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Health Protocols in Schools - Update
2021-09-16T01:59:39.260Z
Health Protocols in Schools - Update
<h1>Health Protocols in Schools - Update</h1><p>On Wednesday evening, the province declared a state of public health emergency due to the rising number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and ICU admissions in Alberta. A number of additional public health measures were added as a result of the declaration, including a few for schools.&nbsp;</p><p>Starting Thursday, September 16, 2021, the following public health measures will be implemented all Prairie Rose schools:</p><ul><li>Mandatory masking for grades 4-12 in all public areas and when students cannot be spaced two metres apart. <i>Please ensure you send your child to school with a mask.</i> When students are working at their own work spaces, masks may be removed. This follows the same model as the masking requirement from the 2020-2021 school year.</li><li>Each student in grade K-12 is still required to wear a mask while riding the school bus, as per <a href="https://open.alberta.ca/dataset/4a60eb75-5986-4da2-98d0-b9462e46dfcc/resource/c566b20f-dc1e-4265-bbae-97b33ae43cc2/download/health-cmoh-record-of-decision-cmoh-order-34-2021.pdf">CMOH Health Order 34-2021</a>.</li><li>Cohorting will be implemented, where possible, across all grades. Limited seating in common areas will help support this measure at the junior and high school levels.</li><li>Limited seating for spectators who attend indoor sporting or entertainment events to ⅓ capacity. Masking is now required the entire time a visitor is at the school.</li></ul><p>The school division will continue to follow all the other guidelines as laid out in the <a href="https://drive.google.com/file/d/12HIeN3oaL24UpdR87fT-NGeKXoTXONIU/view">2021-2022 Re-Entry Plan</a> including enhanced cleaning and notification to families when positive COVID-19 cases are reported from parents of individuals who attended school while ill. Our online re-entry plan will be updated tomorrow to reflect the new changes stated above.</p><p>We would like to thank all our parents for working with us to promote healthy and safe learning communities, despite the challenges we face, such as reviewing the daily health check each day and keeping your child home from school when sick. We would also like to thank our parents for keeping us well informed related to testing and student illness. Your cooperation promotes a collaborative community approach for maintaining a healthy school environment.</p><p>Roger Clarke<br>Superintendent of Schools</p>
Truth and Reconciliation Day - Sept 30
2021-09-15T16:45:29.168Z
Truth and Reconciliation Day - Sept 30
<h1>Truth and Reconciliation Day - Sept 30</h1><p><strong>2021-2022 School Calendar Adjustment - No School September 30th for Staff or Students</strong></p><p>Earlier this month, we shared with parents that a decision would be made by the board at the next public meeting regarding how to approach the newly announced September 30th federal holiday to recognize Truth and Reconciliation in Canada. The day commemorates and remembers residential school survivors and their families. At the public board meeting held Tuesday afternoon, the Prairie Rose Public Schools Board of Trustees voted in favour of making September 30th a non-operational day, which means that students and staff would not attend school on September 30th.&nbsp;</p><p>Key considerations for the board included:</p><ul><li>It was important for Prairie Rose to recognize September 30th in an official manner, especially considering the new information that Canadians learned this past summer in regards to residential schools.</li><li>Could the day be appropriately recognized and coordinated by staff, under short timelines, to ensure curricular activities reflective authentic and acceptable reconciliation actions?</li><li>Would the Alberta Government move to adopting the national holiday in the future?</li><li>What are other school jurisdictions and organizations in Alberta doing?</li></ul><p>The board felt that it was important to ensure that any student-led activities should be appropriately researched and led by those with knowledge and experience of truth and reconciliation. As such, it was decided that due to the short timelines for implementation, September 30, 2021, would be shifted from an instructional day to a non-operational day for the current school year. The decision does not mean that Prairie Rose has established September 30th as a statutory holiday in the future. When the 2022-2023 calendar is created later this school year, the Board of Trustees will research an appropriate path forward. In the meantime, staff will research and plan for appropriate activities that can be utilized across Prairie Rose classrooms for both future Truth and Reconciliation and the June Indigenous Peoples Day.&nbsp;</p><p>We recognize the short notice for families, but also believe that teaching our students about truth and reconciliation is important work that must be done carefully and appropriately.</p><p>Stuart Angle<br>Board Chair<br>Prairie Rose Public Schools</p>
