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COVID-19 Vaccine Information for Parents
2021-11-25T21:26:23.980Z
COVID-19 Vaccine Information for Parents
<p>We have been asked to share the following information with our families from Alberta Health Services:</p><p>Health Canada has approved Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5-11. The Canadian Pediatric Society is recommending that all eligible children get vaccinated against COVID-19.</p><p>Parents may book vaccine appointments for children aged 5 to 11 through the <a href="https://bookvaccine.alberta.ca/vaccine/s/">Alberta Vaccine Booking system</a> or by calling Health Link at 811. <strong>Vaccines will not be available in schools and schools do not track or monitor the status of student vaccinations</strong>. Parent or guardian consent is required for children to get their vaccine, and it can be provided either in-person at the vaccine appointment or by a signed consent form.</p><p>K-12 students are not required to have a vaccination of any kind to attend Prairie Rose Public Schools, and no student will be denied access to an education based on their vaccination status. Prairie Rose will continue to recognize and respect parents as the primary decision-makers for their children regarding COVID vaccinations. We encourage our parents and guardians to seek out reliable and factual information to inform their decisions on vaccines for their children.&nbsp;</p><h4>Vaccine Resources</h4><ul><li><a href="https://open.alberta.ca/dataset/94df0467-fe7d-4008-891b-911c230bc8b9/resource/2fa7e614-a976-4cd2-82e2-4bc739687056/download/health-cmoh-letter-covid-19-vaccine-for-children-age-5-11-parents-guardians.pdf">Alberta's Chief Medical Officer of Health letter to parents (Nov 24)</a></li><li><a href="https://www.alberta.ca/covid19-vaccine-myths-and-facts.aspx">Government of Alberta – Vaccine myths and facts and information on vaccines for children</a></li><li><a href="https://www.albertahealthservices.ca/topics/page17746.aspx">AHS COVID-19 Immunization for Children Under 12</a></li><li><a href="https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/vaccination-children/covid-19.html?utm_campaign=hc-sc-covidvaccine-21-22&amp;utm_medium=sem&amp;utm_source=ggl&amp;utm_content=ad-text-en&amp;utm_term=children%20covid%2019%20vaccine&amp;adv=2122-89750&amp;id_campaign=12876015044&amp;id_source=128444816378&amp;id_content=545566020908&amp;gclid=CjwKCAiAs92MBhAXEiwAXTi25ykm3zsdnWS0BBBHnhZ9lKIDupsFaIexHgIGw5_VrYtlH691ESvTbxoCYmIQAvD_BwE&amp;gclsrc=aw.ds">Health Canada – COVID-19 vaccines for children: What you need to know</a></li></ul><p>&nbsp;</p>
November 23, 2021 Board Meeting Highlights
2021-11-24T21:08:39.755Z
November 23, 2021 Board Meeting Highlights
<p>The meeting agenda can be found here: <a href="https://drive.google.com/file/d/1M8ausPsSe9nUKMaAxzulKi8w0RKXMzcd/view?usp=sharing">https://drive.google.com/file/d/1M8ausPsSe9nUKMaAxzulKi8w0RKXMzcd/view?usp=sharing</a></p><p><br><strong>Student Services Report</strong></p><p>Director of Inclusion Services Camille Quinton shared her Student Services Accountability Report to the board for information. The Student Services team is responsible for providing a variety of programming support to students and staff that includes special education supports, counseling, student leadership, early childhood programming, speech and language therapy, social work, psychology and health supports. It was noted that there has been an increase in students requesting mental health support in schools as a result of the ongoing COVID pandemic. Priority around health and wellness in schools continues to be emphasized.</p><p><strong>Audited Financial Statements</strong></p><p>Assistant Secretary Treasurer Candice Hintz presented the 2020-2021 Audited Financial Statements for approval. It was noted that factors impacting the previous year’s budget included lower enrollment compared to spring projections, the implementation of a new funding model that included a weighted moving average per student calculation, and funding for COVID-19 to recover additional costs for subs, new technology and the implementation of the Home Plus Learning Program. For the 2020-2021 year, the division posted a total accumulated surplus of $10,424. This includes a surplus of $486,870 in Instruction, a deficit of $1,152,127 in Operations and Maintenance, a surplus in Transportation of $449,322, a surplus of $197,386 in System Administration and a surplus in External Services of $8,125. Auditors, MNP LLP, indicated no issues with the audit process and provided a clean audit opinion. The full financial statements and audit opinion can be found in the board meeting agenda package.