Board Meeting Highlights February 2022
From the February 8, 2022 Public Board Meeting
Board meeting agenda package: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ernKY1U7tQ1DWjyzNfKzPQHsghhOqDky/view?usp=sharing
COVID Response Update. Board Chair Cathy Hogg shared that trustees have received a number of communications from parents and community members expressing frustrations regarding the current provincial mandates for K-12 schools. As school divisions are public sector organizations, many of the decisions such as masking requirements, are not decided locally therefore cannot be lifted by school boards. It was also noted that Premier Jason Kenny is scheduled to make an announcement regarding a staggered plan for lifting restrictions in the next day. The division will be prepared to act on K-12 changes should changes be announced.
Prairie Mennonite School Presentation. Prairie Mennonite Alternative School principal Simon Moreton shared a presentation with the board outlining a number of initiatives and learning opportunities. The school’s Prairie Rose Possibility program was showcased which involves immersing students in new opportunities that connect deeper learning to world experiences. Some of the ways the school has achieved this is through new option classes, community focused field trips, cross country training and intramural sports. It was also noted that the students recently started a school sports team in which they designed a new school mascot called the Prairie Chargers. The full presentation can be found in the board meeting agenda package.
2022-2023 School Year Calendar. Deputy Superintendent Mark Heinricks explained that the final stages of consultation are underway with schools and staff for the 2022-2023 school year calendar. The finalized calendar will be brought forward to the March public board meeting for board approval.
Board Committee Principles. Revised board policy GP#5 Board Committee was presented for approval. The policy was updated to combine all board sub committees into one document to streamline board processes and ensure consistency.
- Moved by P. Rooks that the Board of Trustees of Prairie Rose Public Schools replaces Policies GP#5 Board Committee Principles, GP#8 Board General Committee Meetings GP#16 Teacher / Board Advisory Committee – Terms of Reference, GP#17 Support Staff / Board Advisory Committee – Terms of Reference, GP#18 Audit Committee – Terms of Reference, GP22 Advocacy Committee – Terms of Reference with Policy GP#5 Board Committees. CARRIED.
Irvine Field Trip. Superintendent Reagan Weeks explained that the Irvine School field trip planned for April 2022 has been moved to the end of May. This was done to reduce costs, as the later date allowed the school to combine tour activities with another group. Shifting the dates also reduced the trip from nine days to seven.
Deeper Learning. Superintendent Reagan Weeks provided an update on the deeper learning education goal. The goal aims to provide Prairie Rose students the opportunity to demonstrate mastery of academic content and growth in their ability to think and critically solve complex problems. It was noted that as part of achieving deeper learning, students have been given voice and choice on when and how they learn. This learning has been supported with the addition of numerous Prairie Rose Possibility projects, community partnerships and through the addition of learning instructional coaches. Despite COVID-19 challenges, results in the Accountability Pillar indicate an upward trend in terms of student excellence which is a leading indicator of deeper learning achievement.
From the February 10, 2022 Special Board Meeting
The board of trustees discussed the decision passed on November 9, 2021, where:
- 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.
Trustees discussed the recent announcement from Premier Jason Kenny that included the removal of the REP program (effective February 9, 2022) and how that direction potentially impacts the current Prairie Rose Public School requirement for non-vaccinated staff who work with students to perform an at-home COVID-19 test twice a week. Information related to legal advice, direction from both the Health and Education ministries and community feedback was shared. Trustee Nancy Haraga put forth the following motion:
- As the province has taken steps to begin to relax COVID-19 protocols, including the elimination of the Restrictions Exemption Program (REP), I, Nancy Haraga, move that the Board of Trustees of Prairie Rose Public Schools rescind our policy that requires all Prairie Rose staff working directly with students to provide vaccination status disclosure, and for those not fully vaccinated, regular proof of COVID-19 negative test. CARRIED
A recorded vote was requested:
- Graeme Dennis (not in attendance)
- In Favour: Cathy Hogg, Lois Bedwell, Pam Cursons, Nancy Haraga, Shauna VanderSpruit
- Opposed: Patty Rooks