Board Advocates for Red Earth Creek School
During a discussion regarding the Board of Trustees capital plan, the Board of Trustees re-confirmed the need to continue to advocate for a new school building in Red Earth Creek that will serve the needs of that community for years to come. Currently, the Peace River School Division does have design funding for a new school in Red Earth Creek, but the size of the school the province has proposed to build is inadequate, according to Superintendent Adam Murray.
“The design funding only includes seven homerooms, and forces the school to use other spaces like the kitchen, or possibly CTS space, as a homeroom,” he explained. Murray also said the proposed plan does not include adequate storage spaces or staffroom space. “We aren’t going to accept something that isn’t going to work.”
Red Earth Creek is a K-12 school with an enrollment of 106 students. The school’s enrollment has grown rapidly in recent years.
The Board of Trustees will attend a meeting in Red Earth Creek in early February to speak with Lesser Slave Lake MLA Scott Sinclair, and representatives from the Municipal District of Opportunity. The goal of that meeting is to provide the Trustees with an opportunity to further advocate for a right-sized school for this growing community.
“It’s our duty to get in there and advocate, that’s our job,” said Trustee Dyck.
Insurance Policy Review
In response to a request from Trustee Dyck, Trustees heard a presentation from Marsh, the PRSD’s insurance broker, on the various coverages and policies that are in place to protect the Division’s staff and physical assets.
The Board of Trustees passed the first reading of Policy 4: Trustee Code of Conduct. This policy will return to the Board at a later date for second and third readings.
The Trustees also reviewed Policy 15: School and Program Viability. This was the second time the amended policy has come to the board, and was up for second and third readings. Trustee Lori Leitch brought forward a letter from the Worsley Central School Parent Council containing feedback on the draft policy. The Trustees went through each of the areas of concern highlighted in the letter from the parent council, and discussed how making some of the suggested amendments may impact PRSD schools.
“What they are doing is asking us to quantify things, but that’s probably the last thing they actually want us to do,” said Trustee David Rushton.
Policy 15 has been amended to remain vague in relation to things like total school populations, and the cost of renovations or modernizations, in order to provide the Division with as much opportunity as they need to find solutions for their small schools and keep these schools open and operational, explained Trustee Leitch, who is a member of the Board’s policy committee.
After the discussion had concluded, the Trustees unanimously approved second and third readings of Policy 15. A motion was also made to have a letter sent to the Worsley Central School Parent Council thanking them for their feedback.