</p><p>The board passed two motions related to the audited financial statements:</p><ul><li>That the Board of Trustees of Prairie Rose Public Schools approve the net transfer of $133,675 from Unrestricted Operating Reserves to Restricted Operating Reserves. Further, it approves the net transfer of $26,918 from Unrestricted Operating Reserves to Restricted Capital Reserves. <strong>CARRIED</strong></li><li>That the Board of Trustees of Prairie Rose Public Schools approves the 2020-21 Audited Financial Statements, as presented. <strong>CARRIED</strong></li></ul><p><strong>2021-2022 Revised Budget</strong></p><p>Secretary Treasurer Ryan Boser presented the revised 2021-2022 budget for approval. Assumptions of the revised budget included no interruptions in Alberta Education funding due to COVID-19, a decrease in enrollment of 69.5 FTE students from projections, a decrease in insurance premiums and no changes to the salary grids for teachers or support staff. In comparison to the spring projected budget, the division is now forecasting a deficit of $630,195, down from $733,873 for a difference of $103,678. This amount includes an instructional surplus of $128,373, a deficit of $918,747 in Operations and Maintenance, a surplus of $153,360 in Transportation and a surplus of $6,819 in External Services. It was noted that unlike previous years, System Administration (previously called Board and System Administration) is a separate grant, rather than a maximum percentage of overall expenses. The full budget can be found in the board meeting agenda package.</p><ul><li>That the Board of Trustees of Prairie Rose Public Schools approves the 2021-22 Revised Budget, as presented. <strong>CARRIED</strong></li></ul><p><strong>Annual Education Results Report</strong></p><p>Superintendent Reagan Weeks presented the Annual Education Results Report for approval. The report is now separate from the annual Education Plan and focuses on five new domains in connection with the new assurance model. The new domains include; Student Growth and Achievement, Teaching and Learning, Learning Supports, Governance and Local Context. It was noted that overall results are really strong in Prairie Rose and reflect the excellent efforts of staff, students and communities who have worked hard to provide and participate in unique learning experiences, despite the challenges related to COVID-19. The complete Results Report can be found in the board agenda package.</p><ul><li>That the Board of Trustees of Prairie Rose Public Schools approves the 2020-21 Annual Education Results Report, as presented. <strong>CARRIED</strong></li></ul>
2021 Bus Poster Contest Winners
2021-11-16T18:37:15.952Z
2021 Bus Poster Contest Winners
<p>Each year Prairie Rose Public School students participate in the annual bus poster safety contest as part of Bus Safety Week (Oct 17-23) in Alberta. This year's theme was 'Bus Rules Rock'! Winners from kindergarten to grade 6 are selected locally and then all entries are sent for judging at the provincial level. Congratulations to the following students for being selected as the Prairie Rose grade level winners.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Kindergarten</strong><br>1st place: Noah V - Bow Island Elementary<br>2nd place: Adelle K - Bow Island Elementary<br>3rd place: Kennedy R - Bow Island Elementary</p><p><strong>Grade 1</strong><br>1st place: Brogan E - Schuler<br>2nd place: Cooper C - Bow Island Elementary<br>3rd place: Jordan M - IF Cox</p><p><strong>Grade 2</strong><br>1st place: Sadie E - Seven Persons<br>2nd place: Keller T - New Brigden<br>3rd place: Lincoln V - Bow Island Elementary</p><p><strong>Grade 3</strong><br>1st place: Julia K - Foremost<br>2nd place: Jade H - Jenner<br>3rd place: Blaze H - Foremost</p><p><strong>Grade 4</strong><br>1st place: Dawn S - Senator Gershaw<br>2nd place: Briar W - Oyen Public<br>3rd place: Omnima R - Ralston</p><p><strong>Grade 5</strong><br>1st place: Hadley V - Oyen Public<br>2nd place: Mila W - Senator Gershaw<br>3rd place: Maddox M - Oyen Public</p><p><strong>Grade 6</strong><br>1st place: David H - Prairie Mennonite<br>2nd place: Sara F - Prairie Mennonite<br>3rd place: Jake R - Prairie Mennonite</p>
Board Meeting Highlights - November 9, 2021
2021-11-10T18:44:22.000Z
Board Meeting Highlights - November 9, 2021
