April 7, 2020 Public Meeting - Online Live

April 7, 2020 Public Meeting - Online Live

To comply with restrictions around public gatherings due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the April 7, 2020 Prairie Rose School Division public board meeting will be streamed live starting at 12:45 PM. 

The agenda for the public meeting can be found here: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1qr3k1d2rztlE9cimDcWl0_-53wnoHej0

Meeting Summary - posted April 8, 2020

1.  Sept 19 – Feb 20 Financial Report (YTD):  Assistant Secretary Treasurer Candice Hintz provided a quarterly financial update for information.  Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, significant changes have been made to accommodate the reduction in funding from Alberta Education.  Overall revenues have decreased by $1.196 million with overall revenues expecting to come in $1.163 million under budget.  It was noted there will also be cost savings as a result of the pandemic that will reduce projected spending. These include reduced costs of services, contracts and supplies, deferred hiring of staff, decreased utility and courier costs and unspent school surpluses.  The revised projected deficit for the 2019-2020 year will improve from a projected deficit of $1,298,500 to a deficit of $1,048,500.

2.  Bow Island/Burdett School Solution:  Superintendent Roger Clarke provided an overview of the consultation process that occurred in the Bow Island and Burdett communities related to a proposal to move Bow Island Elementary (BIE) students over to Senator Gershaw School (SGS) for a combined K-12 school, and move the Burdett students to the BIE School for a new Mennonite Alternative Program school.  The plan also allows for the modernization and expansion of both BIE and SGS to accommodate the student changes.  The board currently has Burdett listed as its top priority on the PRSD Capital Plan.  Should the Capital Plan be updated to reflect the proposed motion, Burdett School would be demolished and the land reclaimed.  Reasons for the proposal to move Burdett students to Bow Island include reduced transportation costs (150 students are bussed from Bow Island to Burdett daily), less cost to modernize BIE versus rebuild Burdett ($14 million compared to $3.9 million), and an opportunity for both schools to build learning partnerships that enhance student learning at both schools. 

The board passed the following board motion:
That the Board of Trustees of the Prairie Rose School Division approve, pending capital funding approval from Alberta Education, to:

  • Close, demolish and reclaim land of Burdett School,
  • Modernize Senator Gershaw School to become a K-12 school and educate the student population currently served by Senator Gershaw School and Bow Island Elementary School, and
  • Modernize Bow Island Elementary School to become a K-9 Mennonite Alternative School. This school would serve the students who would have attended Burdett School.

3. Rethinking Student Recess Survey:  Sonya Brown with Alberta Health Services provided a summary to the board about an initiative focused around re-thinking recess.  The goal of the project was to identify the interactions that hinder positive recess experiences for students and create opportunities to change those patterns.  It was shared that social relationships help develop language, social competence, emotional regulation, cognitive growth and self-concept.  Approximately 500 Prairie Rose students participated in the survey that asked questions related to how they felt at recess, the activities they participated in at recess, and whether they spent that time being active and engaging with their peers. Some of the strategies schools have implemented include active teacher supervision, polar bear club, student recess leaders, and indoor recess activity strategies.  A follow up survey will be done in fall 2021 to see if the strategies made a difference in the data.

4.  2021-2024 Capital Plan: The board of trustees approved the 2021-2024 Capital Plan presented by Secretary Treasurer Ryan Boser and Director of Maintenance Darrell Drefs.  Changes from the previous year includes the adjustment to remove the Burdett School modernization, to reflect the earlier motion of the board to close the current Burdett School and modernize both BIE and Senator Gershaw schools to accommodate Bow Island and Burdett students, and the addition of a K-12 school in Oyen.  A value management analysis would be required for the Oyen project to determine which current Oyen school and location would be best suited for a K-12 modernization.

5. Education Delivery During COVID-19: Assistant Superintendent Reagan Weeks provided a summary of the work being done by Prairie Rose staff to make the transition over to an online/remote learning format.  Some statistics around the number of students accessing online supports such as Google Classroom and Seesaw, teacher learning and collaboration strategies, and technology accommodations to meet increased demand were also shared.

6. Other Reports:
  • The board approved three readings of revised policy GP #23 Establishment of Wards to reflect changes required as per sections 76 (Electoral Boundaries Commissions Act) of the Education Act