Chief Deputy Superintendent Announcement
2021-09-02T21:52:49.236Z
Chief Deputy Superintendent Announcement
<h1>Chief Deputy Superintendent Announcement</h1><p>Superintendent Roger Clarke and Deputy Superintendent Reagan Weeks are pleased to announce that Mark Heinricks has been chosen as the successful candidate for the role of Chief Deputy Superintendent. The transition will also include the move of Reagan Weeks to the Superintendent of Schools position, effective November 1, 2021.</p><p>Currently serving as the principal of Eagle Butte High School for the past seven years, Mark Heinricks is a long-time employee of Prairie Rose with an extensive teaching and leadership background. Throughout his 32-year teaching career, with the past 25 with Prairie Rose, Mark has worked at Eagle Butte as a teacher, vice principal and principal and at Irvine School as a teacher and vice principal. In addition to a Bachelor of Education degree, he also holds a Master of Education with a focus on Educational Leadership.</p><p>“I am excited to welcome Mark to the Prairie Rose Public Schools executive team,” says Reagan Weeks. “Mark’s integrity, work ethic and commitment to Prairie Rose is second to none and I look forward to working with him in his new role as Chief Deputy Superintendent in charge of Human Resources. Mark’s connection to Prairie Rose and our students will be a huge asset as we continue with developing exceptional learning opportunities for rural students.”</p><p>“I feel very honoured to be selected for this role,” says Mark Heinricks. “I have always valued the teamwork and collaborative environment Prairie Rose has promoted with school leaders. Whether in my role as teacher, mentor or school administrator, I am a firm believer in treating students, parents and staff with dignity and respect. These are values that I know are important to Prairie Rose and I consider a strength as I move into this new position. I will miss the staff and students I have worked so closely with for many, many years… but I am very excited about growing in this new role.”</p><p>Mark Heinricks will make the transition from Eagle Butte to the Deputy Superintendent position on October 1, 2021.</p>
Revised Date: New Brigden School Closure Community Consultation
2021-08-27T07:00:00.000Z
Revised Date: New Brigden School Closure Community Consultation
<h1>New Date: New Brigden School Closure Community Consultation</h1><p>On August 25, 2021, administration presented the Board of Trustees with updated information for New Brigden School. As part of the package, the revised data focused on scenarios beyond the current school year, based on the decision to delay the school review until 2021-2022. While some sections of the revised information remained unchanged from the spring (i.e. maintenance costs), trustees identified notable differences related to financial implications for the current year (2021-2022) and the one following (2022-2023). Senior Administration explained that these differences represent changes introduced last year as part of the new funding formula. To ensure accuracy of the document, the Prairie Rose financial team will be meeting with Alberta Education officials to confirm the new information. <i>Once this has been completed, the revised package will be shared with parents to review</i>.</p><p>Link to previously shared data package: <a href="https://drive.google.com/file/d/1TRjurLltohdPASFpl81S_ta1B8qvn-kr/view">June 2021</a></p><p>In consideration of the timing of the new information and the pending community consultation meeting scheduled for next Monday, the board felt that it was in the best interest of parents and the New Brigden community <strong>to delay for two weeks to ensure all parties have appropriate time to review the new information in more detail</strong>. It is important to the board that all stakeholders, including trustees, have adequate time to examine the new data and consider how it may relate to the future of New Brigden School. The new meeting information is listed below:</p><p><strong>Meeting Date</strong>: Tuesday, September 21, 2021<br><strong>Meeting Time</strong>: 7:00 PM<br><strong>Meeting Format</strong>: In-person at New Brigden School (meeting format will be required to comply with COVID-19 pandemic health restrictions)</p><p>Following the public consultation meeting, members of the public will also have the opportunity to provide written submissions to the board for consideration and apply to make an in-person presentation.</p><p>A final decision regarding the notice of motion for closure of New Brigden School&nbsp;will come forward to the board at the October 13, 2021, public board meeting.</p>
