Annual Education Results Report 2020-2021
Superintendent Murray reviewed the results of the Annual Education Results Report 2020-2021. Due to COVID-19 the results were not as complete as previous years, as Provincial Achievement Tests and Diploma Exams were not held.
Board Policy 7 – Board Operations
Board Policy 7 – Board Operations was reviewed, and several changes were discussed. Secretary-Treasurer Freeman will make the changes and bring the Policy back to the January 2022 meeting for 1st Reading. The annual review of Policy 19 – Welcoming, Caring, Respectful and Safe Learning Environment as well as the Appendix – Student Code of Conduct was completed.
Departmental Presentation by Project Peace, YES Workers and Community Helpers Program
A presentation on Positive Mental Health Supports within PRSD was provided by Mental Health Capacity Building Program Manager, Sandra MacKenzie, Youth Education Support (YES) Supervisor, Tanna Bailey, and Community Helpers Program (CHP) Coordinator, Brianne Nettelfield. The presentation outlined the supports and roles of Success Coaches and YES Workers within the division and how they work directly with children, youth, staff, and the community to promote positive mental health. The presentation also highlighted how CHP deliveries education on healthy boundaries, the ethics of helping and community resources regarding suicide and mental health information to its participants. These programs are essential to the division because they support the PRSD goals and outcomes surrounding inclusionary practices, students’ physical and emotional well-being, and ensuring a safe and caring environment that celebrates diversity.
Cancellation of Psychiatrist Services
Alberta Health Services has given notification that a long-time psychiatrist’s contract will not be renewed. In February of 2021, PRSD issued a Student Mental Health and Wellness Survey to PRSD students in grades 7-12 for all staff and parents. A total of 1800 responses were received – 77% of grades 7-12 students, 24% of parents and guardians, and 71% of staff responded to the survey. PRSD issued this survey as several students, families and staff have communicated the lack of access to services and supports related to mental health, addictions, physical and learning disabilities and the board wanted to learn more from its’ stakeholders.
Supports for mental health, addiction, and supports for children with learning and physical disabilities are crucial for students to learn and reach their full potential, as they need to be mentally healthy. Not having access to these services will be a detriment to our students and communities.
The Board voted in favour of writing letters to the Minister of Health and our partnering Municipalities regarding the non-renewal of a contract for psychiatrist services for our students by Alberta Health Services (AHS). Alberta Health Services has not indicated there is a plan to fill this void in professional services. Children that are currently using this service were advised to book follow-up appointments with their family physician. Unfortunately, there is a shortage of family doctors in the North so that option is not possible for many.