Regular Board Meeting Highlights - November 3, 2015
The Board of Trustees is pleased to share with all education stakeholders the highlights of our recent Board meeting held on Tuesday, November 3, 2015. The adopted minutes will be available on our website following the next Regular Board meeting.
- The Board welcomed as a delegation students from High Park School for there presentation on 'What Zone Are You In?' The Zones of Regulation is a systematic, cognitive behavior approach used to teach self-regulation by categorizing all the different ways we feel and states of alertness we experience into four concrete zones. The Zones curriculum provides strategies to teach students to become more aware of, and independent in controlling their emotions and impulses, managing their sensory needs, and improving their ability to problem solve conflicts.
- The Board welcomed as a delegation students from Blueberry School's Student Wellness Action Team (S.W.A.T.). They highlighted wellness initiatives underway at their school including details on how they use their Tower Garden as well as 'Just Dance' wellness activities.
- The fourth quarter financial report for the period ending August 31, 2015 was delivered by Director of Financial Services Jason Krefting. The year-to-date deficit is $6,341 which is better than the forecasted overall deficit of $419,518.
- The Board approved the 2015-2016 Final Budget as presented by Associate Superintendent of Business & Finance Claire Jonsson. As part of the annual budget cycle, school jurisdictions prepare budgets in the spring then update the budget in the fall based on September 30th enrolments and any new developments in the spring. Parkland School Division has a total budget of $123.9 million dollars to serve the needs of approximately 10,800 students.
- Total budget revenues for 2015-16 will increase by 4.51% over 2014-15.
- The 2015-16 budget accommodates a provision for an increase in general student enrolment, a 1.8% increase in base instruction grant rates and a 2% increase in class size grants.
- Parkland School Division will spend approximately $92 million dollars on human resources, which is about 74% of the division's budget. The division will employ over 570 full-time equivalent teachers and 397 full-time equivalent support staff in 2015-16.
- The budget was prepared without utilizing operating reserves with the exception of $117,000 to subsidize the transportation program and approved school expenditures totalling $79,000. A total of $196,000 accumulated operating reserves will be used to offset projected deficits for the current period.
- The Board approved $1.8 million dollars to be established from reserves to support the expenditures for the design and construction of a regional bus transfer station located at the future school site scheduled to open in September 2017 in the City of Spruce Grove's west end.
- The Board approved the application of six replacement modular classrooms for the Duffield School. Parkland School Division has prioritized the division's modular classroom needs based on enrolment pressures and a systematic replacement of old outdated portable classrooms.
- The Board approved a recommendation to direct Parkland School Division Administration to complete a process to collect feedback on the proposed changes in electoral boundaries. In 2013, Parkland School Division’s Trustees identified concerns with the current electoral wards. Specifically, it was felt that they no longer reflected the democratic principle of representation by population. This process will be completed online by January 31, 2016.
- The Board received as information, draft Board Policy 1 – Division Foundation Statements and directed Parkland School Division Administration to circulate the draft policy to stakeholders for feedback by January 15, 2016. The statement that acts as a precursor to the Division's Values & Beliefs reads:
- In Parkland School Division everyone is accepted and experiences a sense of belonging. Every student, no matter their ability, disability, language, cultural background, religion, sexual orientation and gender identity, has meaningful contributions to make. The following belief statements guide our decisions and behaviors to ensure that we are creating environments and engaging in practices that have their foundation in fundamental Human Rights.
- The Board received as information, draft Board Policy 15 – School Closure and directed Parkland School Division Administration to circulate the draft policy to stakeholders for feedback by January 15, 2016. The proposed Policy 15 is in accordance with the Regulation and provides a legally sound, effective and efficient process to address low enrolment, school viability and school closure processes within Parkland School Division.
- The Board received as information the Provincial Achievement Tests and Diploma Examination Results Report presented by Associate Superintendent Scott Johnston. Highlights include:
- Growth exceeded 5% on 17 measures with overall growth achieved on 39 measures
- PSD exceeded the province by 5% on 11 measures with overall achievement over the province on 30 measures.
- Decline of greater than 5% occurred in only 7 measures
- Although the growth-over-decline trend is positive, and the Division has demonstrated ongoing improvement in its results, it is necessary to narrow the standard of excellence gap that exists between the Division and provincial results. During the 2015-2016 year, Parkland School Division will analyze all results, and specifically French Immersion education, to reveal best-practice approaches that generate an improvement in performance measures.
- The Board received as information the annual Vandalism Report presented by Director of Facility Services Serge LaBrie. The total cost of vandalism in Parkland School Division for the 2014-15 school year was $35,605 which is a 16.3% decrease over last year.