Home Plus+ Learning Network
The board approved the name Home Plus+ Learning Network for the new home education learning program being launched this spring by Prairie Rose Public Schools. Superintendent Roger Clarke shared that Prairie Rose already has a home education school code that was set up under the former Prairie Rose Regional School Division which will be renamed for the new program.
PRPS Modular Update
Secretary Treasurer Ryan Boser shared that Prairie Rose has submitted a modular proposal to Alberta Education for the March 31, 2021 deadline. It was noted that the province has allocated $60-million dollars towards modular purchases and upgrades. Prairie Rose has requested a new modular at Eagle Butte High School and funds to demolish two aged portables at New Brigden School.
Burdett School Presentation
Principal Cheryl Rebmann and Vice Principal Amber Pinchin provided an overview of the unique learning opportunities happening at Burdett School. A major aspect of program development this year has been around reviewing literacy data and developing new goals and strategies to build capacity for each division (grades 1-3, grades 4-6, grades 7-9). As part of this work, unique learning games have been designed by staff to make literacy fun, interactive, and build student comprehension. The school also acknowledged first year teacher Brittney Peters who is the Prairie Rose Public Schools Edwin Parr nominee for 2021 and shared a number of exciting opportunities the school has been able to bring to students, despite the COVID-19 restrictions. The school presentation can be found in the board agenda package.
Eagle Butte teacher Jimi Ricci provided an update to the Board about the Badlands Cre8tions entrepreneurial program. Due to COVID-19 it was noted that changes needed to be made to the direction of the program. In addition to bulk engraving, the class also focuses on niche and smaller orders and is branching out to clothing and logo design. As part of the class, students rotate through six entrepreneurial teams including sales, production, customer service, creative, financial and marketing. The Badlands Cre8tions website can be found at www.badlandscre8tions.com.
Mennonite German Liaison Update
German Mennonite Liaison Randy Giesbrecht provided an overview of his role as the connection between Prairie Rose Public Schools and the Low German community. Unlike other positions in the school division, the Mennonite liaison supports families at school but also in the home which assists with gaining access to the services they need. Understanding the culture and leadership process within the German communities has been a key component to gain trust and build ongoing communication with the school division. The board thanked Randy Giesbrecht for his report and the important role he plays for bridging cultural connections.
New Brigden School
Board Chair Stuart brought forward a motion for the Board for the consideration to close New Brigden School at the end of the current school year. In his motion he addressed the low enrolment, financial challenges, and ability to provide enhanced programming for students at a larger school. The board voted 4-3 in favour (Hertz, Bedwell, Hammel opposed) on the notice of motion to explore the closure of New Brigden School. A tentative date of May 13th at 7:00 PM was proposed for the public consultation meeting. The executive team will collect data related to enrolment, transportation, staffing, facility and maintenance costs, and bring forward comparative data from other schools with enrolment of less than 35. The information will be shared with the community and parents in advance of the public meeting date.
Financial Report Update
Assistant Secretary Treasurer Candice Hintz provided a quarterly financial update to the board. Alberta Education revenues will increase by $921,000 from the fall budget. The increased revenues is due to schools will not being held harmless from enrolment decreases for the year, a one-time funding to support online learners and the critical worker benefit payment. It was also noted that expenses are projected to come in $998,150 over budget. The changes result in a $7,800 decrease in the projected deficit from -$351,140 to -$398,950.