2021 Redcliff Scholarship Recipients
2021-06-24T07:00:00.000Z
2021 Redcliff Scholarship Recipients
<h1>2021 Redcliff Scholarship Recipients</h1><p><strong>Eagle Butte and Hat High students awarded 2021 Redcliff Scholarships for Advanced Education</strong></p><p>The Redcliff Scholarship Committee for Advanced Education, is pleased to announce that Eagle Butte High School graduates Cheyanne Peters, Wesley Ewert and Breanna Gawel, and Medicine Hat High School graduate Hailey Schofield are the recipients of the 2021 Redcliff Scholarship Awards. All four students will be attending post-secondary in the fall, with plans to pursue careers in education, nursing and social work. Each student will receive one of four 2021 Redcliff Scholarships for $5,000 towards tuition costs for post-secondary studies. &nbsp;</p><figure class="table"><table><tbody><tr><td><figure class="image"><img src="https://prrdweb.com/images/content/93%20Cheyanne%20Peters.jpg" alt=""></figure></td><td><p><i>Cheyanne Peters (EBHS), plans to attend Lethbridge College to pursue a career in nursing</i></p><p>“My journey towards becoming a nurse is important to me as I aspire to be a positive role model by recognizing it is possible to set challenging personal goals and reach them. I am thankful for the support this scholarship offers as I move onto the next stage in my education journey."</p></td></tr><tr><td><figure class="image"><img src="https://prrdweb.com/images/content/28%20Wesley%20Ewert.jpg" alt=""></figure></td><td><p><i>Wesley Ewert (EBHS), plans to attend Medicine Hat College to pursue a career in education</i></p><p>“I plan to attend Medicine Hat College for one year then transfer to the University of Lethbridge for four years to receive a combined degree in education and mathematics. I was drawn to teaching as a career, as it allows me to share my passion for learning and knowledge with others. This scholarship allows me to focus on my studies to reach this goal.”</p></td></tr><tr><td><figure class="image"><img src="https://prrdweb.com/images/content/36%20Breanna%20Gawel.jpg" alt=""></figure></td><td><p><i>Breanna Gawel (EBHS), plans to attend Medicine Hat College to pursue a career in social work</i></p><p>“Supporting my school and community is important to me, which is why I plan to attend the Medicine Hat College this fall to pursue a career in social work. The Redcliff scholarship helps me reach this goal and I am thankful for the support.”</p></td></tr><tr><td><figure class="image"><img src="https://prrdweb.com/images/content/IMG_20210618_0001.jpg" alt=""></figure></td><td><p><i>Hailey Schofield (MHHS), plans to attend Medicine Hat College to pursue a career in nursing</i></p><p>“I have spent a very large portion of time thinking about my post-secondary goals. I am very passionate about my career choice and will do whatever it takes to get me there. The Redcliff Scholarship supports my dreams and I look forward to accomplishing many great things.”</p></td></tr></tbody></table></figure><p>&nbsp;</p><p>“This year’s scholarship recipients showed great dedication to their studies during what was a very difficult year,” says scholarship chairperson Arnold Frank. “All four students have a passion for giving back to others which is evident in their choice of post-secondary studies. The Redcliff Scholarship Committee is extremely pleased to be able to support these four exceptional individuals, who showed determination and strength through what was a very challenging grade 12 year. I’d like to wish them all the best in whatever their futures hold.”</p><p>The Redcliff Scholarships were established in 2002 and have been awarded to 43 Redcliff students. &nbsp;The awards are possible thanks to two endowed scholarship funds, that were established and are sustained by ongoing contributions of Redcliff organizations, and present and past Redcliff citizens. &nbsp;A third, Frank King Tribute Scholarship Fund, was announced in the spring of 2018 in memory of the late Frank King, while a&nbsp;fourth was added in November of 2020 to honour the legacy of former Redcliff resident David Jon Thomson.</p><p>REDCLIFF SCHOLARSHIPS FOR ADVANCED EDUCATION</p><p><strong>The Redcliff Scholarship for Advanced Education “Original Fund”</strong> was launched at the Reunion of the Redcliff 1944 Grade 1 Class held in September 2002. The aim was to create an endowed scholarship fund, whereby interest and dividends from the invested principal would earn enough money to finance the annual scholarship. &nbsp;To date, contributions to the fund total $249,410.