May 25, 2020 Online Public Board Meeting |

May 25, 2020 Online Public Board Meeting

To comply with restrictions around public gatherings due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the May 25th Prairie Rose School Division public board meeting was streamed live at 12:45 PM on May 25, 2020. 

The agenda for the public meeting can be found here:

1. SAHA / PRSD Partnership: Superintendent Roger Clarke shared that Prairie Rose is excited about the recent announcement that the former Banff Hockey Academy will be relocating to Dunmore. The teams will be under the leadership of the South Alberta Hockey Academy, operated by Willie Desjardins, and will add a U18 Prep Male and U18 Prep Female team to the current academy program.  The players will attend Eagle Butte High School and train at the Family Leisure Centre in Medicine Hat. The full news release from the CSSHL can be found HERE.

2.  Irvine School Presentation: Irvine School Principal Trent Rayner spoke to a number of CTF programming options that have translated into student academic growth including the hockey academy, catering and equine programs.  It was also shared that prior to the COVID pandemic, the school held a PD day for students that focused on communication and leadership.  Deeper learning, writing strategies, and enhanced CTF options are some of the ways the school has redirected learning strategies to meet the goal of nurturing academic and personal success through 21st century learning.  A video highlighting this work can be watched here:

3.  PRSD COVID Re-entry Plan: Superintendent Roger Clarke shared that Prairie Rose has already started work on a COVID-19 re-entry plan for the fall. The plan will focus on three options; normal operations, educating students in school with parameters, and at home learning.  It was noted there are significant challenges in addressing each of these options, but the goal will be to maximize students in front of teachers where possible. Schools will be developing individual school procedures for each of the options. Those plans will be shared with parents before the end of the current school year. With this uncertainty, the board was asked to consider the option of purchasing one to one computing for grades 4-12 in the division. A utilization fee structure will be created addressing the cost for families. The board voted in favour of the motion.

4.  Schuler School Presentation: Schuler School Principal Kerry Watson explained that the school staff have been focusing on implementing strategies aimed on improving student literacy, and promoting cross-learning between staff to improve instructional practices. Other notable highlights of the presentation included the introduction of Monday morning assemblies, distance learning options for grade 10 Mennonite students, community giveback opportunities, and the implementation of a CTF construction trailer last year. Changes to schooling following the closure of schools due to COVID-19 was also provided, including how the school plans to recognize students moving onto other schools next fall.

5.  FSLW COVID-19 Response: School psychologist Greg Godard and Family School Liaison Worker Tanya Ridgedale spoke to the work being done in Prairie Rose to support health and wellness during the COVID-19 crisis. Currently, 80 students are connecting weekly, while 250 families have been in contact with the FSLW team since the pandemic began.  In addition to counselling, the health and wellness team has been working to provide nutritional supports to families, and as a liaison between the teacher and students who are identified as struggling with home learning.

6.  FNMI Education Report: FNMI Coordinator Kameko Ballantyne provided an update regarding initiatives taking place in Prairie Rose to develop knowledge and learning of First Nations, Metis, and Inuit cultures. In PRSD there are 64 students identified as FNMI. A summary of events and activities focused on FNMI learning across Prairie Rose were shared including participation in Orange Shirt Day, residential school and cultural guest presentations, the addition of an indigenous literacy resource section in the school libraries, and participation in the truth and reconciliation walk.

7.  Coulee Collegiate: Superintendent Roger Clarke shared that a new partnership will soon be officially be announced between Medicine Hat College (MHC), Prairie Rose School Division (PRSD) and Medicine Hat Public Schools (MHPSD). The program will integrate the outreach programming of both K-12 public schools with the high school upgrading options offered at the college. The new program will consist of a face to face option at the college and a distance learning component for current high school aged students.

8.  External Financial Auditor: Trustee Lois Bedwell reported on the findings of the external financial audit committee regarding the awarding of audit services for Prairie Rose for the next four years. The recommendation of the committee was that MNP LLP was awarded the audit contract for the 2019-20, 2020-21, 2021-22 and 2022-23 years.  The motion was approved by the board.

9.  2020-2021 Preliminary Budget: Secretary Treasurer Ryan Boser presented the 2020-21 Preliminary Budget for approval. It was noted the budget is based on normal school operations in the fall and takes into assumption that PRSD will see an enrolment increase of 74 FTE students, the new funding framework (an operational funding increase of $1.1 from the 2019-20 year), no anticipated changes to teacher or support staff salary grids, the new outreach partnership with MHC and MHPSD, and a property insurance premium decrease of 30%.  Overall, Prairie Rose is presenting a deficit budget of $147,109. This includes an instructional surplus of $663,786, an Operations and Maintenance deficit of $1,143,557, a Transportation deficit of $331,969 and an External Services surplus of $693.  Total revenues for the year are projected at $52.268 million which is an increase of 4.66% over estimates for the 2019-29 year.  The board voted in favour of the motion to pass the 2020-21 Preliminary Budget as presented. The budget can be found HERE.

10.  Other Reports:

  • The board approved GP#06 2020-2021 Board Agenda and Monitoring as presented.
  • The board voted down a motion to accept the offer from the Town of Oyen’s letter, dated April 13, 2020, for the property sale and land swap.
    • The board voted in favour of directing administration to further negotiations with the Town of Oyen for a potential sale of the PRSD administrative building in Oyen.