The Battle River School Division Board of Trustees is wrapping up its four-year term.
With an election scheduled for October 18, and the BRSD Board having committed to reducing its membership from eight members to five, in order to match the shifting population of rural communities, several Board members have made the decision to retire.
With the Nomination Day deadline now passed, we know that Camrose County representative and current Board Chair Karen Belich has been returned to the Board by acclamation. Newcomer Dwight Dibben has also been elected by acclamation to represent Flagstaff County.
Trustees Lyle Albrecht and Zsuzsanna Hemperger, both from Beaver County, are running for re-election. They are joined in their Beaver County contest by Brett Huculak.
We wish all the best to Norm Erickson, Jeff Kimball, Kendall Severson, Laurie Skori and Valerie Sims, each of whom have announced they are not seeking re-election.
Election Day is Monday, November 18. Please get out and vote!
Projected enrollment is looking good
The BRSD Board received a preliminary report on this year’s school enrollment, which would indicate that Battle River School Division has about 100 students more than projected for the 2021-2022 school year. This number will be finalized at the end of September.
Truth and Reconciliation Day
The Board of Trustees made the decision at a special meeting held on September 13 to close BRSD schools and worksites on Thursday, September 30, 2021 in honour of the first-ever national Day of Truth and Reconciliation.
Wellness Day helps get staff off to a good start
The Board of Trustees heard a report from the Learning Department that a Wellness Day for staff, which focused on events and activities that enabled staff to get to know each other better and find ways of supporting each other in their work, supported both school-based and division-wide staff to get their school year off to a positive start.
Appeal Committee summary
At a special meeting in August, the BRSD Board made the decision to mandate masks for all students and staff, while on the school bus and moving through common areas, hallways etc. An Appeal was filed by a concerned parent, which was heard by the Board. The Board’s decision about masking has now been superseded by a directive from the Chief Medical Officer of Health, which was put in place on September 16.
The Board of Trustees learned that, at the time of their meeting, 12 schools in Battle River School Division were reporting 10% or more of their students absent. Due to high absences that resulted in a staffing issue, Pre-K to Grade 2 students at sparling School were shifted to remote learning for a two-week period.
Division Office update
Now that the purchase of a replacement Division Office has been finalized, the division has hired an architect and assessments of the new building’s needs are underway. The project to update the new building will be tendered in the months to come.
The Board of Trustees heard requests from local families to adjust a rural attendance boundary, to allow them to attend a school closer to their residence. These requests were approved.
Watch for the annual report to the community
As is the case each fall, Battle River School Division will prepare and distribute an annual report to the community. It will be available in early October.
- Based on Information presented at the September 23, 2021 meeting of the BRSD Board of Trustees