By Tim Kalinowski
Transportation Request Denied
Prairie Rose School Division trustees debated a transport request from a family living outside of Seven Persons who see the Bow Island bus go by their door every morning, and yet, due to boundary issues, are forced to drive their kids up to another bus stop several miles away to go into Seven Persons. The family, not named in the public documents for the meeting, had requested to be allowed to send their children to Bow Island instead of Seven Persons school. This was ultimately denied after a narrow vote which split trustees on the issue along gender lines. Male trustees Frank, Wilkens, Dennis and Angle voted against the request. Female trustees Cooper, Hogg and Hicks voted in favour of the request.
Trustee Dennis made the initial motion to deny the request, saying it was imperative for the PRSD to hold the line on school area boundaries as they are currently delineated so as not to set a bad precedent going forward.
This was the latest in a string of transport requests the board has dealt with over the past few years. PRSD board chair Stuart Angle said due to the volume of requests received the trustees should consider holding a special board meeting to address the issue of boundaries and transportation requests and exceptions. Bussing already costs about 11 per cent of the PRSD’s total budget, and is a large reason for the ongoing, annual, deficit situation the board faces.
Moving & Choosing training will give school division a leg up on mental health awareness
Health Promotion Coordinator Sonya Brown of Alberta Health Services informed PRSD trustees that the AHS would be giving a grant of $60,000, split between four local school divisions, to train some school staff on how to recognize the signs of mental illness in students and to help foster better overall mental wellness in their schools. The $60,000 would be sufficient to train two to three teachers or staff per school in the Moving & Choosing program, and would cover the costs of substitute teacher time and transport for those who would take the training.
Superintendent Brian Andjelic was thrilled with the news, and said the initiative was in keeping with the Board’s Wildly Important Goal of fostering greater “Wellness” in the division’s student body.
Audit report coming November 29
The PRSD will hold a special board meeting on Nov. 29 to view the results of 2016/2017 audit on the division’s financial statements. The PRSD is projecting a deficit again this year, but the audited financial statements will confirm the exact amount of that deficit and suggest the steps to be taken to address the situation.