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Board Meeting Highlights - Jan 11, 2022
2022-01-12T23:09:20.642Z
Board Meeting Highlights - Jan 11, 2022
<p>The full board meeting agenda package can be found here: <a href="https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ayjvsHhUIIZTvm4ggNZhYMZTF6fpLzuP/view?usp=sharing">https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ayjvsHhUIIZTvm4ggNZhYMZTF6fpLzuP/view?usp=sharing</a></p><p><strong>IF Cox School Presentation</strong></p><p>Principal Linda Asham and Vice Principal Tracy Frank provided an overview of IF Cox School highlighting a number of strategies developed by staff focused on increasing learning opportunities and student success. In their presentation to the board, the school leaders featured several initiatives including; a strong focus on literacy, character education and social emotional learning, and respect for one another and the earth. It was noted the school is really proud of the work their students and teachers have done towards improving literacy across grades K-3 through focused strategies such as Secret Stories and the introduction of Heggerty Phonemic Awareness. The full presentation can be found in the board meeting agenda package.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>COVID-19 Update</strong></p><p>Superintendent Reagan Weeks provided a brief system update regarding the return to in-person learning following the extended winter break. It was noted that currently Prairie Rose has been able to maintain in-person learning across the division with minimal disruption and that a few schools (Prairie Mennonite, Jenner, Parkside) had already received their shipment of PPE (as of Tuesday PM) with the rest expected to come throughout the week. All items will be shipped directly to schools so they can be distributed quickly once they arrive. It was also shared that unlike in previous COVID-19 waves, Alberta Health and the province have made the decision to no longer ask schools to report positive COVID cases to their school communities. The complete Prairie Rose return to school plan and the updated illness guides can be found on the website: <a href="https://www.myprps.com/covid-19-resources">https://www.myprps.com/covid-19-resources</a></p><p><strong>Maintenance and Infrastructure Report</strong></p><p>Director of Maintenance Operations Darrell Drefs provided the Maintenance Accountability Report to the Board for information. Highlights of the report include a summary of the maintenance budget, an overview of projects completed in the 2020-2021 year through Infrastructure Maintenance and Renewal (IMR) funding and Capital Maintenance and Renewal (CMR) funding, and a summary of the Prairie Rose Capital Plan. It was shared that during the 2020-2021 year, $592,838 was spent on IMR projects. Some of those upgrades included the modernization of the Oyen Public School entrance, window replacement at Eagle Butte High School, creating barrier-free access at South Central, and upgrading the Ralston server room. Completed CMR projects included (but were not limited to) mechanical upgrades at Parkside, BMS control upgrade at IF Cox, and a fire alarm panel and systems upgrade at Seven Persons. Drefs noted that the main difference between IMR and CMR is how the spending is reported and projects capitalized, and that CMR projects must be pre-approved. Overall, during the 2020-2021 year the actual maintenance deficit came in $195,902 over budget. A complete list and photos on completed projects can be found in the board meeting agenda package.</p><p><strong>Inclusive Education Accountability Report</strong></p><p>Director of Student Services Camille Quinton presented the Inclusive Education Accountability Report to the Board for information. It was noted that the division received an additional $300,000 in funding last year for services and student supports for a total of $4,483,013. The total spent on providing student services amounted to $5,036,985, with the remaining funding coming from general instruction. A breakdown of the types of services and student codes was provided along with allocated funding for each school. The full report can be found in the board meeting agenda package.</p><p><strong>Financial Update</strong></p><p>Assistant Secretary Treasurer Candice Hintz provided a financial update to the Board for information. As of November 2021, the division was 25% of the way through the current fiscal year. There were no reported changes to revenues, compared to the fall 2021 approved budget. The school division is currently projecting overall revenues of $51,511,580 for the year and projected expenses of $52,141,775. Overall, the 2021-2022 school year deficit is expected to come in at $595,195.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Other Items:</strong></p><ul><li>The board approved the borrowing resolution with ATB Financial for the 2021-2022 year.</li></ul>
Parent Update: Return to In-Person Classes on Jan 10th
2022-01-06T22:41:36.124Z
Parent Update: Return to In-Person Classes on Jan 10th
<p>On Wednesday, <a href="https://www.alberta.ca/release.cfm?xID=81695BC01F3A2-FCDD-B660-8693473704E81BE1">January 5th the Alberta Government confirmed</a> that in-person classes would restart on January 10th. With the classes resuming next week, Prairie Rose Public Schools is prepared to welcome back students using enhanced cleaning and health practices such as masking for grades 4-12 (and all adults), cohorting when possible, and enhanced cleaning practices.&nbsp;</p><p>To supplement our current efforts, the government will begin distributing medical grade masks and testing kits to each student and staff member. The school division has been told that we can expect to start seeing shipments of these items as early as Friday, January 7th, although there is no guarantee they will arrive by the start of classes next week. Once schools receive the materials they will be sent home with students. <i>The use of the medical masks and testing kits is optional and can be used at the discretion and guidance of parents. </i>A video has been created with instructions on how to use the <a href="https://youtu.be/h4q7EuAbgE8">testing kits</a> for those who wish to use them.</p><p>Other important information:</p><ul><li>All individuals are still required to review the <a href="https://drive.google.com/file/d/12oedZgsqwxJlmL6yMMLlR86E4PeuvGMG/view">Student Illness Guide</a> with their child each day before coming to school. If your child shows any signs of illness, parents will be contacted to pick up their child from school. It is anticipated there will be new changes to the daily checklist, but currently we ask families to follow the same process as prior to the winter break when determining if their child is well enough to attend school. Over the break the government also announced changes to the <a href="https://www.alberta.ca/isolation.aspx">isolation and quarantine timelines</a>. Please take a moment to review the new changes.