MONCTON (CNB) - Jody Carr, minister of education and early childhood development, will meet tonight with a working group of parents and teachers that is developing contingency options for students of Moncton High School if it cannot reopen this fall.

"I look forward to hearing a progress update from the Moncton High School Contingency Working Group about their ongoing consultations with the local community," said Carr. "I understand this has been a challenging situation for all involved, which is why our government is committed to work with the local community on the development of solutions that minimize future disruptions of students, parents and educators."

The group was established last fall to work with community stakeholders to develop contingency plans and recommendations. A final report is expected to be submitted to the minister and to the District 2 Education Council later this month.

Carr said he appreciates the input and recommendations provided by individuals and groups and said he is looking forward to receiving the final report.

"We continue to explore all available options, including alternative placement sites," he said. "Our preferred solution is to keep Moncton High School students together, while also limiting future disruption of elementary-aged students."

In December, the provincial government announced a $10-million capital investment to begin planning for a new school to replace Moncton High School. A report from the Department of Supply and Services on the viability of Moncton High School's auditorium and tower is expected in the coming weeks.

"I appreciate the continued understanding and patience of parents, students, educators and community leaders who have remained engaged and actively involved in finding solutions," said Carr. "Our priority is to ensure that the students of Moncton High School, and of other schools that have been impacted, enjoy a safe, healthy and positive learning environment."