The Battle River School Division Board of Trustees is looking toward the next school year and beyond.
In its April 28 meeting, the Board approved their updated Strategic Plan for the 2021-2025 term, which includes three main Goals, in four areas of focus. The Goals are:
- equity of programming
- increasing student enrollment
- engaging stakeholders
The Areas of Focus are:
- Community Engagement
Among the specific priorities for the coming year is a commitment to gather stakeholder input through surveys regarding attendance boundary review and possible reconfiguration, as well as other potential topics.
You can find the complete Strategic Plan posted on the BRSD website at brsd.ab.ca/board
In addition to the Strategic Plan, the Board also reviewed and approved four Capital Maintenance and Renewal projects, including roofing at the Daysland School, roofing at New Norway School, phase 1 of an envelope upgrade at Viking School and also phase 2 of an envelope upgrade at Viking School.
These four projects will have a total cost of $1.74 million.
Approving Fees and Travel
Two student International Travel trips, proposed by schools in Sedgewick and Forestburg, were approved in principle for next year. The Board also set fees for adult students who wish to attend BRSD schools next year and established a fee for any international students who may request to stay in BRSD over the summer.
COR Audit Report
BRSD Safety Coordinator Edmond Quarcoo provided a report to the Board regarding the school division’s most recent safety audit. For several years BRSD has been achieving a WCB Certificate of Recognition (COR) status for its Occupational Health and Safety Program. Not only does this indicate the school division is doing everything possible to ensure workplace health and safety, it enables the division to receive a reduction in WCB premiums.
In order to achieve COR status an employer must undergo annual audits, as well as a more intense review by an external auditor every third year. BRSD’s next audit will be an external one.
A focus on mental wellness
Andrea Dyck, Program Manager for the Mental Health Capacity Building Program in Battle River School Division, spoke to the Board of Trustees about the many ways in which the program helps to build coping skills and resilience in students,
Ms. Dyck shared that 80% of the programming is offered through group sessions focused on health promotion and preventing mental health concerns. The skills and strategies provided can help students succeed in school and throughout their lifetime.
Ms. Dyck presented two examples of schools in which programs are currently being provided—one is a Student-Led Mental Health Committee at Daysland School, led by high-school student volunteers, mentored by an MHCB Wellness Coach, which implements mental health awareness and wellness activities / events; the other is a School-Wide Wellness initiative at Ecole Camrose Composite High School, in which there is a monthly mental health focused lesson for all students, in all classes, on topics suggested by students, school staff and the Wellness team, and that includes reminders on where the ‘helpers’ are if you need them.
The Board also heard that students throughout BRSD have said they believe there needs to be more awareness of mental health and wellness, less stigma connected to mental health concerns and additional information on how to care for your own mental health.
According to Ms. Dyck, when students aren’t mentally well it affects every area of their life, including academic success. By offering programs that are developmentally appropriate for students of different ages, students are supported in gaining skills that help prevent social, emotional and mental health issues from arising.
Information based on the BRSD Board of Trustees Meeting of April 28, 2022