<br>&nbsp;</li><li>Based on current health data, there will likely be a high number of student and staff absences in the coming weeks due to the rising number of Omicron COVID-19 cases within communities. Should this happen in Prairie Rose, it may be necessary to move a class or classes to online learning for a short period of time. Online learning will only be used as a last resort when it is not possible to offer in-person learning.<br>&nbsp;</li><li>It is our hope that extra curricular activities (including sports programs) will continue as planned. We have not received official confirmation regarding extra curricular and expect more information related to the continuation of these programs in the next few days.<br>&nbsp;</li><li>It is expected that the government will be making several changes to their K-12 school guidance documents. Currently, we do not have additional information related to what these may be, including contact tracing practices. Once we have more information this will be shared with families.<br>&nbsp;</li><li><strong>For high school students only</strong>: Diploma exams have been cancelled for January. Prairie Rose has also made the decision to cancel exam week, which means there will be no final exams for any high school students. Classes will run for all high school students up to and including January 26th. Students will be off on January 27th and January 28th (SI Day). Second semester will begin on January 31st.</li></ul><p>We understand that families may have additional questions. We continue to ask for your patience as we amend our guidelines based on new information from the province. Please watch your email over the weekend, as it is likely you may receive another update from us with these details. As always, we appreciate your cooperation and patience as we navigate the uncertainty of the pandemic and look forward to a return to in-person learning next week.</p><p>Sincerely,</p><p>Reagan Weeks<br>Superintendent of Schools<br>Prairie Rose Public Schools</p>
Delayed Return to Classes until Jan 10th
2021-12-31T17:43:40.168Z
Delayed Return to Classes until Jan 10th
<p>On December 30th, the province announced that due to the rising number of Omicron cases of COVID-19, <strong>the return to school following the Christmas break will be delayed across the province until January 10th</strong>. In Prairie Rose, students were scheduled to return to class next Monday on January 3rd. In addition to postponing a return to class for students, it was also announced that diploma exams that are scheduled to start on January 11th have been cancelled.</p><p>During the extended break, school jurisdictions have been asked to assess staffing implications and the potential operational impacts of the current COVID-19 situation. This also includes reviewing current COVID-19 protocols in Prairie Rose schools and considering additional measures that can be implemented for a safe return to in-person classes. Alberta Education has committed to sharing more information with school authorities next week and have informed us that they are already working to secure additional PPE (masks and rapid test kits) to increase student and staff safety. In Prairie Rose we have already taken proactive measures and have secured KN95 and testing kits which will be available in our schools for the January 10th start date. Once we have more information regarding any additional measures they will be passed along to our school communities.</p><p>We appreciate your understanding and patience as we navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic and the uncertainty it brings for both schools and families. Our goal is to continue to work with parents to ensure learning remains a priority, despite the unforeseen challenges we face. Please enjoy your extended Christmas break and we will provide more information once it is made available to us.</p><p>Sincerely,</p><p>Reagan Weeks<br>Superintendent of Schools</p>
December 14, 2021 Board Meeting Highlights
2021-12-15T16:51:49.432Z
December 14, 2021 Board Meeting Highlights
<p><strong>Mileage and Meal Reimbursement Rates</strong></p><p>Secretary Treasurer Ryan Boser provided an overview of the results of a mileage and meal reimbursement review that compared Prairie Rose’s rates with other school divisions in Zone 6. The division currently reimburses staff at 0.50 per kilometre for mileage, $11 for breakfast, $15 for lunch and $25 for supper. It was recommended that the mileage rate be increased to 0.54 per kilometre and that breakfast financial reimbursement be increased to $15 and supper to $30. The changes would apply to all Prairie Rose staff when conducting official PRPS business. The motion was carried.</p><p><strong>Oyen Public School Presentation</strong></p><p>Principal Jason Duchscherer shared a presentation with the board outlining academic programming, instructional strategies and facility improvements at Oyen Public School. It was noted that the school used the assurance survey data collected in the spring of 2021 to make changes based on the feedback received from students and parents.&nbsp;</p><p>The presentation highlighted the following:</p><ul><li>Recent renovations at the school to improve the front entrance and the completion of a breakfast room.</li><li>Literacy strategies being used across all grade levels including science of reading, Heggerty program and secret stories.</li><li>New programming options at OPS including art class, band, drama, leadership, and computer skills and problem solving.</li><li>Two academy programs, including the SAHA hockey academy and the introduction of the new Jr. Badgers baseball program.</li><li>The introduction of the Prairie Rose Possibility agriculture program where the school purchased their own chicken coop and students were responsible for growing and caring for the animals. The school also purchased red wiggler worms as part of an organic recycling initiative.</li><li>The sharing of a school librarian with South Central High School for 9 hours per week.</li></ul><p>The full presentation can be found in the <a href="https://drive.google.com/file/d/1LcBqHQiRv2YByODmAnYmid7PzdY2e6K4/view">December 14, 2021, Board Meeting</a> package.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Irvine School Field Trip</strong></p><p>Superintendent Reagan Weeks presented an Irvine School field trip request to Quebec City, Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto from April 23 - May 1, 2022, through EF Tours. It was noted that this specific trip has been approved by the board in past years and that EF Tours is a reputable company specializing in student travel. The board approved the field trip request as presented.</p><p><strong>Board Committee Structures</strong></p><p>Superintendent Reagan Weeks asked the board to vote on two separate motions to rescind two governance policies, Student Board Advisory Committee and FNMI Committee, as both were not consistently reviewed by the board on an annual basis. It was recommended that the Student Board Advisory Committee be renamed, Student Voice and be turned into an ad hoc committee. However, the FNMI Committee will be dissolved, as it was noted that the policy is outdated and the board already receives regular updates via the FNMI Coordinator report, Student Services report and Annual Education Results Report related to FNMI supports, results and strategies. The board passed both motions.</p>