</p><p><strong>“The Four Friends Fund”</strong> scholarship was established in 2006 in memory of the value of the lifelong Redcliff Friendships of Jack Fairhurst, Ron Hodges, John Hudak and Gerald Berkhold. The scholarship has been endowed with contributions of $232,975.</p><p><strong>“Frank King Tribute”</strong> scholarship was established in 2018 in memory of Frank King. &nbsp;As a legacy of the young Frank Walter King, his family and friends established the Frank King Tribute Scholarship that is awarded alongside the other two Redcliff scholarships for advanced education. To date, contributions totaling $31,500 have been received in support of this scholarship.</p><p><strong>“David Jon Thomson Scholarship”</strong> was established in 2020 in memory of David Jon Thomson. Thomson was a well-known business man and lifelong proponent of education with roots in the Medicine Hat and Redcliff communities. As a legacy, his family established the David Jon Thomson Scholarship that is awarded alongside the other three Redcliff scholarships for advanced education. To date, contributions totaling $25,000 have been received in support of this scholarship.</p><p><br>&nbsp;</p>
Board Meeting Highlights
2021-06-11T07:00:00.000Z
Board Meeting Highlights
<h1>Board Meeting Highlights</h1><p><strong>Occupational Health and Safety Report</strong><br>Occupational Health and Safety Officer Derek Beck provided his annual report to the board for information. Highlights of the report include an update on Prairie Rose’s participation in the AHS ARTSSN student absenteeism program, school safety inspections, fire inspections at all Redcliff schools, first aid training for PRPS staff, an update on incidents and accidents over the 2020-21 school year and annual emergency response training. It was noted that the division had an increase in injuries reported among staff this year leading to an increase in WCB premium surcharges. School leaders have been asked to spend additional time at staff meetings discussing health and safety processes to increase awareness amongst staff. COVID-19 has also made it a challenging year for all schools, with additional protections required to adhere to pandemic requirements such as mask wearing, hand sanitization, and cohort groups.</p><p><strong>South Central High School Trip - Acadia Valley Municipal Reservoir</strong><br>The board approved a request from South Central High School for a trip from June 21-23 to the Acadia Valley Municipal Reservoir that involves canoeing and overnight camping. As it is a level 3/4 fieldtrip request it required board approval. As the group is in the same cohort, it adheres to COVID-19 restrictions.</p><p><strong>Financial Accountability Report</strong><br>Assistant Secretary Treasurer Candice Hintz provided a financial update to the board. The report contains information for 90% of the 2020-21 school year. It was noted there were minor revenue and expenditure changes from the last report. Overall, Prairie Rose is expected to come in $695,400 over budget, with the projected deficit decreasing by $100,000, for an overall projected deficit for the year of $251,220. Reduced PD, lower than budgeted substitute staff costs and reduced travel due to COVID are contributing factors for the decrease in spending.</p><p><strong>Literacy Status Report</strong><br>Due to the move to at-home learning, the MAP testing used for student literacy testing was delayed by two weeks this spring. Testing is now&nbsp;being completed and a full report will be brought to the board in the fall. It was also noted that growth projections are not expected to be on target, due to the varying dynamics each child and family has needed to navigate through the pandemic.</p><p><strong>Accountability Pillar Summary</strong><br>Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this report has been delayed by the province. Also, due to the move to the new assurance model, this report will likely look different coming to school divisions this fall.</p><p><strong>New PR Partnership and Field Trip Request</strong><br>Deputy Superintendent Reagan Weeks shared that Prairie Rose has secured a new partnership with Outward Bound, a globally renowned outdoor education program, who will work in collaboration with the DR Flight Academy program. The academy was seeking board approval for a field trip&nbsp;to Kananaskis through Outward Bound from June 28 – July 2. As part of the trip, students will participate in map and compass navigation, self care, risk management, leadership, communication, group work, plane crash simulation are all part of the program. Throughout the expedition and airplane incident scenario, students will become proficient in mountain travel and technical skills while developing a tolerance for uncertainty and discomfort relating to weather, physical and emotional challenge and group dynamics. The board approved the fieldtrip request. Learn more about Outward Bound here: <a href="https://www.outwardbound.ca/">https://www.outwardbound.ca/</a></p><p><strong>Trustee Election: Additional Voting Stations</strong><br>Secretary Treasurer and Returning Officer Ryan Boser asked the board to approve by-law #1/2021 which allows Prairie Rose to establish more than one voting station within each ward boundary for the upcoming fall municipal election. The board approved all three readings.</p>
