Board Highlights November, 2019
Board passes motion to host Headstrong Youth Summit in 2020
The board of trustees passed a motion to support Trustee Leitch in leading the Zone 1 Headstrong Youth Summit on February 7-8, 2020, which will take place at the Mile Zero Regional Multiplex in Grimshaw. This event was an initiative by the Mental Health Commission of Canada. Trustee Leitch is spearheading this momentous event with support from the Canadian Mental Health Association and Mental Health Commission Canada. Board Chair Kuester stated to Trustee Leitch, “Thank you for being the driving force in bringing this to Grimshaw; it is a positive event for the mental health and well being of all students, and Peace River School Division (PRSD) is very proud to be hosting students from across the zone.” Leitch was inspired to host the event after attending the Headstrong Conference in Red Deer in the Spring of 2019, along with other trustees and two PRSD students.
Board moves to accept resignation of Ward 1 Trustee
With regret, the board of trustees accepted the resignation of PRSD’s Ward 1 trustee, Christopher Schneider, effective November 16, 2019. The division thanks Schneider for his dedication during his time as a trustee. Schneider’s departure is due to the event of moving to a residence outside of the Ward 1 boundaries. In accordance with the Local Authorities Election Act, when a trustee moves out of their ward they must resign their trusteeship. Ward 1 encompasses the areas of Red Earth Creek, Nampa and Peace River. Schneider has served on the board since October 16, 2017. The board will be further discussing the Ward 1 trusteeship at the December 19, 2019 board meeting.
PRSD Blended Learning Departmental Presentation for the Board of Trustees
Jeff Thompson, Assistant Superintendent of Teaching and learning, and Shayne Pierson, Manager of Technology Services, provided the board of trustees with a report on the current state of the Blended Learning program. It covered the most recent improvements to the 15-year-old program, which has allowed smaller schools to share teaching staff so that students do not need to rely on correspondence courses as the only option to meet graduation requirements. PRSD now has 9 mobile carts, and 7 integrated classrooms, along with using Google Meet video conferencing technology for course delivery. The following upgrades have been made in 2019-20 school year so far: 25 new Chromebooks with pen support and 9 new cameras have been purchased to ensure all cameras have pan-tilt-zoom functionality. Teachers also participate in professional development opportunities where they can share best practices and effective use of a variety of technological tools used to support Blended Learning.
The Board of Trustees discuss Fall budget
The Peace River School Division Board of Trustees has a challenge ahead of them after the announcement of the October 24, 2019, Provincial budget. The PRSD Board of Trustees was directed by Alberta Education in June 2019 to submit a spring preliminary budget outlining the needs of the school division for the 2019/2020 school year. At that time the Board chose to submit a budget maintaining for the most part status quo within the division. View official media release here.
Board of Trustees face substantial insurance premium increase
The board of trustees discussed the significant increase of insurance premiums in PRSD. Insurance premiums have increased by approximately $525,000 in 2019-2020 as a result of the wildfires in the summer of 2019, along with other reasons beyond Peace River School Division’s control. Administration wrote a letter to the Minister of Education, Adriana LaGrange thanking her on behalf of all school divisions for inquiring on the significant increases.
Board discusses school bus maintenance services
The Board of Trustees discussed future transportation needs for the division. The Board moved that administration be directed to bring back information on what is required to maintain bus safety in our division into the future.