COVID-19 Vaccine Information for Parents
2021-11-25T21:26:23.980Z
COVID-19 Vaccine Information for Parents
<p>We have been asked to share the following information with our families from Alberta Health Services:</p><p>Health Canada has approved Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5-11. The Canadian Pediatric Society is recommending that all eligible children get vaccinated against COVID-19.</p><p>Parents may book vaccine appointments for children aged 5 to 11 through the <a href="https://bookvaccine.alberta.ca/vaccine/s/">Alberta Vaccine Booking system</a> or by calling Health Link at 811. <strong>Vaccines will not be available in schools and schools do not track or monitor the status of student vaccinations</strong>. Parent or guardian consent is required for children to get their vaccine, and it can be provided either in-person at the vaccine appointment or by a signed consent form.</p><p>K-12 students are not required to have a vaccination of any kind to attend Prairie Rose Public Schools, and no student will be denied access to an education based on their vaccination status. Prairie Rose will continue to recognize and respect parents as the primary decision-makers for their children regarding COVID vaccinations. We encourage our parents and guardians to seek out reliable and factual information to inform their decisions on vaccines for their children.&nbsp;</p><h4>Vaccine Resources</h4><ul><li><a href="https://open.alberta.ca/dataset/94df0467-fe7d-4008-891b-911c230bc8b9/resource/2fa7e614-a976-4cd2-82e2-4bc739687056/download/health-cmoh-letter-covid-19-vaccine-for-children-age-5-11-parents-guardians.pdf">Alberta's Chief Medical Officer of Health letter to parents (Nov 24)</a></li><li><a href="https://www.alberta.ca/covid19-vaccine-myths-and-facts.aspx">Government of Alberta – Vaccine myths and facts and information on vaccines for children</a></li><li><a href="https://www.albertahealthservices.ca/topics/page17746.aspx">AHS COVID-19 Immunization for Children Under 12</a></li><li><a href="https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/vaccination-children/covid-19.html?utm_campaign=hc-sc-covidvaccine-21-22&amp;utm_medium=sem&amp;utm_source=ggl&amp;utm_content=ad-text-en&amp;utm_term=children%20covid%2019%20vaccine&amp;adv=2122-89750&amp;id_campaign=12876015044&amp;id_source=128444816378&amp;id_content=545566020908&amp;gclid=CjwKCAiAs92MBhAXEiwAXTi25ykm3zsdnWS0BBBHnhZ9lKIDupsFaIexHgIGw5_VrYtlH691ESvTbxoCYmIQAvD_BwE&amp;gclsrc=aw.ds">Health Canada – COVID-19 vaccines for children: What you need to know</a></li></ul><p>&nbsp;</p>
November 23, 2021 Board Meeting Highlights
2021-11-24T21:08:39.755Z
November 23, 2021 Board Meeting Highlights
<p>The meeting agenda can be found here: <a href="https://drive.google.com/file/d/1M8ausPsSe9nUKMaAxzulKi8w0RKXMzcd/view?usp=sharing">https://drive.google.com/file/d/1M8ausPsSe9nUKMaAxzulKi8w0RKXMzcd/view?usp=sharing</a></p><p><br><strong>Student Services Report</strong></p><p>Director of Inclusion Services Camille Quinton shared her Student Services Accountability Report to the board for information. The Student Services team is responsible for providing a variety of programming support to students and staff that includes special education supports, counseling, student leadership, early childhood programming, speech and language therapy, social work, psychology and health supports. It was noted that there has been an increase in students requesting mental health support in schools as a result of the ongoing COVID pandemic. Priority around health and wellness in schools continues to be emphasized.</p><p><strong>Audited Financial Statements</strong></p><p>Assistant Secretary Treasurer Candice Hintz presented the 2020-2021 Audited Financial Statements for approval. It was noted that factors impacting the previous year’s budget included lower enrollment compared to spring projections, the implementation of a new funding model that included a weighted moving average per student calculation, and funding for COVID-19 to recover additional costs for subs, new technology and the implementation of the Home Plus Learning Program. For the 2020-2021 year, the division posted a total accumulated surplus of $10,424. This includes a surplus of $486,870 in Instruction, a deficit of $1,152,127 in Operations and Maintenance, a surplus in Transportation of $449,322, a surplus of $197,386 in System Administration and a surplus in External Services of $8,125. Auditors, MNP LLP, indicated no issues with the audit process and provided a clean audit opinion. The full financial statements and audit opinion can be found in the board meeting agenda package.</p><p>The board passed two motions related to the audited financial statements:</p><ul><li>That the Board of Trustees of Prairie Rose Public Schools approve the net transfer of $133,675 from Unrestricted Operating Reserves to Restricted Operating Reserves. Further, it approves the net transfer of $26,918 from Unrestricted Operating Reserves to Restricted Capital Reserves. <strong>CARRIED</strong></li><li>That the Board of Trustees of Prairie Rose Public Schools approves the 2020-21 Audited Financial Statements, as presented. <strong>CARRIED</strong></li></ul><p><strong>2021-2022 Revised Budget</strong></p><p>Secretary Treasurer Ryan Boser presented the revised 2021-2022 budget for approval. Assumptions of the revised budget included no interruptions in Alberta Education funding due to COVID-19, a decrease in enrollment of 69.5 FTE students from projections, a decrease in insurance premiums and no changes to the salary grids for teachers or support staff. In comparison to the spring projected budget, the division is now forecasting a deficit of $630,195, down from $733,873 for a difference of $103,678. This amount includes an instructional surplus of $128,373, a deficit of $918,747 in Operations and Maintenance, a surplus of $153,360 in Transportation and a surplus of $6,819 in External Services. It was noted that unlike previous years, System Administration (previously called Board and System Administration) is a separate grant, rather than a maximum percentage of overall expenses. The full budget can be found in the board meeting agenda package.</p><ul><li>That the Board of Trustees of Prairie Rose Public Schools approves the 2021-22 Revised Budget, as presented. <strong>CARRIED</strong></li></ul><p><strong>Annual Education Results Report</strong></p><p>Superintendent Reagan Weeks presented the Annual Education Results Report for approval. The report is now separate from the annual Education Plan and focuses on five new domains in connection with the new assurance model. The new domains include; Student Growth and Achievement, Teaching and Learning, Learning Supports, Governance and Local Context. It was noted that overall results are really strong in Prairie Rose and reflect the excellent efforts of staff, students and communities who have worked hard to provide and participate in unique learning experiences, despite the challenges related to COVID-19. The complete Results Report can be found in the board agenda package.</p><ul><li>That the Board of Trustees of Prairie Rose Public Schools approves the 2020-21 Annual Education Results Report, as presented. <strong>CARRIED</strong></li></ul>
