The May 11th regular board meeting was held at Regional Office in Barrhead.
Education Plan Priorities
Director of Education Services Raime Drake discussed some of the key components of the three-year education plan which will be approved at the May 25, 2022 board meeting. Drake summarized the initiatives, strategies and evidence associated with the key priorities of:
- Student-staff relationships
- Supports for staff
- Literacy and numeracy
While PHSD’s priorities haven’t changed from the previous plan, the strategies have been updated to reflect the division’s current operating environment. The initiatives, programs and services approved by the board include:
- A renewed focus on mental health and academics
- The right mix of support staff positions
- The development of a comprehensive professional development plan
- Targeted strategies to advance literacy and numeracy within grade groups
Transportation Funding Advocacy
Fuel prices across Canada have hit record highs in recent months and the division’s Transportation department has been affected heavily by these higher prices. Given that Pembina Hills buses travel 10,300 kilometres each school day, any increase in diesel prices are a large concern.
Between 2007 and 2013, Alberta Education had a Fuel Price Contingency Fund in place—whenever fuel prices rose above $1.20 per litre, the fund automatically directed extra grant funds into school divisions across the province to help offset high fuel costs.
The board approved a letter to the Minister of Education to request the reinstatement of this fund. It’s important to note that while Alberta Education increased the regular transportation operating grant by 4.6% for the 2022-2023 year, current projections are that fuel costs will cause a 6.6% increase in the division’s overall operating costs. Without some form of additional relief or grant funding, the division will be forced to reallocate resources or reconsider the services provided.
Trustee Professional Development
Following the conclusion of the regular meeting, the board continued its ongoing professional development through a book study of The Governance Core by Davis Campbell and Michael Fullen.
The next school board meeting will be held at Eleanor Hall School on May 25, 2022 starting at 9:00 a.m.