By Anna Smith
School may have been in session for a while now, but September 12 marked the first of the public board meetings for Prairie Rose Public Schools.
The meeting began with the organizational work, in which various trustees were further entrusted with roles to better serve and represent the school board.
The Board was glad to welcome Lois Bedwell as Board Chair, Patty Rooks as Vice-Chair, and Shawna VanderSpruit for representative for the Alberta School Boards Association (ASBA) with Nancy Haraga as the alternate.
Additionally, the representative for the Public School Boards Association will be Cathy Hogg, with Pam Cursons as an alternate, as well as the representative to the Teachers Employer Bargaining Association, and Rooks will be the representative on the Rural Caucus of Alberta.
Prairie Rose is well known for its specialty academies, and this showed with the preliminary registration numbers for the 2023–2024 school year, said Superintendent Reagan Weeks.
While the official numbers may not be available until the division makes the submission to Alberta Education at the end of September, interest in academy programs is up from previous years, which speaks well of general enrolment in the schools.
Based on first week of September numbers, there are a total of 287 students enrolled in a PRPS academy program, which is just under 10 per cent of the student population, reported Weeks. Some of the academies have also attracted students from far afield, with, for example, the SAHA U17 Males having a total of 22 students with two international students coming from Alaska and Australia.
The PRPS Board of Trustees ratified the Memorandum of Agreement for ATA Local Bargaining with the Alberta Teachers’ Association for the period of September 1, 2020, to August 31, 2024.
Some highlights of the agreement include changes to professional development allocations along with the establishment of a professional development committee, adjusted lieu time for school vice-principals, and approved use of PRPS emails for ATA teacher communications.