2021 Bus Poster Contest Winners
2021-11-16T18:37:15.952Z
2021 Bus Poster Contest Winners
<p>Each year Prairie Rose Public School students participate in the annual bus poster safety contest as part of Bus Safety Week (Oct 17-23) in Alberta. This year's theme was 'Bus Rules Rock'! Winners from kindergarten to grade 6 are selected locally and then all entries are sent for judging at the provincial level. Congratulations to the following students for being selected as the Prairie Rose grade level winners.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Kindergarten</strong><br>1st place: Noah V - Bow Island Elementary<br>2nd place: Adelle K - Bow Island Elementary<br>3rd place: Kennedy R - Bow Island Elementary</p><p><strong>Grade 1</strong><br>1st place: Brogan E - Schuler<br>2nd place: Cooper C - Bow Island Elementary<br>3rd place: Jordan M - IF Cox</p><p><strong>Grade 2</strong><br>1st place: Sadie E - Seven Persons<br>2nd place: Keller T - New Brigden<br>3rd place: Lincoln V - Bow Island Elementary</p><p><strong>Grade 3</strong><br>1st place: Julia K - Foremost<br>2nd place: Jade H - Jenner<br>3rd place: Blaze H - Foremost</p><p><strong>Grade 4</strong><br>1st place: Dawn S - Senator Gershaw<br>2nd place: Briar W - Oyen Public<br>3rd place: Omnima R - Ralston</p><p><strong>Grade 5</strong><br>1st place: Hadley V - Oyen Public<br>2nd place: Mila W - Senator Gershaw<br>3rd place: Maddox M - Oyen Public</p><p><strong>Grade 6</strong><br>1st place: David H - Prairie Mennonite<br>2nd place: Sara F - Prairie Mennonite<br>3rd place: Jake R - Prairie Mennonite</p>
Board Meeting Highlights - November 9, 2021
2021-11-10T18:44:22.000Z
Board Meeting Highlights - November 9, 2021
<p><strong>1. Ralston School Presentation</strong></p><p>Ralston School principal Stacey Nunweiller provided the board with an update on what is happening at the school. Some of the highlights include community consultation to develop a new mission and vision for the school, a community building project (as many of the students who attend Ralston School come from out of the country), and the implementation of new strategies to address parent and student concerns from the assurance survey that took place in the spring of 2021. One of the strategies included focus on student voice which involved extending the student council to include a representative from each classroom from grades JK-9. Principal Nunweiller also spoke about the new Ralston School Prairie Rose Possibility project called Learning from the Land. A <a href="https://sites.google.com/d/14gBkPIeg37nccEYw0emI7KTImX-QhZen/p/1fv1AjB51VmiJd7xPTZdbaba">website</a> has been created outlining the project in detail. The full presentation can be found in the <a href="https://drive.google.com/file/d/1-FXOvzHq2L3LCDZci2P-Z_sS9ftfgyyl/view?usp=sharing">November 9, 2021 Agenda Package</a>.</p><p><strong>2. Prairie Rose Possibilities</strong></p><p>Superintendent Reagan Weeks presented a report to the board outlining unique learning opportunities and programs across the school division. In total, Prairie Rose has a total of 28 projects that have been started with approximately 1,527 students participating across the division. The full list of projects can be found in the <a href="https://drive.google.com/file/d/1-FXOvzHq2L3LCDZci2P-Z_sS9ftfgyyl/view?usp=sharing">November 9, 2021, Agenda Package</a>.</p><p><strong>3. Committee Structures</strong> - item was tabled.</p><p><strong>4. COVID-19 Tabled Policy</strong></p><p>Deputy Superintendent Mark Heinricks presented an overview of the data collected by the school division related to vaccination rates of staff by employee groups, the letters sent to school division’s by the Minister’s of Education and Health and the ATA, the CMOH Health Order, legal considerations related to the implementation or lack thereof of a proof of negative COVID test or vaccination policy, and details on what other boards in the province have done to address the Ministers’ request.&nbsp;</p><p>Trustee Lois Bedwell put forward a motion that would direct administration to develop a policy that would require staff who work directly with students to be double vaccinated or show proof of a negative COVID-19 test.&nbsp;</p><p>A second motion was put forward by trustee Shauna Vanderspruit to table the motion by trustee Bedwell. That motion was defeated 3-4.</p><p>The board discussed the implications of the motion put forward by trustee Bedwell including; the ability for staff to test, vaccine hesitancy, legal implications and board liability, potential insurance costs, clarification related to what is meant by ‘staff’ and a possible timeline for implementation. The motion passed 4-3. A recorded vote was requested.</p><ul><li>For: Hogg, Cursons, Bedwell, Rooks</li><li>Against: Haraga, Dennis, Vanderspruit</li></ul><p>Trustee Vanderspruit put forward an additional motion asking for administration to draft a letter reminding the government that the mandate for school boards is to make decisions for students regarding education, and that health decisions should remain the purview of the Ministry of Health. Further, the letter will include a request for financial assistance for boards to cover costs incurred when implementing a rapid testing program in schools. The motion was carried unanimously.</p><p>A letter has been shared with stakeholders with further clarification of the decision: <a href="https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1LPB6IlUth_r49I408jB74tItdGpDuAe8">Policy Decision Letter</a></p>
Micro-Credentials Partnership with Medicine Hat College
2021-11-01T19:31:19.647Z
Micro-Credentials Partnership with Medicine Hat College
