September 23, 2020 Board Meeting News

September 24th, 2020

Provincial Achievement Tests

The Board of Trustees passed a motion to not administer the Provincial Achievement Tests (PATs) for 2020-2021. Participation in PATs is optional and the data is primarily used to assist in monitoring and improving student learning. The school board and administration believe that PATs would provide incomplete data due to:

  • Learning gaps that occurred from learning-at-home in 2019-2020
  • Potential absenteeism that is likely to occur throughout 2020-2021

The division will continue to use specific tools to assess student needs and achievement in Numeracy and Literacy. These assessments will provide teachers with information to support student progress.

Student Enrolment

Student enrolment in our community schools is down approximately 435 students (12%) from projected enrolment. Schools have been reaching out to families to find out where students have gone:

  • About half of the students have chosen distance learning through the division’s online school, Vista Virtual School
  • Others have chosen homeschooling or other online schools

Cleaning Products at Schools

Our facilities department was having difficulty getting disinfectants that are natural and safe for kids. They have now found a different supplier and it’s no longer an issue. Currently the division has five pallets of hand sanitizer left from the province supply. HVAC units are running 24/7, so costs will increase, especially in the winter.

Award Presentations/Parent Teacher Interviews

Awards presentations will take place with no public access—video will be available where possible. Parent-Teacher interviews will take place by scheduling phone calls or google meets. Parents are reminded that they are always welcome to schedule a meeting with a teacher throughout the year.

Student Transportation

Registrations were slow until the end of August while parents decided whether to send students on the bus. Most parents have decided now, but as weather begins to get colder more students will likely be taking the bus.
Spare bus drivers have been used to fill positions from resignations and we are scrambling to fill routes if drivers aren’t able to drive due to COVID symptoms. Parents may need to transport students if spare drivers can’t be found. Pembina Hills is looking for bus drivers – please spread the word!

Check out the board meeting agenda and minutes for more information.

The next school board meeting is at the Regional Office on Wednesday, October 14, 2020 starting at 9:00 a.m. Members of the public are invited to view a livestream of the meeting on our website.