Division News Article

January 18, 2023 Board Meeting News

January 20th, 2023

Regional Office ~ 

Student Services presents assurance report

Assistant Superintendent of Student Services, Dr. Rob McGarva, presented the Board with a comprehensive report on the support services that the division provides to its students. Dr. McGarva indicated that from the pandemic, we are still seeing high levels of absences this year and that the new respiratory illnesses in children is also impacting academics. Alberta Education provided a learning loss grant but with delays in funding, it has been difficult to recruit staff or move people during the year. Work continues on expanding the impact of job postings. 

Dr. McGarva notes that there has been an increase in complexity of needs with students requiring multiple adults at one time to support them putting physical and psychological stress on staff. The Mental Health grant allowed Pembina Hills to hire additional staff with training in social work or human services, focused on attendance and connecting families to community resources. School administrators will focus on well-being of staff. Additional training is being provided for Educational Assistants as well as crisis response training all school staff. New practices are also being implemented with the division’s Regulation Specialist.

2023-2026 Capital Plan

The Board approved the proposal and recommendation presented by Superintendent Michael Borgford for the Barrhead Composite High School Modernization and Right Sizing as its single project for the 2023-2026 capital plan. The Town of Barrhead is currently discussing the need for new community centre partnerships and possible child care spaces, and has expressed an interest in discussing a joint use project with the division.

2022-2023 Alternate school calendars amended

In the fall of 2022, Alberta Education released details of the Provincial Achievement Testing Program which included defined dates for the tests. This has created a conflict for four of Pembina Hills Schools (Eleanor Hall, Dunstable, Neerlandia Public Christian and Fort Assiniboine). As a result, the Board approved administration’s recommendation that the school calendar for these schools be amended to accommodate the Grade 6 and 9 Mathematics test dates.

READ MORE: Board meeting agenda and minutes

Next School Board Meeting
Wednesday, February 22, 2023
Regional Office
9:30 a.m.