<p>The full release can be found on the Medicine Hat College website: <a href="https://www.mhc.ab.ca/NewsandEvents/Stories/2021/October/PRSD-Partner-For-Microcredentials">https://www.mhc.ab.ca/NewsandEvents/Stories/2021/October/PRSD-Partner-For-Microcredentials</a></p><p><i>High school students in Prairie Rose Public Schools have new opportunities to engage in higher learning, thanks to a partnership with Medicine Hat College (MHC).</i></p><p>The college recently announced micro-credentials as part of its program mix, which provide fast, flexible and quality-assured learning in targeted areas of interest and industry. These short-term programs are delivered online and can stand-alone or complement traditional credentials such as certificates, diplomas and degrees.</p><p>With this new partnership, Prairie Rose high school students will have access to micro-credentials in Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Advanced Pilot Training, Tourism and Hospitality Management, Permaculture Design, and Rainwater Harvesting.</p><p>“This is a chance to explore new subject areas and maybe discover a future career path,” says Dr. Reagan Weeks, new superintendent for the school division.“Micro-credentials present an exciting opportunity for our students to test the waters and learn at a different level. We believe there is tremendous value in connecting our students to the college environment and increasing their confidence with the post-secondary system. The more exposure and experiences we can offer our students now, the better prepared they will be for the future.”</p><p>She adds the UAV Advanced Pilot Training micro-credential will be the first to launch with Eagle Butte Dave Rozdeba Flight Academy students and Foremost School, in partnership with the Foremost UAS Testing Range.</p><p>Upon completion of a micro-credential, learners receive a digital badge that can be easily shared across their social media network, highlighted on their resume, or included in their email signature.</p><p>“Employers are looking to address skills gaps now and micro-credentials provide an efficient and targeted approach to meeting their needs,” says Timothy Spielman, dean for the School of Business and Continuing Studies. “Whether learning in a high school classroom or building additional career capacity as a working professional, the online and flexible delivery of micro-credentials meets learners where they are at in life.”</p><p>For more information about micro-credentials, please <a href="https://www.mhc.ab.ca/ProgramsandCourses/Micro-credentials">click here</a>.</p>
Inclement Weather Policy Changes
2021-10-14T20:08:43.539Z
Inclement Weather Policy Changes
<p>Recently, Prairie Rose Public Schools undertook a review of Inclement Weather policy T201. The review occurred following feedback from many parents and staff who expressed that the current policy was confusing, especially when it came to school closures and extreme cold weather. The policy stated that schools could be closed when the temperature (combined with wind chill) was -40 or lower at 6:00 am. This resulted in several days of school closures and late decisions which caused planning challenges for families.</p><p>As part of the review process, information regarding wind chill information and weather data was collected from the past three years from all regions of the school division. The research revealed the following:</p><p><strong>Wind Chill</strong></p><ul><li>Wind chill does not impact the actual air temperature. The wind chill index was designed to assess the risk of frostbite on unclothed parts of the body.</li><li>When students are riding in a bus, wind chill is an irrelevant factor.</li></ul><p><strong>Cold Weather Days in Prairie Rose</strong></p><ul><li>Over the past three years, there was on average 5.9 days each year that schools were closed due cold weather combined with wind chill.</li><li>On these cold weather days, the temperature frequently warmed over the course of a few hours.</li><li>The majority of the cold weather days occurred in January, February and March which greatly impacted instructional time in the second semester.</li><li>Very few cold weather days resulted in temperatures colder than -35 degrees.</li></ul><p>The findings of the data used for the report can be found here: <a href="https://drive.google.com/file/d/1PUA2oti-kBrAf6v16TQ0eOt-28mNZuTb/view?usp=sharing">PRPS Cold Weather Data</a></p><p><i>* Data for the report was taken from </i><a href="http://agriculture.alberta.ca/acis/weather-data-viewer.jsp"><i>Agriculture Alberta</i></a><i>&nbsp;</i></p><p>Based on the findings of the inclement weather review, policy T201 Inclement Weather has been changed to reflect the following:</p><ul><li>Wind chill is no longer going to be calculated into school closure decisions on cold weather days.</li><li>School closures due to temperature will occur when the actual temperature is -36 degrees or colder.</li><li>School bus drivers will continue to have the autonomy to cancel routes based on localized conditions and for safety reasons.</li><li>Schools may still be closed due to poor roads and weather conditions (i.e. blizzards, icy conditions, blowing snow.)</li></ul><p>Link to updated policy: <a href="https://drive.google.com/file/d/1y9loNCVX_fD23-FtlhFOdKaY-j-1xgrU/view?usp=sharing">T201 Inclement Weather</a></p><p>We understand that many families will continue to have concerns about sending their children to school on days of extreme cold weather. Should a cold weather day occur and a school is not closed (based on the above criteria) a parent maintains the right to keep their child home from school. If this is the case, we ask that parents connect with the school and bus driver to communicate this decision.</p><p>It is our hope that the revisions to Inclement Weather policy T201 will ensure a more consistent approach across Prairie Rose Public Schools when cold weather occurs. We will continue to communicate with parents using School Messenger to announce changes to bus routes or school closures. If you have not done so already, <a href="https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0BwxYarNhDkXYYzRzTFJ2ZGlpSkU?resourcekey=0-eavDlxC5k-yKNPLxEHQmKQ">we encourage you to opt in to receive text messages</a>, as it remains the most effective means to get information to families in a timely manner.</p>
October 13, 2021 Board Meeting Highlights
2021-10-14T19:56:26.371Z
October 13, 2021 Board Meeting Highlights
<p><strong>October 13, 2021 Agenda: </strong><a href="https://drive.google.com/file/d/1TCksiO3Av08zpXC6I66yU2wbDBKgfDAG/view?usp=sharing">Agenda Package - October 13, 2021 (Online).pdf</a></p><p><strong>Coulee Collegiate</strong></p><p>Coulee Collegiate principal Tim Bloomfield provided an update to the board outlining how the school works in partnership with Medicine Hat Public Schools and the Medicine Hat College. Coulee Collegiate is unique compared to traditional public schools, as it provides both face to face instruction to college students who are upgrading or earning their high school diploma, while also providing course options for current 10-12 students. Due to the flexible nature of the program, it was noted the school generally fluctuates between 400-550 active students at any one time. In addition to high school courses and option classes, the school also offers institutes that allow high school aged students to earn workplace certifications at no cost.&nbsp; Although, in the early stages of implementation, the partnership between Prairie Rose Public Schools, Medicine Hat Public Schools and Medicine Hat college is an incredible success.