October 13, 2021 Board Meeting Highlights

event Published 2021-10-14T19:56:26.371Z

October 13, 2021 Agenda: Agenda Package - October 13, 2021 (Online).pdf

Coulee Collegiate

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.  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.

Superintendent Performance Assessment Guide

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.

Board Correspondence

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.

Proof of Vaccination Program

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.

Transportation Accountability Report

Director of Transportation Derek Beck shared the Transportation Accountability Report for information. Highlights of the report include:

  • Prairie Rose transports 1,845 students on 83 bus routes that travel 17,040 kilometres each day.
  • The average cost of a bus route in Prairie Rose is $60,435 per year.
  • In the 2020-2021 year, Prairie Rose spent $5.28 million dollars on bus transportation.
  • 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.
  • The school division participates in a provincial bus safety poster contest each year, which actively promotes bus safety initiatives.
  • Prairie Rose contracts bus services from Southland Transportation (71), First Student (2), Old West Transport and independent contractors (5)
  • In addition to daily transportation of students to and from school, bus transportation supports student programming for academy and off-site field trips.

Financial Update

Assistant Secretary Treasurer Candice Hintz provided a year-end financial update for the year 2020-2021. HIghlights of the report include:

  • 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.
  • 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).
  • Certified salaries came in $181,300 under budget. Sub costs also came in lower than budgeted.
  • Non certified salaries increased by $121,000. This is due to the critical worker benefit and EA hours purchased by schools.
  • 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.

Enrollment Update

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.

Oyen Maintenance Shop

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.

EL Policy #10

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.

Human Resources Accountability Report

Assistant Superintendent Kal Koch presented the Human Resources Report for information. Highlights of the report include:

  • Prairie Rose employs 236 certified staff and 228 support staff.
  • Prairie Rose provides staffing to support inclusion, nutrition and mental health and wellness.
  • The average class sizes in Prairie Rose include:
    • K: 15.2 students
    • Grades 1-3: 16.0 students
    • Grades 4-6: 20.3 students
    • Grades 7-9: 21.3 students
    • Grades 10-12: 22.4 students
  • Prairie Rose has 121 teachers with 10+ years of experience.
  • Certified teaching salary costs for 2021-2022 are estimated at $26,785,174.
  • Support Staff salary costs for 2021-2022 are estimated at $10,600,443.

Seven Persons Field Trip

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.