<p><strong>1. Ralston School Presentation</strong></p><p>Ralston School principal Stacey Nunweiller provided the board with an update on what is happening at the school. Some of the highlights include community consultation to develop a new mission and vision for the school, a community building project (as many of the students who attend Ralston School come from out of the country), and the implementation of new strategies to address parent and student concerns from the assurance survey that took place in the spring of 2021. One of the strategies included focus on student voice which involved extending the student council to include a representative from each classroom from grades JK-9. Principal Nunweiller also spoke about the new Ralston School Prairie Rose Possibility project called Learning from the Land. A <a href="https://sites.google.com/d/14gBkPIeg37nccEYw0emI7KTImX-QhZen/p/1fv1AjB51VmiJd7xPTZdbaba">website</a> has been created outlining the project in detail. The full presentation can be found in the <a href="https://drive.google.com/file/d/1-FXOvzHq2L3LCDZci2P-Z_sS9ftfgyyl/view?usp=sharing">November 9, 2021 Agenda Package</a>.</p><p><strong>2. Prairie Rose Possibilities</strong></p><p>Superintendent Reagan Weeks presented a report to the board outlining unique learning opportunities and programs across the school division. In total, Prairie Rose has a total of 28 projects that have been started with approximately 1,527 students participating across the division. The full list of projects can be found in the <a href="https://drive.google.com/file/d/1-FXOvzHq2L3LCDZci2P-Z_sS9ftfgyyl/view?usp=sharing">November 9, 2021, Agenda Package</a>.</p><p><strong>3. Committee Structures</strong> - item was tabled.</p><p><strong>4. COVID-19 Tabled Policy</strong></p><p>Deputy Superintendent Mark Heinricks presented an overview of the data collected by the school division related to vaccination rates of staff by employee groups, the letters sent to school division’s by the Minister’s of Education and Health and the ATA, the CMOH Health Order, legal considerations related to the implementation or lack thereof of a proof of negative COVID test or vaccination policy, and details on what other boards in the province have done to address the Ministers’ request.&nbsp;</p><p>Trustee Lois Bedwell put forward a motion that would direct administration to develop a policy that would require staff who work directly with students to be double vaccinated or show proof of a negative COVID-19 test.&nbsp;</p><p>A second motion was put forward by trustee Shauna Vanderspruit to table the motion by trustee Bedwell. That motion was defeated 3-4.</p><p>The board discussed the implications of the motion put forward by trustee Bedwell including; the ability for staff to test, vaccine hesitancy, legal implications and board liability, potential insurance costs, clarification related to what is meant by ‘staff’ and a possible timeline for implementation. The motion passed 4-3. A recorded vote was requested.</p><ul><li>For: Hogg, Cursons, Bedwell, Rooks</li><li>Against: Haraga, Dennis, Vanderspruit</li></ul><p>Trustee Vanderspruit put forward an additional motion asking for administration to draft a letter reminding the government that the mandate for school boards is to make decisions for students regarding education, and that health decisions should remain the purview of the Ministry of Health. Further, the letter will include a request for financial assistance for boards to cover costs incurred when implementing a rapid testing program in schools. The motion was carried unanimously.</p><p>A letter has been shared with stakeholders with further clarification of the decision: <a href="https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1LPB6IlUth_r49I408jB74tItdGpDuAe8">Policy Decision Letter</a></p>
Micro-Credentials Partnership with Medicine Hat College
2021-11-01T19:31:19.647Z
Micro-Credentials Partnership with Medicine Hat College
<p>The full release can be found on the Medicine Hat College website: <a href="https://www.mhc.ab.ca/NewsandEvents/Stories/2021/October/PRSD-Partner-For-Microcredentials">https://www.mhc.ab.ca/NewsandEvents/Stories/2021/October/PRSD-Partner-For-Microcredentials</a></p><p><i>High school students in Prairie Rose Public Schools have new opportunities to engage in higher learning, thanks to a partnership with Medicine Hat College (MHC).</i></p><p>The college recently announced micro-credentials as part of its program mix, which provide fast, flexible and quality-assured learning in targeted areas of interest and industry. These short-term programs are delivered online and can stand-alone or complement traditional credentials such as certificates, diplomas and degrees.