</p><p><strong>Superintendent Performance Assessment Guide</strong></p><p>Deputy Superintendent Reagan Weeks presented a new assessment guide for evaluating the division’s superintendent performance measures annually. The proposed changes align with the new Superintendent Quality Standards and still allow flexibility for the board to add localized items for assessment.</p><p><strong>Board Correspondence</strong></p><p>Board Chair Stuart Angle shared that all correspondence to the board regarding stakeholder positions for the implementation of a proof of vaccination program has been compiled and placed in a folder for all trustees to review.</p><p><strong>Proof of Vaccination Program</strong></p><p>Superintendent Roger Clarke spoke to the letter sent by the Minister’s of Education and Health advocating for boards to implement local policies/administrative procedures to support vaccinations and COVID-19 rapid testing requirements for Prairie Rose staff. There was some discussion regarding whether the timing was appropriate for making a decision with a new board being elected next week. Some background was shared regarding how the division arrived at being in a position to consider an administrative procedure for vaccination/proof of negative COVID test and any potential risks for delaying a decision. It was also noted that new guidance that was promised last week for school divisions has not yet been shared from Alberta Education and it would be helpful to have the new guidance and the corresponding health order, to ensure that the new PRPS administrative procedure aligns with the provincial documents. It was emphasized that a policy or procedure regarding vaccination/proof of negative COVID test would not impact students. The board voted in favour of tabling the motion for the implementation of an administration procedure for proof of vaccination/negative COVID test for staff, volunteers or practicum students.</p><p><strong>Transportation Accountability Report</strong></p><p>Director of Transportation Derek Beck shared the Transportation Accountability Report for information. Highlights of the report include:</p><ul><li>Prairie Rose transports 1,845 students on 83 bus routes that travel 17,040 kilometres each day.</li><li>The average cost of a bus route in Prairie Rose is $60,435 per year.</li><li>In the 2020-2021 year, Prairie Rose spent $5.28 million dollars on bus transportation.</li><li>Prairie Rose buses students from Cherry Academy Christian Academy, Holy Spirit School Division and Christ the Redeemer School Division to schools in Bow Island and Oyen.</li><li>The school division participates in a provincial bus safety poster contest each year, which actively promotes bus safety initiatives.</li><li>Prairie Rose contracts bus services from Southland Transportation (71), First Student (2), Old West Transport and independent contractors (5)</li><li>In addition to daily transportation of students to and from school, bus transportation supports student programming for academy and off-site field trips.</li></ul><p><strong>Financial Update</strong></p><p>Assistant Secretary Treasurer Candice Hintz provided a year-end financial update for the year 2020-2021. HIghlights of the report include:</p><ul><li>Alberta Education revenues of $358,000 higher than budgeted. This was due to one-time funding for online learning and the critical worker benefit payment.</li><li>Revenues are expected to come in $645,100 over budget. Main factors include the increase in Alberta Education funding, a decrease in donation revenue and equity return from ASBIE (Alberta School Boards Insurance Exchange).</li><li>Certified salaries came in $181,300 under budget. Sub costs also came in lower than budgeted.</li><li>Non certified salaries increased by $121,000. This is due to the critical worker benefit and EA hours purchased by schools.</li><li>Overall, the school division is expected to have an actual deficit of $24,098 (budgeted deficit of $351,140) for the 2020-2021 year with total expenditures coming in at $52,916,686 compared to $52,892,588 in revenues.</li></ul><p><strong>Enrollment Update</strong></p><p>Secretary Treasurer Ryan Boser provided the September 29, 2021, enrollment update for information. This past spring the division had projected a decrease in enrollment of 13 students for the current year compared to the 2020-21 school year. Actual enrollment came in 66 students below spring projections, for a total of 79 less students compared to the previous year. It was noted that due to the new funding formula and the weighted moving average, the division will only be losing 50% of the 2021-2022 funding. This amount represents approx. $282,000 of overall revenues. It was noted that due to the uncertainty with the ongoing pandemic, school divisions were ‘held-harmless’ for the 2020-21 school year as significant fluctuations occurred. This will offset approximately $149,000 of the overall amount. Reserves will be used to cover the remaining funding loss.</p><p><strong>Oyen Maintenance Shop</strong></p><p>Secretary Treasurer Ryan Boser explained that the Oyen maintenance shop has required replacement for many years. It is estimated that a new shop will cost between $100,000 and $175,000. The board approved a motion to allocate funds from capital reserves for the project.</p><p><strong>EL Policy #10</strong></p><p>Following the implementation of the new Education Act in September 2019, a number of Prairie Rose policies required updating to adhere to the new act. It was noted that Prairie Rose policy EL #10 School Closure / Transfer of Students still contained parts of the previous School Act and required realignment. Proposed changes were presented for feedback. The board voted in favour of approving the changes to EL #10, as presented.</p><p><strong>Human Resources Accountability Report</strong></p><p>Assistant Superintendent Kal Koch presented the Human Resources Report for information. Highlights of the report include:</p><ul><li>Prairie Rose employs 236 certified staff and 228 support staff.</li><li>Prairie Rose provides staffing to support inclusion, nutrition and mental health and wellness.</li><li>The average class sizes in Prairie Rose include:<ul><li>K: 15.2 students</li><li>Grades 1-3: 16.0 students</li><li>Grades 4-6: 20.3 students</li><li>Grades 7-9: 21.3 students</li><li>Grades 10-12: 22.4 students</li></ul></li><li>Prairie Rose has 121 teachers with 10+ years of experience.</li><li>Certified teaching salary costs for 2021-2022 are estimated at $26,785,174.</li><li>Support Staff salary costs for 2021-2022 are estimated at $10,600,443.</li></ul><p><strong>Seven Persons Field Trip</strong></p><p>Superintendent Roger Clarke presented a field trip request from Seven Persons School to participate in a four day trip to Kananaskis from October 22-25 of this month through Outward Bound. As the trip is overnight and takes place in the fall in the mountains, there are some additional logistics that are still being worked out. The board voted in favour of providing approval for the trip, pending final approval of the Superintendent.</p>
September 24 - COVID-19 Update
2021-09-24T20:03:56.402Z
September 24 - COVID-19 Update