Vice Principal of Bow Island Schools Announcement
2021-06-06T07:00:00.000Z
Vice Principal of Bow Island Schools Announcement
<h1>Vice Principal of Bow Island Schools Announcement</h1><p>Superintendent Roger Clarke and Bow Island schools principal Scott Angle would like to congratulate Paul Brocklesby who has accepted the position of Vice Principal at Bow Island Elementary and Senator Gershaw schools.</p><p>Paul has spent his entire 16-year teaching career working at Northern Lights School Division in northern Alberta in the communities of Bonnyville and Lac La Biche. During this time, he has taught students across grades K-6 focusing on early literacy, language arts, music and learning about indigenous culture. In addition to a Bachelor of Education from the University of Calgary, Paul also holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Lethbridge.</p><p>“I am really excited about this opportunity,” says Brocklesby. “I am originally from the Bow Island area and as a student I attended both Bow Island Elementary and Senator Gershaw schools. Becoming part of the school leadership team is a logical next step in my career as it allows me to move back to my hometown and reconnect with the community, my family and friends. There are many great learning opportunities happening in Bow Island schools and I look forward to exploring and building on these options with my colleagues and students.”&nbsp;</p><p>Paul Brocklesby will officially assume the role of vice principal at the start of the 2021-2022&nbsp;school year.</p>
Remembering the Lives of 215 Children
2021-05-31T07:00:00.000Z
Remembering the Lives of 215 Children
<h1>Remembering the Lives of 215 Children</h1><p>This past weekend the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc (Kamloops Indian Band) announced that a mass grave of 215 children had been found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School. Of particular sadness, was the absence of no markers and no signs of respect for any of these young children who were left to be forgotten.&nbsp;</p><p>While we cannot change history, we can acknowledge this dark part of our Canadian past by acknowledging these young lives as part of ongoing Truth and Reconciliation efforts. Starting at noon today (May 31, 2021), Prairie Rose Public Schools will join school jurisdictions across the country in lowering the flags at all school facility locations for 215 hours to represent each of the children who were found. All flags will remain down until noon on Wednesday, June 9th.</p><p>Throughout the operation and existence of residential schools in Canada (1880-1997), it is estimated that 150,000 children were taken from their families and sent to school to “assimilate them” to Canadian society. The Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc is one of many indigenous communities who have received funding through the Missing Children Project to locate the burial places of children who died while attending these residential schools. Since the project began, more than 4,100 children who attended residential schools have been identified.</p><p><strong>References:</strong><br>Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc confirms the discovery of a mass grave containing 215 children: <a href="https://tkemlups.ca/wp-content/uploads/05-May-27-2021-TteS-MEDIA-RELEASE.pdf"><strong>https://tkemlups.ca/wp-content/uploads/05-May-27-2021-TteS-MEDIA-RELEASE.pdf</strong></a><br>Missing Children Project: <a href="https://tkemlups.ca/wp-content/uploads/05-May-27-2021-TteS-MEDIA-RELEASE.pdf"><strong>http://www.trc.ca/events-and-projects/missing-children-project.html</strong></a><br>A History of Residential Schools in Canada: <a href="https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/a-history-of-residential-schools-in-canada-1.702280"><strong>https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/a-history-of-residential-schools-in-canada-1.702280</strong></a></p>
Board Meeting Highlights
2021-05-25T07:00:00.000Z
Board Meeting Highlights
