We are fortunate in our Municipality to have five formal Community Use Schools: Forest Heights Community School (FHCS) in Chester Grant, Aspotogan Consolidated Elementary School (ACES) in Hubbards/Mill Cove, and New Ross Consolidated School (NRCS) in New Ross, Chester Area Middle School (CAMS) and Chester District School (CDS) in Chester. FHCS & ACES were developed as Community Schools from the beginning (FHCS in 1992 and ACES in 2000). New Ross Consolidated School became a Community School in 2018 and CAMS & CDS transitioned to Community Schools in Janaury 2021. In all cases, an agreement is in place between the South Shore Regional Centre for Education and the Municipality of the District of Chester, which formalizes the ability of the public to access these spaces in an easy and affordable way.
In addition to the schools being available for rent, recreation programming also takes place for the schools, making them a centre for community activity, education, and fun. These programs are listed seasonally in our Explore Life recreation guide and are organized by the Community School Coordinator and the Community Development Coordinator. As a result of rentals and organized programs, a wide variety of activities and functions take place in our community schools; everything from fitness classes and meetings of non-profit community groups, to dog agility and model airplane flying!
NRCS is an elementary school in the Municipality for Grades Pre-Primary to 8. The school offers a large sunken gymnasium with a wide range of equipment for sports, exercise and games. The sides of the gymnasium feature built-in bleachers, along with a large stage for performances which also serves as a cafeteria space. Rooms within the school vary in size and capability. Along with the classrooms, the school has a conference room suitable for meetings and a large multi-purpose room featuring several kitchen spaces which are perfect for community gatherings and birthday parties. The school also offers a large outdoor track, soccer field, tennis court, playground and outdoor fitness equipment.
ACES is an elementary school for Grades Pre-Primary to 5. Some of the rooms within the school are equipped with youth-sized furnishings limiting public use by adults to the cafeteria, gymnasium, music room and select other rooms. The gymnasium has a synthetic floor and is equipped with basketball hoops with height adjustability, as well as equipment for volleyball, badminton, youth floor-hockey and a variety of other activities. There is a small stage on one end of the gym. The music room is designed with good acoustics in mind and is equipped with a carpeted riser for performance use. The cafeteria is large enough for birthday parties or community meetings with natural lighting and good acoustics. The school also has a small play-field as well as a variety of playground elements.
FHCS is the only high school in our Municipality and was built to operate with approximately 400 students. There is a large gymnasium with a hardwood floor, retractable bleachers, six basketball nets (one main court or two smaller courts) and the capacity and equipment for volleyball, badminton, gymnastics, floor-hockey and a variety of other activities. The gym can be split easily with a motorized curtain-wall. The cafeteria space will comfortably sit over 200 people and has a stage with a hardwood surface. The area was designed with performances in mind and has excellent lighting and sound qualities. Audio and lighting equipment is also housed at the school and can be used by community groups upon request. Classrooms within the school offer a variety of sizes and capabilities. Most are standard classrooms with desks or tables and chairs but two are equipped with stoves, fridges, and counter space for meal preparation. All classrooms are equipped with LCD projectors and screens. A unique amenity of the school is an enclosed, outdoor courtyard containing a variety of ornamental trees and shrubbery. The school also has a soccer field, two ponds, and is bordered by a large track of Crown land consisting of mixed forest, trails and waterways.
CAMS & CDS schools offer a large sunken gymnasium, a smaller level gym, a full size outdoor track and two soccer fields. One side of the CAMS gymnasium features built-in bleachers, another side features a large stage for performances which also serves as a cafeteria space. Rooms within the schools vary in size and capability. Along with the classrooms, the schools have various multi-purpose rooms suitable for meetings, workshops and other activities. CAMS is equipped with an elevator to support accessibility of the gymnasium.
Area Public Schools
The Municipality has one High School with four feeder schools.