HPSD trustees give top marks to rural schools symposium

Richard Froese

High Prairie School Division trustees returned to the board room for a meeting Aug. 16, just weeks before students head back to class.

The board reviewed information for the annual Alberta Rural Education Symposium scheduled for March 2018, says a news release from HPSD.

“Trustees found great value in the symposium and plan to bring information regarding it to their respective chambers of commerce,” says Tammy Henkel, who chairs the board.

Plans for the fall general meeting of the Public School Boards Association of Alberta were also presented and discussed.

The board voted to send invitations to local MLAs to meet with them at the meeting.

Trustees consented to send letters to Education Minister David Eggen and the executive director of the Association of School Business Officials of Alberta (ASBOA) to strongly advocate for the Small School By Necessity grant.

The ASBOA suggested in a paper it released that the government should remove the grant which offsets a number of expenses related to small schools in rural settings.

Information about plant operations and maintenance from the ASBOA was also discussed by the board.

Fire inspections were completed at all Slave Lake schools with no major concerns, HPSD safety officer Michael Bourguignon reported.

Automated external defibrillators (AEDs) have been installed at every school division site.

A marked increase in the number of Hour-Zero tasks and training completed by HPSD staff was also reported.

Violence threat risk assessment (VTRA) training that will occur in the fall is being strongly supported by HPSD partner agencies.

Trustees gave approval to purchase a fifth fleet vehicle.

Four vehicles were approved at previous board meeting.

“The division was able to secure all five vehicles for the budgeted price of four through competitive pricing found through a public procurement process.

Trustees voted to eliminate the cost to staff to use a plug-in for their vehicles.

Two summer students working as communications assistants reported to the board.

AJ Dominguez and Nicole Peyre reviewed their work completed over four months.

They attended 50 school events during 81 school visits to promote activities in schools.

During the months of July and August they formatted policies and procedures, updated division websites to fix broken links, and performed other administrative duties as required.

Dominguez and Peyre also prepared social media posts for the many recurring events taking place in the upcoming school year.

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