By Anna Smith
Even the onset of winter weather can’t delay the Prairie Rose Public Schools Board of Trustees from holding their monthly public meeting.
The meeting opened with a presentation from Bow Island Elementary and Senator Gershaw School Principal Scott Angle and Vice Principal John Paul Brocklesby, who showcased some of the work they’re doing with their students in Bow Island to Kindle Hearts, Ignite Minds, Forge Futures, and move forward with Truth and Reconciliation.
Some key notes included their student-led concerts, where the experience of performing was placed above a necessarily perfect performance, with Brocklesby commenting that there were plans for a non-auditioned chair, so that any student who enjoyed singing could be a part of it. Mentions of mentorship opportunities for older students also took the spotlight.
The Board examined their Communications Accountability report, where Communications Coordinator Angela Baron reviewed the processes for communicating with media, parents, and the public, as well as an update on the successes of the division’s social media platforms.
Several communications initiatives were highlighted, such as the upcoming logo rebranding and getting the inclement weather policies across to parents.
“We’ve got 18 schools, every one of them has a Facebook channel, many of them have an Instagram channel, some of them have a Twitter channel, they all have websites, they all have I mean, it goes on and on. So there’s, there’s a lot of channels in terms of how we’re getting information out there,” said Baron.
The division is back up to their full 83 bus routes, having a few more students register. Presently, the transportation for Prairie Rose travels a total of 17,274 kilometres per day, said Derek Beck, Director of Transportation. He continued on to explain several safety measures, such as principals supervising bus evacuation drills.
The division is still struggling to find and retain drivers, especially spare drivers at this time, noted Beck, adding that some routes have been given to alternative companies when the usual company, Southland, simply has nobody to spare.
“I’ve actually asked my organization, Student Transportation of Alberta, and virtually 85 to 90% of the divisions are finding the same problem with just a shortage of and trying to keep people. So it is a high paying job for sure. And I guess we’re looking for more people retiring, because we do have a fairly mature workforce in bus driving for sure,” said Beck.
The Board approved a field trip for Eagle Butte students to Greece. The trip will take place over the coming spring break, to avoid interference with class and testing schedules.