Board Meeting Highlights - Jan 8, 2019

Board Meeting Highlights - Jan 8, 2019

1.  Principal of Beyond Walls, Tim Bloomfield, provided an overview to the board outlining unique learning options the school offers.  Education offerings at Beyond Walls include high school programming (student support, unique courses – driver training/first aid/health care/safety training, flexible learning schedules), and assisting other Prairie Rose schools (academies, medical issues, diploma writing centres) by offering flexible learning options when needed.  Goals for Beyond Walls School for the current year include working alongside their markers to improve assessment and speed of feedback to students, and initiating new institute programming through Rural Futures, where students can earn credits and safety certification on School Improvement Days.

2.  Principal of Warren Peers School, Rob Willis, shared various successes and challenges of operating a small, rural school.  It was shared that literacy and reading are priorities for both the students and staff.  Successful strategies for improving literacy include Guided Reading and use of the Literacy Playbooks by teachers.  Other priorities, and things that work well for the school, include meeting and greeting students at the front door each day, a student and staff morning walk daily, a citizenship initiative where students help contribute to set up and take down community events, a school dinner theatre production every two to three years, an in school municipal library and small class sizes.  It was noted that declining enrolment and aging curriculum are ongoing challenges for the school.

3.  Camille Quinton, Director of Inclusive Services for Prairie Rose School Division, shared the annual Inclusive Education Report.  In Prairie Rose, 326 students are coded with a form of mild/moderate needs and 118 with severe need codes.  Highlights of the report include, an overview of PUF programming numbers and funding, distribution of support staffing (EA’s), academic results for coded students, the addition of staffing (EA support in daycares, Student Services Coordinator, additional OT) and changes to FSLW and Mental Health Capacity Project staffing.

4.  Director of Building Operations and Maintenance Darrell Drefs presented the Building Operations Accountability Report for information.  The report focused on ongoing and regular preventative maintenance, professional development, Infrastructure Maintenance Renewal (IMR) projects, and the Eagle Butte High School Capital Project.  High priority IMR projects for the year include air conditioning at Jenner School, roof replacement at Ralston, air handler replacements at Margaret Wooding, fire alarm panel upgrades at Irvine School, an engineered review of the air conditioning at Parkside, new furnaces in the Foremost shop and an engineer evaluation of the Foremost building envelope.  The PRSD maintenance staff will also take on around $230,000 in various IMR projects.

5.  The annual Class Size Report was presented for information.  Overall, Deputy Superintendent Kal Koch explained that Prairie Rose does a good job at meeting the class size guidelines, set out by the Alberta Commission on Learning.  In 2018-19, the average PRSD class size (CORE Subjects only) in grades K-3 is 16.6 (down from 17.0 in 2017/18), 18.9 in grades 4-6 (up slightly from 18.7 in 2017/18), 18.2 in grades 7-9 (down from 19.2 in 2017/18), and 19.0 in grades 10-12 (down from 20.1 in 2017/18).  It was noted that the class size funding the division receives from the government is a key factor in being able to maintain small class sizes across Prairie Rose.

6.  The board approved the Memorandum of Agreement for ATA Local Bargaining with the Alberta Teachers’ Association.

7.  The board approved changes to policy GP#14 Trustee Honorarium and Expense Reimbursement.  The changes direct administration to adjust trustee honorarium rates to reflect a held harmless position, after tax dollars, as a result of recent changes to the income tax regulations as applied to trustees.

8.  The board voted in favour of accepting an offer of $50,000 for the sale of Foremost teacherage unit F14, located at 303 2nd Street E.