Board meeting highlights - September 27, 2018

Board meeting highlights - September 27, 2018

Below are highlights from the regular board meeting held on September 27, 2018. All board highlight documents, meeting agendas, meeting dates, and other board information can be found on the PRSD Board of Trustees webpage.


Board approves transition plan for relocation of Central Office and Facilities Operations to Grimshaw
The board of trustees approved the transition plan for the relocation of PRSD’s Central Office and Facilities operations to the Grimshaw Jr Sr High School (GHS) building.  Renovation work to the Facilities Department will commence immediately and Plant Operations and Maintenance staff will start to relocate to the GHS building in December. PRSD’s Technology Services Department is scheduled to move in early July of 2019 and Central Office staff will move mid-July of 2019. Management staff are in the process of employee consultations that include a tour of the building and future office spaces whereby staff are invited to provide input.  Management staff have also met with consultants, applied for development permits and the division is hosting a surplus equipment Garage Sale on October 13, 2019 at Grimshaw Jr Sr High School from 8:00 am-4:00 pm.

Superintendent Bennett provides preliminary enrolment review 
Superintendent Paul Bennett provided the board with a preliminary update on PRSD’s student enrolment count. PRSD’s enrolment count as of September 19, 2018 is 3033 students which is slightly above June enrolment and slightly below projected September enrolment. School divisions in Alberta receive funding based on a per-student basis as of September 30 of each year.  Bennett will present trustees with the official enrolment report at the October regular board meeting.
Trustees declare November 13-16, 2018 “Parents Matter Appreciation Week”

Trustees approved that PRSD’s “PARENTS MATTER” Appreciation Week will be held from November 13-16, 2018. This is PRSD’s seventh annual Parents Matter Appreciation Week, a week of celebration and recognition through various school activities and events that allow students and staff to celebrate and thank parents and guardians for their involvement in their child’s education. “We are thrilled to celebrate the contributions of our parents and guardians” says Board Chair Darren Kuester. “Our parents and guardians are very important partners in education and important members of the Peace River School Division Family.”

Board of trustees review and discuss upcoming two-day board professional development session
The board reviewed plans for the November 29 and 30, 2018 board and senior management professional development (PD) session in Grande Prairie. Home education, First Nations Metis and Inuit, Mennonite outreach, parliamentary procedures and targeted professional development for individual trustees are items slated to be covered during the PD and team building session.

Superintendent salary
The Board of Trustees reviewed the superintendent’s compensation and trustees and the Superintendent mutually agreed that there will not be an increase in the Superintendent’s salary during the 2018-2019 school year.

Trustees identify areas of priority for Alberta School Boards Association survey
Trustees completed a survey by the Alberta School Boards Association (ASBA) that requests school boards to choose areas of priority in terms of education finance and facilities funding. Adequate and stable government funding, carbon tax rebate, integrated services funding, funding for plant operations and maintenance, small schools by necessity funding and funding for right-sizing are funding priorities put forth by the PRSD board of trustees. ASBA requested that Alberta school boards outline areas of priority to better assist the ASBA with government advocacy efforts.

Trustee Leitch appointed to ASBA Zone 1 Ad hoc advocacy committee
The Board of Trustees voted to appoint Ward 5 Trustee Lori Leitch to represent PRSD on the Alberta School Boards Association Zone 1 ad hoc committee. The ad hoc committee was formed to collect and research various school board data as a means to better understand and advocate for the needs of students in the north. “It is important that PRSD be represented on this committee” says Kuester. “The main purpose of the committee is to advocate for students in our school communities to have greater government based services and supports, especially in the north where access is limited.”

2018-2019 trustee school tour schedule
The board approved that school trustee tours be scheduled at TA Norris Middle School, EE Oliver Elementary School, Menno Simons Community School, Red Earth Creek School, Manning Elementary School and Paul Rowe Jr Sr High School during the 2018-2019 school year. Each year, official trustee tours are organized where the board tours schools in the division. During the school tours trustees enjoy interactions with and presentations from students. They also take part in focused meetings with school administration and meet with staff. “School tours are very important to the board” says Kuester. “It allows for focused conversations between students, staff and the board, and we have an in-person snapshot of what makes each of our schools unique. Kuester also extends the boards’ appreciation to schools for the time and planning put into school trustee tours. 

Communication Department provides annual review
During the regular board meeting, Communication Coordinator Vanessa Burns presented communication highlights from the 2017-2018 school year and presented the 2018-2019 Communication Plan. Highlights of the 2017-2018 school year included statistics regarding PRSD’s website, digital and traditional media impressions, completed projects, school event coverage, crisis support and communication support to schools. The 2018-2019 communication goals include a continuation of communication support to internal and external stakeholders, helping to develop and support the board’s advocacy and engagement plan, brand awareness, supporting communication through technology, and strategic communication work with school administrators.

Policy Work
The board of trustees approved second reading of Policy 3 – Role of the Trustee, Appendix C, a technical amendment to Policy 7 – Board Operations, first reading of Policy 8  Board Committees and a technical amendment to Policy 9 – Board Representatives. PRSD policies are reviewed annually and policies under review can be viewed HERE. Note that policies under review are posted on the website as the board is scheduled to review them.