CA School Image Block Left
CA Random Image Block right
About Our School
- Principal's message
I am pleased to welcome you to the webiste for Canso Academy. Our school incorporates grades 9 to 12 and is located in the community of Canso. We serve students from the following communites:
Half Island Cove
Background information on Canso Academy
CansoAcademy is a Grade 9 to Grade 12 School under the jurisdiction of the Strait Regional School Board. It is located in the center of the Town of Canso and overlooks Chedabucto Bay. Currently, the school population is drawn from the Town of Canso and several smaller communities from the Municipality of the District of Guysborough.
There is a rich history regarding schools in Canso. As early as 1830, a meeting regarding the establishment of a school at Canso resolved unanimously that a school was highly necessary. In 1847, the first public school was erected on Middle Street (site currently home of Carol King). This was soon found to be too small and was replaced by the Forrester building, a larger and more pretentious building. This also proved to be inadequate and in 1890, it was remodelled by A. N. Whitman, as a duplex. It changed hands many times over the years and is now the residence of John Bent.
In 1890, a new school building was opened on the present site. It was remodelled in 1924-1925 and ranked highly among provincial schools and the best in the inspectorate, a source of pride among community members. On Dominion Day in 1928, the historic Cairn on the lawn was officially unveiled, the plaque signifying the importance of the school in Canso’s history. In 1944, the school burned down forcing students to attend makeshift classrooms in the Fader House (site currently the home of Edna Bond) on Middle Street and the Wilmot House (a former hotel) on Union Street. The present school was built and opened in 1951. The official opening ceremony was delayed to January 18th, 1952 and this event remains one of the most important days in Canso’s long and colourful history. Distinguished guests who traveled to Canso to mark the event included the Honourable Henry Hicks, Minister of Education, the Honourable A. W. MacKenzie, Minister of Agriculture (Guysborough County MLA) and Dr. H. P. Moffatt, Deputy Minister of Education and a native son of Canso. In October, 1987, Canso High School students took to the streets to draw public attention to the deplorable condition of the school gymnasium and foyer. In 1988, funds were announced to build a state of the art gymnasium and foyer, reopening for the 1991-1992 school term.
The Canso Board of School Commissioners, answerable to the Town Council, operated one school, Canso High, and students from primary to Grade 12 from the Town of Canso attended. During the 1970s, some students from nearby communities, specifically Hazel Hill and Little Dover, paid tuition to the Town to complete high school grades as the closest high school was in Guysborough. In 1982, Canso High became a Grade 7 to Grade 12 School and part of the Guysborough District School Board. Town students from Grades primary to Grade 6 attended Hillside School (now Fanning) located in Hazel Hill. County students became part of the Grade 7 to Grade 12 student body in Canso. In February, 1996, Antigonish, Richmond, Inverness and Guysborough District School Boards amalgamated into the first Regional School Board in Nova Scotia, the Strait Regional, of which we are still a part today. The name Canso High School was changed to Canso Academy.
Canso High has always been the center of many activities, especially once the original gymnasium was added. Students participated in a variety of sports and Canso High boasted many competitive teams, often competing at the Provincial level. The school was the center of athletics offered in the town. Many community groups were able to stage events that otherwise would not have had a venue. Even today, the school is community minded with different groups, such as Scouts, Cadets and Star of the Sea Religious Education running their programs one night weekly. Canso Academy is the home of ECYA (Eastern Communities Youth Association) as it has been for ten years. ECYA provides activities for the youth of the area and occupies several rooms on the bottom floor with access to the gym.
The school population of Canso High, grade 7 to grade 12, reached an all-time high of 416 in the mid-eighties when it was part of the Guysborough District School Board. However, records indicate that there were between 330 and 375 students enrolled in the Canso schools in the early 1900s. Today, there are fewer than 80 students enrolled in Canso Academy. Despite the small numbers, Canso academy is able to provide a solid high school program achieved with creative scheduling, selective courses and participation in Distance Education. As well, students with diverse learning styles and abilities are integrated into the regular classes, their needs being addressed with individual program plans.
Canso schools have always been committed to a high standard of instruction and achievement in its staff and students. Students from Canso High who have gone on to further study need not take a back seat to anyone. The preparation is sound and they are prepared to face the rigors of demanding programs at the post-secondary level. One has only to peruse the composite graduation photos which line the walls of the school to see that our graduates are found in every possible profession and trade, many having achieved a high level of success in their particular field.
Families have been employed mainly in the fishing industry over the years. However, since 1990, the downturn in the industry has forced many young families to move out of the area, to work in many sectors, removed from the fishing industry. This out-migration, coupled with smaller families, account for the current small school population. However, the school continues to be important in the community. The community is adamant that a school must remain and be a focal point. Parents support the school in many capacities. As members of the School Advisory Council and advocates for School Improvement Planning, they hope that there will continue to be a local High School.
Change has been constant over the years, but so is the quality of education at Canso High. The ideals which were fostered at Canso High served all students. Qualities such as self-esteem, love of learning, citizenship, work ethic, dependability, responsibility, are life-long acquisitions with which students of Canso High entered the adult world. The community measures the success of Canso High because students are successful in the communities in which they now live and in their trades and professions.
Canso Academy Mission Statement
Canso Academy supports the development of lifelong learners through the use of community
resources, educational methods that respect the diverse needs of all learners that are key to
individual and community growth. The school endeavors to expose students to the value of the
past, the excitement of the present, and the challenges of the future