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Regular Board Meeting Highlights - February 16, 2023

Anti-Racism Committee Update
Trustee Robertson provided updates to the Board about the Anti-Racism Committee. The purpose of the committee is to examine the Peace River School Division culture to create an anti-racism policy. The committee is as inclusive as possible and includes staff members with diverse racial and cultural backgrounds in order to ensure that a wide range of viewpoints are represented. It is comprised of three Trustees, two teachers, two administrators, two support staff, the Superintendent, Secretary Treasurer, and the Indigenous Education Coordinator. With this collaboration the committee can ensure efficient processes and productive meetings.  Together, each member of the committee is dedicated to planning and providing sensitivity training for staff members and opportunities for students in the Division to understand the importance of anti-racism.

The committee’s most recent meeting was held on Wednesday, February 15, where they worked on policy development, reviewed key messages from their last professional development experience, shared information about upcoming cultural activities in schools. The committee heard two presentations at their meeting. One with Alberta Health Services representative, Tammy Novak, to discuss programs and resources available to PRSD students, and another from Indigenous Coaching Professional Development Facilitator, Martin Noskey, who shared the importance of understanding students as whole individuals and how to make athletics free from racism. The committee also planned for their next meeting in May, where they will host a regional Blanket Exercise for Trustees to participate in.

Class 1 Driving School

Superintendent Adam Murray, Secretary Treasurer, Rhonda Freeman, and Director of Business Services, Carolynn Fraser, presented more information to the Board about the Class 1 Training Program business concept. They shared information on the educational rationale, program requirements, program concept, estimated capital requirements, estimated revenue assumptions, the estimated operating expense assumptions, and how they will continue to move forward. A Collegiate School Status - Initial Proof of Concept Application has been made to Alberta Education and is pending approval.

Departmental Presentation - Technology

Director of Technology Services, Shayne Pierson, shared a presentation to the Board about Artificial Intelligence (AI) in K-12 education. He explored the use of AI in classrooms and how to address concerns surrounding the advanced technology. Pierson outlined that it could enhance learning, as well as revolutionize teaching and learning. The benefits of using AI in classrooms was reviewed, which included the opportunity for personalized learning, students having the capability to receive specific instructions to meet their needs and abilities, increased motivation to learn and assisting in improving overall academic performance. Pierson also discussed the potential concerns, such as privacy and security, and the ethical use of AI in education.

Public School Board Association of Alberta (PSBAA)

The Board approved joining PSBAA for one year. PSBAA represents and advocates for Alberta’s public school boards and public education in Alberta. The association looks to promote and enhance public school systems to meet the needs of students and to lobby on behalf of public school boards through direct access to government. It also helps to identify and seek resolutions of issues specific to the public school system and to maintain relationships with educational organizations and associations.

Policy Development and Review – Policy 15 – School Closure

The Board reviewed Policy 15 – School Closure. The Trustees chose to strike an ad-hock committee to review the policy and bring back suggested revisions to a future Board meeting.

Feb 17, 2023

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