Following are Peace River School Division board of trustees meeting highlights from the Jan. 21 meeting:
Board forming anti-racism committee
At PRSD’s Jan. 21 meeting, Supt. Paul Bennett provided follow-up information regarding steps moving forward for the board to develop an anti-racism culture and policy.
After considerable discussion, it was that decided PRSD would form an anti-racism committee. The board approved a motion to appoint vice-chair Crystal Owens, and trustees Robyn Robertson and Delainah Velichka to the committee.
The committee will be facilitated by Bennett and will also include student and staff representation.
Board to meet with students
Trustees discussed their upcoming meeting with PRSD students through the Upper Elementary/Junior High and Senior High Student Engagement Committees.
PRSD has two student engagement committees: an Upper Elementary/Junior High committee and a High School committee. The goal of the Student Engagement Committees is to ensure students and their schools are represented and have their concerns heard as well as to allow the board to understand the student perspective on issues and decisions that impact them.
“It is empowering for students to have a voice in their educational experience and the educational experience of students for years to come,” says chair Darren Kuester.
“The board is always eager and excited to meet, listen, share and brainstorm with students. Their voice informs decision making in the division. . .”
Trustees to meet with local gov’ts
At the Jan. 21 meeting, trustees reviewed agenda items put forth by municipalities for the Feb. 3 virtual meeting with municipal representatives from PRSD school communities.
Topics put forth include COVID-19 related topics, school social worker capacity, the board of trustees’ mental health advocacy efforts, drug prevention in schools, school bus safety and procedures, and a junior councillor program.
“We are very grateful for the support and partnership of our municipalities,” says Kuester.
“Sharing information and hearing the voice of our municipalities fosters collaboration and increased opportunities for our students, provides us with increased knowledge, and helps to support community partnerships.”
Meeting with staff committees planned
Trustees discussed topics to discuss at their meeting with the Teacher Board Advisory Committee Jan. 28, and their meeting with the Support Staff Bus Driver Liaison Committee Feb. 16.
Agenda topics include board advocating for divisional staff to have priority for the COVID-19 vaccine [if they desire], superintendent search progress, a summary of the board’s Feb. 3 meeting with municipalities, the board’s wrap-around services advocacy plan, and an update on construction progress of transportation services at central operations in Grimshaw.
Sale of bus garages proceeds
Trustees approved a recommendation from secretary-treasurer Rhonda Freeman to apply for ministerial approval to sell the Peace River and Fairview Bus Garage facilities.
The construction of the transportation facility at central operations in Grimshaw is well underway and it is anticipated that all staff and transportation services will be moved to central operations by Sept. 1
Indigenous learning continues
Trustees reviewed the agenda for the College of Alberta School Superintendents [CASS] Listening, Understanding and Moving Forward Together: CASS First Nations, Metis and Inuit Education Gathering to be held virtually from March 15-17.
Keynote presentations, a speaker’s panel, and various sessions focused on Indigenous education, truth, and reconciliation are learning opportunities on the agenda.
All PRSD board members have registered to attend.