October 2019 - Board Meeting Highlights

October 2019 - Board Meeting Highlights

1.  Ralston principal Stacey Nunweiller and British Liaison Sonia Stanton shared a presentation with the board about Ralston School, located on CFB Suffield base.  The school currently serves 131 students from across Canada, Britain and the Commonwealth (mostly military families with some local Canadian students), with 10 teaching staff and 8 support staff.  Goals for the year include developing a sense of community and challenging students academically using assessment data to guide starting points.  The school has undertaken a whole school literacy focus – specifically on writing.  A common marking scheme was developed by staff to ensure all writing is being marked using the same criteria and evaluation.  Additionally, the SeeSaw school communication app allows teachers to share student work with parents on a regular basis.

2.  Secretary Treasurer Ryan Boser shared that Prairie Rose’s legal name has been changed to meet the requirements of the new Education Act.  The name has been changed from Prairie Rose School Division No. 8 to Prairie Rose School Division, dropping the No.8.  The board discussed supporting public boards who are advocating across the province to keep the word public in their legal name.  The board argued the Ministerial Order enforcing the new name structure is unfair, as all Separate boards all were able to keep the word Catholic/Separate/Roman Catholic in their legal names.  The board will write a letter to the Minister advocating to allow public school boards to include the word public in their legal names, if desired, and to ensure consistency in naming for all school divisions.

3.  Secretary Treasurer Ryan Boser shared that the Education Act has changed the timelines and approval process for boards to review and make changes to their electoral ward boundaries.  The change means the board would be required to make a decision to review the current wards prior to December of 2020, in order to meet the timelines for the next election.  Currently boards are able to review their ward boundaries annually, but require Ministerial approval to make changes.  The board voted to conduct an electoral boundary review, prior to the December 2020. An external consultant will be hired to assist with the process. 

4.  Secretary Treasurer Ryan Boser presented the actual 2019-2020 enrolment numbers.  Overall, the school division is up by 13 students compared to spring projections.  However, the division is still down 5.5 students compared to last year’s enrolment.  It was noted that the addition of new programming, including the academies, have assisted with maintaining enrolment and stability.

5.  Assistant Secretary Treasurer Candice Hintz presented the 4th Quarter Financial Report for the 2018-19 school year for information.  Overall, the division is anticipating a surplus for the year of $263,469.00, with expenses coming in at $50,701,355.  The division had initially budgeted a deficit of $99,610 for the year.  Accounting practices associated with donations for both the Senator Gershaw School track and Schuler School were .  PRSD schools generated $1.34 million in revenue over the year and spent $1.32 million from reserves.

6.  Director of Transportation Derek Beck presented the Transportation Accountability Report for information.  The division currently has 83 routes travelling 16,176 kilometres daily.  The average cost to run a bus in Prairie Rose is approximately $59,279.  The longest ride time in Prairie Rose is 113 minutes long one-way, while the average ride time is around 30-38 minutes in one direction.  Throughout the year the Transportation department participates in a variety of bus safety and training events, including the provincial bus safety poster contest. It is estimated Transportation will post a deficit of $88,732 for the 2018-2019 year.

7.  Assistant Superintendent Reagan Weeks presented the Provincial Achievement Testing and Diploma testing results report for information.   2018-2019 PAT results showed a significant increase from the previous three-year average.  Overall, Prairie Rose results exceeded the provincial results at both the acceptable and excellence standards.  Diploma results also showed a significant increase, compared to the three-year average.  The board’s literacy goal was credited with contributing to the successful results, with additional strategies planned aimed to focus on the deeper learning goal to boost excellence levels.

8.  Other meeting notes:

  • A letter endorsing the 2019-2020 Superintendent Work Plan was put forward for consideration.  The board unanimously approved the 2019-2020 work plan.
  • Secretary Treasurer Ryan Boser presented GP18 Audit Committee for information and approval.  The policy was amended to meet the requirements of the new Education Act.
  • The next public board meeting is scheduled for November 12, 2019 @ 12:45 PM.