<p>Over the past week there have been a number of changes related to the guidelines for schools for COVID-19. We wanted to take this opportunity to highlight some of these changes and clarify information related to parent notification when a confirmed case of COVID-19 is shared with our schools by parents. We have also been made aware of social media posts that are circulating that make claims regarding mandatory student vaccinations which are based on misinformation that we would like to address and clarify with our families.</p><p><strong>Recent Changes to the Re-Entry Plan and Health Screening Guides</strong><br>On September 22, 2021, the government updated the guidance document for schools following the declaration of a public health emergency in Alberta. We have made changes to our Prairie Rose Re-Entry Plan to reflect the new guidance document. You can find it, along with government guidance and the CMOH order that supports the changes on our website under the tab <a href="https://drive.google.com/file/d/12HIeN3oaL24UpdR87fT-NGeKXoTXONIU/view?usp=sharing">COVID-19 Resources</a>. Of particular note, the new health screening guide added a new section related to household close contacts. Until now there was no isolation recommendation for members of a family when someone tests positive for COVID-19. The Chief Medical Officer of Health has added a new section that changes this position. It is now <strong>strongly recommended</strong> that anyone who is a household close contact of someone who tests positive for COVID-19 to stay home for 14 days if they are not fully vaccinated. We recognize that this change will have a significant impact on many families and we encourage you to discuss any questions about this update with your school principal. You can find the changes reflected in updates to our <a href="https://drive.google.com/file/d/12oedZgsqwxJlmL6yMMLlR86E4PeuvGMG/view?usp=sharing">Student Illness Guide</a> and our <a href="https://drive.google.com/file/d/1IJ8D-GrZniZOevr6tKsVJ0NGb-SRMChH/view?usp=sharing">Adult Illness Guide</a>.</p><p><strong>Reporting COVID-19 Cases in Schools</strong><br>As we committed to in our re-entry plan, we have been notifying school communities when parents and staff have self-identified cases of COVID-19 in schools. To date, 10 of Prairie Rose’s 18 public schools have received notifications. When a case is self-reported to a school, the following information is collected to determine if the positive individual was in contact with others:</p><ol><li>What was the first date of symptoms?</li><li>Did the individual attend school when symptomatic?</li><li>If they did attend school, what classes would they have been in contact with?</li></ol><p>When determining whether the individual attended school when contagious, we take the first day of symptoms and go back two days. For example, if we are notified that a student first had symptoms on a Friday and was in school each day that week, we would consider them a close contact of others in the school. However, if we are informed that the first day of symptoms was on a Monday morning and that student had not been in school since the Friday prior, we would not include them on the close contact list. This process of going back two days is the same we used last year when working with Alberta Health Services to identify close contacts. While we understand that families want to know as much information as possible, we also need to balance that desire with an individual’s right to privacy and whether the positive case has an impact on others. This is why we only add positive cases to our reporting when they are deemed to be a close contact with others in the school community. When positive cases are confirmed to have been in class, parents receive a notification via School Messenger informing them of the first positive case along with instructions for accessing daily COVID updates. All the cases are also listed on the Prairie Rose website which can be found here: <a href="https://www.myprps.com/covid-19-reporting">https://www.myprps.com/covid-19-reporting</a></p><p><strong>Social Media Misinformation</strong><br>This past week it was brought to our attention that a post was circulating on social media claiming that school divisions were being deceptive in terms of mandatory vaccines, suggesting changes would be coming after the enrollment count on September 29th. We would like to make it very clear that this is inaccurate and fear mongering information and there have been zero conversations or engagement with school boards about this direction. School boards do not have the authority to mandate vaccinations. Our role is to ensure every student in Alberta has access to a quality education in an inclusive learning environment, which we will continue to support while prioritizing the safety of our students and staff.&nbsp;</p><p>We would like to thank all of our school community for their understanding and support as we navigate another school year of uncertainty. Together we will continue to move forward with providing quality learning opportunities for students, despite the challenges that exist. If you have any questions about the information in this latest update, we encourage you to bring them forward to your school principal.</p><p>Sincerely,<br>Roger Clarke<br>Superintendent of Schools</p>
Board Meeting Highlights - September 14, 2021
2021-09-17T20:24:38.000Z
Board Meeting Highlights - September 14, 2021
<p><strong>Communications Report</strong></p><p>Director of Communications Angela Baron presented an overview of the main communication work that was completed across Prairie Rose during the 2020-2021 year and what was planned for 2021-2022. Some of the highlights of the report include managing COVID-19 communications (notifications, re-entry plans and inquiries), a rebranding of Prairie Rose School Division to Prairie Rose Public Schools, the launch of the new myPRPS (myprps.com) websites for all schools and the division, research and design of the new Home Plus Learning Network, an upcoming internal communications audit, a review of the cold weather section of the current inclement weather policy, and work as part of the design and implementation of the new assurance model that focuses on stakeholder feedback. The full report can be found here: <a href="https://drive.google.com/file/d/1tobjYVLxGbCRdpxAA5oDp7bcOntOnzKY/view">https://drive.google.com/file/d/1tobjYVLxGbCRdpxAA5oDp7bcOntOnzKY/view</a></p><p><strong>New Brigden School Future Maintenance and Space Utilization</strong></p><p>The board discussed the next steps for maintenance and space utilization at New Brigden School following the board decision on September 2, 2021, to end the school review process and keep the school open beyond the current school year. Trustees discussed and approved on a number of items they would like followed up on including removal or redeployment of portables, continued funding/in-kind support from the community, the addition of a financial update (based on the new funding formula) of New Brigden and all small Prairie Rose schools to the annual board monitoring schedule, and consideration of required maintenance projects at New Brigden School to be added to the Capital Plan.