<h1>Board Meeting Highlights</h1><p><strong>Trustee Resignation</strong><br>Secretary Treasurer Ryan Boser informed the board that Ward 6 (Foremost and County of Forty Mile) trustee Stacy Hammel has submitted her resignation from the board, effective immediately, due to personal reasons. Trustee Hammel was thanked for her contributions over the past four years and her dedication to students. Trustee Lucille Hertz suggested that a letter be sent to Stacy Hammel from the board thanking her for her service.</p><p><strong>Jenner School Presentation</strong><br>Jenner School principal Kirby Stensrud gave a presentation to the board highlighting a number of learning initiatives taking place at the rural K-9 school. It was noted that the school has focused on literacy for their primary school goals, emphasizing building comprehension, creating opportunities that create life connections, and developing a passion for literacy and reading across the grades. Some initiatives at each division level were also shared that focus on leadership and healthy lifestyle projects, using technology to build and create, and promoting attitudes of respect and kindness across the school community. &nbsp;It was noted that while COVID-19 has required outside the box thinking, the school has been able to successfully keep students engaged and excited about learning. It was also shared that the school was excited about their approved Prairie Rose Possibilities project that will support bringing outside experts to the school to focus on CTF options such as carpentry, electrical, mechanical, outdoor education, etc. The full presentation can be found here: <a href="https://drive.google.com/file/d/135NVcp5iY2qeCpi7fMtaWG1Kqjq4sP8B/view"><strong>https://drive.google.com/file/d/135NVcp5iY2qeCpi7fMtaWG1Kqjq4sP8B/view</strong></a></p><p><strong>FNMI Presentation</strong><br>FNMI Coordinator Kameko Ballantyne provided an update to the board about the work being done in Prairie Rose to support Status First Nations, Non-Status, Métis or Inuit (FNMI) students and promote indigenous learning. In the 2020-2021 year, 94 students in Prairie Rose self-identified as FNMI which is an increase from previous years. It was noted that while some planned FNMI learning activities for the current year needed to be moved online or cancelled due to COVID-19, many initiatives were still able to take place across the division. Some of these included; Digital Orange Shirt Day, the distribution of literacy books to Prairie Rose schools without indigenous library resources, online learning opportunities through Canadian Geographic and Truth and National Centre for Reconciliation, FNMI learning kits for schools that include dreamcatcher and soap sculpture projects, and the introduction of indigenous social media influencers to students. &nbsp;More details regarding FNMI learning in Prairie Rose can be found here: <a href="https://fnmiprrd8.weebly.com/"><strong>https://fnmiprrd8.weebly.com/</strong></a></p><p><strong>Education Plan</strong><br>Superintendent Roger Clarke presented the 2021-2022 Education Plan for approval. The plan outlines four goals to evaluate student and division success. These goals include PRPS students are successful (literacy and deeper learning), PRPS is well governed and managed, and First Nations Metis and Inuit students in PRPS are successful. It was noted that this past spring the division sent out assurance survey’s to parents, students and staff to gather local context and gauge satisfaction in a number of areas. The results from the surveys were used to help build the plan and are highlighted in the report. &nbsp;The full presentation can be found here: <a href="https://drive.google.com/file/d/135NVcp5iY2qeCpi7fMtaWG1Kqjq4sP8B/view"><strong>https://drive.google.com/file/d/135NVcp5iY2qeCpi7fMtaWG1Kqjq4sP8B/view</strong></a></p><p><strong>2021-2022 Budget</strong><br>Secretary Treasurer Ryan Boser presented the 2021-2022 Preliminary Budget for approval. The budget includes the following assumptions; back to normal operations in the 2021-2022 year, equivalent operational funding as the current year from Alberta Education, a decrease in enrolment by 9.0 FTE students, no change to support or certified staff grids, and an increase in insurance premiums of 15%. Overall, the division is forecasting a deficit budget for the 2021-2022 school year of $733,873, with revenues for the year of $51,443,598. Of the total budget, 72% is allocated to Instruction, 13.35% to Plant Operations and Maintenance, 10.40% to Transportation, 4.20% to Board and System Administration, and 0.04% to External Services.&nbsp;The complete budget document can be found here: <a href="https://drive.google.com/file/d/135NVcp5iY2qeCpi7fMtaWG1Kqjq4sP8B/view"><strong>https://drive.google.com/file/d/135NVcp5iY2qeCpi7fMtaWG1Kqjq4sP8B/view</strong></a></p><p><strong>Other Items:</strong></p><ul><li>The board approved spending $867 to support their continued membership in the Alberta Rural Caucus.</li></ul>
Schuler School Principal Announcement
2021-05-12T07:00:00.000Z
Schuler School Principal Announcement
