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Board meeting highlights - May 20, 2021

May 20, 2021

Board approves deficit budget

The Peace River School Division (PRSD) board of trustees approved the 2021-2022 budget at the regular board meeting held on May 20, 2021. The division approved the use of $1,337,978.00 in reserves to supplement the total budget of $52,184,450.00. “The board elected to use reserves to continue to support priorities identified by the board during the budget process” says Board Chair Darren Kuester. PRSD’s 2021-2022 budget will fund PRSD’s focus on literacy, numeracy, Inclusive Education initiatives, services and supports for students with complex and special needs, mental health and wellness initiatives, technology integration and employee contract obligations. Operational dollars provide safe and caring learning environments through physical upgrades, maintenance on schools and safe transportation for students. (view media release)

Trustees approve PRSD 2022-2025 Education Plan
During the regular board meeting, the board of trustees approved the PRSD 2022-2025 Education Plan. The PRSD Education Plan highlights three overarching priorities: Literacy Development/Achievement, Numeracy Development/Achievement and Inclusionary and Responsive Culture. “Our Education Plan format looks significantly different from past years” says PRSD Board Chair Darren Kuester. “We have narrowed down our focus, and adjusted reporting requirements to an assurance model as outlined by Alberta Education to all school boards in the province.” Strategies in the PRSD Education Plan reflect the voice of students, parents, staff and community members through face-to-face and virtual conversations, school and student council organizations, student representatives on PRSD’s Student Engagement Committees, meetings with our municipal partners, analyzing survey results and through strategic planning sessions with staff and the board of trustees. PRSD’s Education Plan can be viewed at prsd.ab.ca by choosing “Our Division” and “About PRSD” or by clicking here.  (view media release)

Board of trustees select 2021 “Friends of Education” Award nominee

The board is honored to announce that the late Jo-Anne Shaw from Fairview, Alberta has been selected as PRSD’s nominee for the Alberta School Boards Association (ASBA) Friends of Education Award. The award recognizes individuals or groups who make a special contribution to education and student learning. Jo-Anne was instrumental in the creation of the Family School Liaison Worker position at EE Oliver Elementary School in 1994 and served many students and families while in this position for both EEO and St. Thomas Moore until her retirement in 2002. Jo-Anne will be honored at the ASBA Zone One Fall Awards Ceremony on September 22, 2021.

Replacement of exterior doors at Fairview High School
Trustees reviewed a summary of bids received for the replacement of all exterior doors at Fairview High School. The board approved the lowest bid in the sum of $155,400.00 from Alumatec Glass Ltd.

2021 School trustee orientation
PRSD will host an internal orientation for newly elected trustees following the October 18, 2021 School Trustee Election. The board agreed that PRSD will hire an Alberta School Boards Association consultant to facilitate the orientation.

Board looks forward to meeting with Holy Family Catholic Regional School Division board of trustees
The board of trustees reviewed agenda items for their May 20, 2021 meeting with trustees from the Holy Family Catholic Regional School Division (HFCRD). Student transportation agreement, school of choice, new kindergarten to grade 12 school in Manning, COVID-19, Mental Health Collaboration, and the 2022 55+ Summer Games were items on the agenda.

Anti-Racism Committee meeting update
Trustees Delainah Velichka and Robyn Robertson, and Vice-Chair Crystal Owens provided the board of trustees with an update on PRSD’s newly formed Anti-Racism Committee. Trustees informed the board that the committee is seeking the assistance of a facilitator to lead the committee and Superintendent Paul Bennett will bring forward options for a facilitator to the June regular board meeting for the board’s consideration.

Student mental health advocacy
Trustees discussed next steps regarding the board’s advocacy efforts in response to data collected from PRSD’s Student Mental Health and Wellness Survey issued earlier this year. The board reviewed the Student Mental Health and Wellness Survey Summary and Actions Steps document that outlines strategies and next steps in response to the data collected from students, parents and staff. The board requested that administration develop key messages to assist the board in their efforts to advocate for adequate funding and supports for student mental health and wellness in PRSD schools and communities.

Board supports Alberta Food Matters pilot project grant application
The board of trustees agreed to write a letter of support for the Alberta Food Matters (AFM) Pilot Project grant application. PRSD’s letter will outline the board’s support of AFM’s application to the Government of Alberta Community Initiatives Program for grant funding to support a Community School Food Animator position. The goal of the Community School Food Animator would be to support teachers in providing food literacy to students. This program is based on an already vibrant program in British Columbia where there are currently seven Animators throughout the province. This position would engage with several school divisions and local food producers and schools to bring a locally supported school literacy program to life based on the Farm to School Model.

Policy Work
The board passed third and final reading of Policy 4 – Appendix – Trustee Code of Conduct Sanctions. View policies under review here.

May 27, 2021

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