</p><p><strong>Truth and Reconciliation Day – Sept 30, 2021</strong></p><p>The board discussed what was happening across the country and at other school divisions in Alberta in regards to the announcement that September 30, 2021, would be declared a national holiday to commemorate Truth and Reconciliation. As the 30th was not given consent as a provincial holiday, there are varying ways each school organization is handling the day. While some have made it an operational day for all staff and students, other school divisions have decided to make it a non-instruction day or a holiday day. There was some discussion about the difference and impact to the division under each scenario. It was also noted that due to the short timeline, there is some concern that teachers and staff would not be adequately prepared to provide the best possible educational opportunity for students around truth and reconciliation. The board voted 5-1 in favour of making September 30th, for the 2021-2022 school year only, a non-operational day with pay for all staff, to recognize the day for Truth and Reconciliation.</p><p><strong>Advanced Vote</strong></p><p>The board passed a motion authorizing Returning Officer Ryan Boser to hold and advanced vote for the upcoming October 18th trustee election, should there be a slate of candidates in any of the six Prairie Rose wards.</p><p><strong>Welcome of the New Deputy Superintendent</strong></p><p>The board and upcoming Superintendent Reagan Weeks welcomed Mark Heinricks to the meeting and congratulated him on being selected as the new role as Deputy Superintendent. See the announcement here: <a href="https://www.myprps.com/news/chief-deputy-superintendent-announcement-1630611979151">https://www.myprps.com/news/chief-deputy-superintendent-announcement-1630611979151</a></p><p>&nbsp;</p>
Health Protocols in Schools - Update
2021-09-16T01:59:39.260Z
Health Protocols in Schools - Update
<p>On Wednesday evening, the province declared a state of public health emergency due to the rising number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and ICU admissions in Alberta. A number of additional public health measures were added as a result of the declaration, including a few for schools.&nbsp;</p><p>Starting Thursday, September 16, 2021, the following public health measures will be implemented all Prairie Rose schools:</p><ul><li>Mandatory masking for grades 4-12 in all public areas and when students cannot be spaced two metres apart. <i>Please ensure you send your child to school with a mask.</i> When students are working at their own work spaces, masks may be removed. This follows the same model as the masking requirement from the 2020-2021 school year.</li><li>Each student in grade K-12 is still required to wear a mask while riding the school bus, as per <a href="https://open.alberta.ca/dataset/4a60eb75-5986-4da2-98d0-b9462e46dfcc/resource/c566b20f-dc1e-4265-bbae-97b33ae43cc2/download/health-cmoh-record-of-decision-cmoh-order-34-2021.pdf">CMOH Health Order 34-2021</a>.</li><li>Cohorting will be implemented, where possible, across all grades. Limited seating in common areas will help support this measure at the junior and high school levels.</li><li>Limited seating for spectators who attend indoor sporting or entertainment events to ⅓ capacity. Masking is now required the entire time a visitor is at the school.</li></ul><p>The school division will continue to follow all the other guidelines as laid out in the <a href="https://drive.google.com/file/d/12HIeN3oaL24UpdR87fT-NGeKXoTXONIU/view">2021-2022 Re-Entry Plan</a> including enhanced cleaning and notification to families when positive COVID-19 cases are reported from parents of individuals who attended school while ill. Our online re-entry plan will be updated tomorrow to reflect the new changes stated above.</p><p>We would like to thank all our parents for working with us to promote healthy and safe learning communities, despite the challenges we face, such as reviewing the daily health check each day and keeping your child home from school when sick. We would also like to thank our parents for keeping us well informed related to testing and student illness. Your cooperation promotes a collaborative community approach for maintaining a healthy school environment.</p><p>Roger Clarke<br>Superintendent of Schools</p>
Truth and Reconciliation Day - Sept 30
2021-09-15T16:45:29.168Z
Truth and Reconciliation Day - Sept 30
<p><strong>2021-2022 School Calendar Adjustment - No School September 30th for Staff or Students</strong></p><p>Earlier this month, we shared with parents that a decision would be made by the board at the next public meeting regarding how to approach the newly announced September 30th federal holiday to recognize Truth and Reconciliation in Canada. The day commemorates and remembers residential school survivors and their families. At the public board meeting held Tuesday afternoon, the Prairie Rose Public Schools Board of Trustees voted in favour of making September 30th a non-operational day, which means that students and staff would not attend school on September 30th.&nbsp;</p><p>Key considerations for the board included:</p><ul><li>It was important for Prairie Rose to recognize September 30th in an official manner, especially considering the new information that Canadians learned this past summer in regards to residential schools.</li><li>Could the day be appropriately recognized and coordinated by staff, under short timelines, to ensure curricular activities reflective authentic and acceptable reconciliation actions?</li><li>Would the Alberta Government move to adopting the national holiday in the future?</li><li>What are other school jurisdictions and organizations in Alberta doing?</li></ul><p>The board felt that it was important to ensure that any student-led activities should be appropriately researched and led by those with knowledge and experience of truth and reconciliation. As such, it was decided that due to the short timelines for implementation, September 30, 2021, would be shifted from an instructional day to a non-operational day for the current school year. The decision does not mean that Prairie Rose has established September 30th as a statutory holiday in the future. When the 2022-2023 calendar is created later this school year, the Board of Trustees will research an appropriate path forward. In the meantime, staff will research and plan for appropriate activities that can be utilized across Prairie Rose classrooms for both future Truth and Reconciliation and the June Indigenous Peoples Day.&nbsp;</p><p>We recognize the short notice for families, but also believe that teaching our students about truth and reconciliation is important work that must be done carefully and appropriately.</p><p>Stuart Angle<br>Board Chair<br>Prairie Rose Public Schools</p>