</p><p>With this new partnership, Prairie Rose high school students will have access to micro-credentials in Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Advanced Pilot Training, Tourism and Hospitality Management, Permaculture Design, and Rainwater Harvesting.</p><p>“This is a chance to explore new subject areas and maybe discover a future career path,” says Dr. Reagan Weeks, new superintendent for the school division.“Micro-credentials present an exciting opportunity for our students to test the waters and learn at a different level. We believe there is tremendous value in connecting our students to the college environment and increasing their confidence with the post-secondary system. The more exposure and experiences we can offer our students now, the better prepared they will be for the future.”</p><p>She adds the UAV Advanced Pilot Training micro-credential will be the first to launch with Eagle Butte Dave Rozdeba Flight Academy students and Foremost School, in partnership with the Foremost UAS Testing Range.</p><p>Upon completion of a micro-credential, learners receive a digital badge that can be easily shared across their social media network, highlighted on their resume, or included in their email signature.</p><p>“Employers are looking to address skills gaps now and micro-credentials provide an efficient and targeted approach to meeting their needs,” says Timothy Spielman, dean for the School of Business and Continuing Studies. “Whether learning in a high school classroom or building additional career capacity as a working professional, the online and flexible delivery of micro-credentials meets learners where they are at in life.”</p><p>For more information about micro-credentials, please <a href="https://www.mhc.ab.ca/ProgramsandCourses/Micro-credentials">click here</a>.</p>
Inclement Weather Policy Changes
2021-10-14T20:08:43.539Z
Inclement Weather Policy Changes
<p>Recently, Prairie Rose Public Schools undertook a review of Inclement Weather policy T201. The review occurred following feedback from many parents and staff who expressed that the current policy was confusing, especially when it came to school closures and extreme cold weather. The policy stated that schools could be closed when the temperature (combined with wind chill) was -40 or lower at 6:00 am. This resulted in several days of school closures and late decisions which caused planning challenges for families.</p><p>As part of the review process, information regarding wind chill information and weather data was collected from the past three years from all regions of the school division. The research revealed the following:</p><p><strong>Wind Chill</strong></p><ul><li>Wind chill does not impact the actual air temperature. The wind chill index was designed to assess the risk of frostbite on unclothed parts of the body.</li><li>When students are riding in a bus, wind chill is an irrelevant factor.</li></ul><p><strong>Cold Weather Days in Prairie Rose</strong></p><ul><li>Over the past three years, there was on average 5.9 days each year that schools were closed due cold weather combined with wind chill.</li><li>On these cold weather days, the temperature frequently warmed over the course of a few hours.</li><li>The majority of the cold weather days occurred in January, February and March which greatly impacted instructional time in the second semester.</li><li>Very few cold weather days resulted in temperatures colder than -35 degrees.</li></ul><p>The findings of the data used for the report can be found here: <a href="https://drive.google.com/file/d/1PUA2oti-kBrAf6v16TQ0eOt-28mNZuTb/view?usp=sharing">PRPS Cold Weather Data</a></p><p><i>* Data for the report was taken from </i><a href="http://agriculture.alberta.ca/acis/weather-data-viewer.jsp"><i>Agriculture Alberta</i></a><i>&nbsp;</i></p><p>Based on the findings of the inclement weather review, policy T201 Inclement Weather has been changed to reflect the following:</p><ul><li>Wind chill is no longer going to be calculated into school closure decisions on cold weather days.</li><li>School closures due to temperature will occur when the actual temperature is -36 degrees or colder.</li><li>School bus drivers will continue to have the autonomy to cancel routes based on localized conditions and for safety reasons.</li><li>Schools may still be closed due to poor roads and weather conditions (i.e. blizzards, icy conditions, blowing snow.)</li></ul><p>Link to updated policy: <a href="https://drive.google.com/file/d/1y9loNCVX_fD23-FtlhFOdKaY-j-1xgrU/view?usp=sharing">T201 Inclement Weather</a></p><p>We understand that many families will continue to have concerns about sending their children to school on days of extreme cold weather. Should a cold weather day occur and a school is not closed (based on the above criteria) a parent maintains the right to keep their child home from school. If this is the case, we ask that parents connect with the school and bus driver to communicate this decision.