<h1>Schuler School Principal Announcement</h1><p>Superintendent Roger Clarke is pleased to announce that Lisa Lindsay has accepted the position as principal of Schuler School, following the move of current principal Kerry Watson to the Irvine vice principal position at the end of the 2020-2021 school year.</p><p>Lisa Lindsay comes to Prairie Rose with an extensive education background having worked as a teacher, school leader, and in student services and mental health for the past 30 years. Her most recent experience has been as vice-principal at the Dr. Roy Wilson Learning Centre in Medicine Hat from 2015-2020 and as the Mental Health Services Facilitator and Palliser Adolescent Service Administrator for the past seven months. In addition to a Bachelor of Education from the University of Alberta, she also has a Master’s in Counselling Psychology from the University of Calgary.&nbsp;</p><p><i>“I am grateful for the opportunity to join the team at Prairie Rose Public Schools and look forward to getting to know the students, staff, and community of Schuler. This is not my first time working for Prairie Rose, as I spent six years teaching at Seven Persons School many years ago. I am excited to return to rural education and look forward to working alongside the Schuler community to develop innovative programs and opportunities for students.” ~ Lisa Lindsay</i></p><p>Lisa Lindsay will officially assume the role of principal at Schuler at the end of the current school year, effective August 25, 2021.</p>
Board Meeting Highlights
2021-05-11T07:00:00.000Z
Board Meeting Highlights
<h1>Board Meeting Highlights</h1><p><strong>1. Margaret Wooding School Presentation</strong><br>Principal Craig Corsie and Vice Principal Eli Merrick spoke about the assurance data survey results obtained in March 2021 and how staff reviewed&nbsp;the data and developed goals and strategies to address potential challenges. It was noted that overall the school received very positive results from staff, parent and students in terms of feeling supported and cared for by school staff. Areas identified for growth were broken into student and parent categories. While still quite positive, it was shared that students expressed some concern about safety on the bus, student behaviour, learning expectations, and that their voice matters. Parents also identified bus safety, discipline, communication and learning expectations. Recommendations staff developed stemming from the results included; increased opportunity for student voice, increase parent and community awareness of school programs and what they are learning, and create opportunities for student to engage in learning that ignites their creativity and passions. A number of strategies were also shared to accomplish and evaluate&nbsp;the newly developed goals.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>2. Curriculum Review and Decision</strong><br>Superintendent Roger Clarke shared an overview of the process Prairie Rose Public Schools took to examine the draft K-6 curriculum. A total of 18 teachers participated in an internal review process examining the four core subjects of math, science, social studies and language arts. The five lenses the committee used for review included; progression and continuity, competencies, assessment (Bloom’s Taxonomy), age appropriateness and content load. The committee recommendation was not to pilot the curriculum as it has been proposed for implementation in the fall of 2021. It was noted the volunteer teachers who participated have been teaching the current curriculum for many years and their opinion and expertise is appreciated and highly valued. The board agreed with the recommendation from the committee echoing similar concerns have been expressed in their local communities. &nbsp;The board voted unanimously to not participate the draft K-6 curriculum pilot this fall.</p><p><strong>3. Irvine Riding Arena</strong><br>A motion was put forward asking Prairie Rose to financially supporting the building of an indoor riding and agriculture arena in Irvine. The proposal asks Prairie Rose to contribute $300,000-$500,000 for the construction of the facility and be responsible for the monthly operating expenses of utilities, water and gas. In exchange, Prairie Rose would have unlimited use of the facility and be able to provide several new programming options for students. The board voted to table a decision until they have an opportunity to further review and consider the future implications for Prairie Rose.</p><p><strong>4. Other Items:</strong></p><ul><li>The board approved the revised 2021-2022 Monitoring Schedule, as presented.</li><li>The board approved numerous policy changes to reflect the new name of Prairie Rose Public Schools.</li><li>The board approved the deletion of the June 29, 2021 public board meeting, due to the New Brigden School consultation meeting being moved until August 30, 2021.</li><li>The board approved the change of date for the June 8, 2021 board meeting to June 9, 2021.</li></ul>
