hants Middle School will rejoin 900 students at Avon View High School because of air quality concerns. The middle school shut down for the last two weeks of the 2008-09 year after several students and staff complained of symptoms ranging from nausea to nosebleeds.

 

Tait said students will share the building “in a split-shift situation” until renovations at the aging middle school are completed -- something the board hoped would be completed by next January but will likely be delayed.

 

“That means the high school students will attend morning classes and the middle school students will attend in the afternoon,” Tait explained. “It’ll be a little less than a regular instructional day.”

She recognized the situation is neither common nor ideal, adding teachers were working with program specialists to make “the very best, tightest use of all of the instructional time.”

At a meeting earlier this week, parents heard that a consultant hired by the Education Department has determined dust build-up and “less than ideal ventilation” from renovations are likely what caused the rash of sickness, Tait said.

“He feels confident that once the renovations are complete, that the school will be a healthy place for students and staff.”