</p><p>It is our hope that the revisions to Inclement Weather policy T201 will ensure a more consistent approach across Prairie Rose Public Schools when cold weather occurs. We will continue to communicate with parents using School Messenger to announce changes to bus routes or school closures. If you have not done so already, <a href="https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0BwxYarNhDkXYYzRzTFJ2ZGlpSkU?resourcekey=0-eavDlxC5k-yKNPLxEHQmKQ">we encourage you to opt in to receive text messages</a>, as it remains the most effective means to get information to families in a timely manner.</p>
October 13, 2021 Board Meeting Highlights
2021-10-14T19:56:26.371Z
October 13, 2021 Board Meeting Highlights
<p><strong>October 13, 2021 Agenda: </strong><a href="https://drive.google.com/file/d/1TCksiO3Av08zpXC6I66yU2wbDBKgfDAG/view?usp=sharing">Agenda Package - October 13, 2021 (Online).pdf</a></p><p><strong>Coulee Collegiate</strong></p><p>Coulee Collegiate principal Tim Bloomfield provided an update to the board outlining how the school works in partnership with Medicine Hat Public Schools and the Medicine Hat College. Coulee Collegiate is unique compared to traditional public schools, as it provides both face to face instruction to college students who are upgrading or earning their high school diploma, while also providing course options for current 10-12 students. Due to the flexible nature of the program, it was noted the school generally fluctuates between 400-550 active students at any one time. In addition to high school courses and option classes, the school also offers institutes that allow high school aged students to earn workplace certifications at no cost.&nbsp; Although, in the early stages of implementation, the partnership between Prairie Rose Public Schools, Medicine Hat Public Schools and Medicine Hat college is an incredible success.</p><p><strong>Superintendent Performance Assessment Guide</strong></p><p>Deputy Superintendent Reagan Weeks presented a new assessment guide for evaluating the division’s superintendent performance measures annually. The proposed changes align with the new Superintendent Quality Standards and still allow flexibility for the board to add localized items for assessment.</p><p><strong>Board Correspondence</strong></p><p>Board Chair Stuart Angle shared that all correspondence to the board regarding stakeholder positions for the implementation of a proof of vaccination program has been compiled and placed in a folder for all trustees to review.</p><p><strong>Proof of Vaccination Program</strong></p><p>Superintendent Roger Clarke spoke to the letter sent by the Minister’s of Education and Health advocating for boards to implement local policies/administrative procedures to support vaccinations and COVID-19 rapid testing requirements for Prairie Rose staff. There was some discussion regarding whether the timing was appropriate for making a decision with a new board being elected next week. Some background was shared regarding how the division arrived at being in a position to consider an administrative procedure for vaccination/proof of negative COVID test and any potential risks for delaying a decision. It was also noted that new guidance that was promised last week for school divisions has not yet been shared from Alberta Education and it would be helpful to have the new guidance and the corresponding health order, to ensure that the new PRPS administrative procedure aligns with the provincial documents. It was emphasized that a policy or procedure regarding vaccination/proof of negative COVID test would not impact students. The board voted in favour of tabling the motion for the implementation of an administration procedure for proof of vaccination/negative COVID test for staff, volunteers or practicum students.</p><p><strong>Transportation Accountability Report</strong></p><p>Director of Transportation Derek Beck shared the Transportation Accountability Report for information. Highlights of the report include:</p><ul><li>Prairie Rose transports 1,845 students on 83 bus routes that travel 17,040 kilometres each day.</li><li>The average cost of a bus route in Prairie Rose is $60,435 per year.</li><li>In the 2020-2021 year, Prairie Rose spent $5.28 million dollars on bus transportation.</li><li>Prairie Rose buses students from Cherry Academy Christian Academy, Holy Spirit School Division and Christ the Redeemer School Division to schools in Bow Island and Oyen.</li><li>The school division participates in a provincial bus safety poster contest each year, which actively promotes bus safety initiatives.</li><li>Prairie Rose contracts bus services from Southland Transportation (71), First Student (2), Old West Transport and independent contractors (5)</li><li>In addition to daily transportation of students to and from school, bus transportation supports student programming for academy and off-site field trips.</li></ul><p><strong>Financial Update</strong></p><p>Assistant Secretary Treasurer Candice Hintz provided a year-end financial update for the year 2020-2021. HIghlights of the report include:</p><ul><li>Alberta Education revenues of $358,000 higher than budgeted. This was due to one-time funding for online learning and the critical worker benefit payment.</li><li>Revenues are expected to come in $645,100 over budget. Main factors include the increase in Alberta Education funding, a decrease in donation revenue and equity return from ASBIE (Alberta School Boards Insurance Exchange).</li><li>Certified salaries came in $181,300 under budget. Sub costs also came in lower than budgeted.</li><li>Non certified salaries increased by $121,000. This is due to the critical worker benefit and EA hours purchased by schools.</li><li>Overall, the school division is expected to have an actual deficit of $24,098 (budgeted deficit of $351,140) for the 2020-2021 year with total expenditures coming in at $52,916,686 compared to $52,892,588 in revenues.</li></ul><p><strong>Enrollment Update</strong></p><p>Secretary Treasurer Ryan Boser provided the September 29, 2021, enrollment update for information. This past spring the division had projected a decrease in enrollment of 13 students for the current year compared to the 2020-21 school year. Actual enrollment came in 66 students below spring projections, for a total of 79 less students compared to the previous year. It was noted that due to the new funding formula and the weighted moving average, the division will only be losing 50% of the 2021-2022 funding. This amount represents approx. $282,000 of overall revenues. It was noted that due to the uncertainty with the ongoing pandemic, school divisions were ‘held-harmless’ for the 2020-21 school year as significant fluctuations occurred. This will offset approximately $149,000 of the overall amount. Reserves will be used to cover the remaining funding loss.</p><p><strong>Oyen Maintenance Shop</strong></p><p>Secretary Treasurer Ryan Boser explained that the Oyen maintenance shop has required replacement for many years. It is estimated that a new shop will cost between $100,000 and $175,000. The board approved a motion to allocate funds from capital reserves for the project.</p><p><strong>EL Policy #10</strong></p><p>Following the implementation of the new Education Act in September 2019, a number of Prairie Rose policies required updating to adhere to the new act. It was noted that Prairie Rose policy EL #10 School Closure / Transfer of Students still contained parts of the previous School Act and required realignment. Proposed changes were presented for feedback. The board voted in favour of approving the changes to EL #10, as presented.</p><p><strong>Human Resources Accountability Report</strong></p><p>Assistant Superintendent Kal Koch presented the Human Resources Report for information. Highlights of the report include:</p><ul><li>Prairie Rose employs 236 certified staff and 228 support staff.</li><li>Prairie Rose provides staffing to support inclusion, nutrition and mental health and wellness.</li><li>The average class sizes in Prairie Rose include:<ul><li>K: 15.2 students</li><li>Grades 1-3: 16.0 students</li><li>Grades 4-6: 20.3 students</li><li>Grades 7-9: 21.3 students</li><li>Grades 10-12: 22.4 students</li></ul></li><li>Prairie Rose has 121 teachers with 10+ years of experience.</li><li>Certified teaching salary costs for 2021-2022 are estimated at $26,785,174.</li><li>Support Staff salary costs for 2021-2022 are estimated at $10,600,443.</li></ul><p><strong>Seven Persons Field Trip</strong></p><p>Superintendent Roger Clarke presented a field trip request from Seven Persons School to participate in a four day trip to Kananaskis from October 22-25 of this month through Outward Bound. As the trip is overnight and takes place in the fall in the mountains, there are some additional logistics that are still being worked out. The board voted in favour of providing approval for the trip, pending final approval of the Superintendent.</p>