Parent Update: K-12 Shifts to Learning from Home
2021-05-06T07:00:00.000Z
Parent Update: K-12 Shifts to Learning from Home
<h1>Parent Update: K-12 Shifts to Learning from Home</h1><p>On May 4, 2021, the Alberta Government announced additional public health measures due to the growing number of COVID-19 cases across the province. In addition to a number of public health orders related to social gatherings, worship services and businesses, there were also new restrictions placed on school jurisdictions that will affect all Prairie Rose students.&nbsp;</p><p><a href="https://www.alberta.ca/release.cfm?xID=780944289E67F-AB21-1393-1723D64CDEC6F61D"><i>Read the full announcement from the Government of Alberta: Stop the Spike</i></a></p><p>Starting Friday, May 7, 2021, all students in grades kindergarten to grade 12 will move to <i>Scenario 3 Learning from Home</i> until May 25, 2021.</p><p><strong>How does this announcement impact my child(ren)?</strong></p><figure class="table"><table><tbody><tr><td colspan="2"><h4><strong>Who is not impacted by this announcement?</strong></h4></td></tr><tr><td><strong>May 7, 2021 - May 25, 2021</strong></td><td>Daycare programs at Oyen Public and IF Cox will continue to operate in-person.</td></tr><tr><td><strong>May 7, 2021 - May 25, 2021</strong></td><td>Junior kindergarten (JK) programs will continue to operate in-person. There will be no bus transportation for JK students.</td></tr><tr><td><strong>May 7, 2021 - May 25, 2021</strong></td><td>Hutterite colony schools will continue to operate in-person classes.</td></tr><tr><td colspan="2"><h4><strong>Important Dates</strong></h4></td></tr><tr><td><strong>May 7, 2021 - May 25, 2021</strong></td><td>Before and After School programs are cancelled.</td></tr><tr><td><strong>Students in K-6</strong><br><strong>Friday, May 7, 2021</strong><br><strong>&nbsp;</strong></td><td>Students in K-6 will participate in an online orientation with their teachers on Friday, May 7, 2021. Teachers will connect directly with families regarding details for this day. The first day of class instruction for grades K-6 will be Monday, May 10, 2021.</td></tr><tr><td><strong>Students in 7-12</strong><br><strong>Friday, May 7, 2021</strong><br><strong>&nbsp;</strong></td><td>Online classes begin.</td></tr><tr><td><strong>All Students JK-12</strong><br><strong>Friday, May 21, 2021</strong><br><strong>&nbsp;</strong></td><td>School Improvement (PD) Day. No school for students.</td></tr><tr><td><strong>All Students JK-12</strong><br><strong>Monday, May 24, 2021</strong><br><strong>&nbsp;</strong></td><td>Statutory holiday. No school for students or staff.</td></tr><tr><td><strong>Tuesday, May 25, 2021</strong></td><td>All Prairie Rose students in K-12 return to in-person classes. <i>This date is subject to change based on direction from Alberta Education.</i></td></tr></tbody></table></figure><p>Exceptions related to learning from home will ONLY be considered based on student needs and supports, and connectivity issues. All exceptions will be evaluated on a case by case basis and will only be considered in extenuating circumstances. Please contact your school principal if you have any questions or concerns. Should an exception be made, bus transportation will be provided.</p><p><strong>What are the educational expectations of students during the two-week learning from home timeline?</strong></p><p><strong>High School Students</strong><br>Students are expected to attend classes via Google Meets throughout the school day just as they would if they were in the school. Teachers will be teaching and marking attendance daily and completion of assignments is expected. Principals can make some adjustments for non-core subjects and to accommodate schedules for schools that have more than high school grades. Minimum instructional time for each Google Meet is 40 minutes per class. Teachers are able to have longer classes as the schedule permits.</p><p>Please remind your students of their responsibility during the two-week at-home learning period and why it is important they stay engaged. Instruction will continue to progress during this timeframe and students who do not stay current will fall behind their peers and may be in jeopardy of not passing their courses. If your home does not have reliable internet connectivity, please contact your school principal to discuss alternative learning options.</p><p><strong>Junior High Students</strong><br>Instruction will focus on the four core subjects (Math, Language Arts, Science and Social Studies) each day. Students are expected to attend classes via Google Meets throughout the school day just as they would if they were in the school. Teachers will be teaching and marking attendance daily and completion of assignments is expected. Minimum instructional time for each Google Meet is 40 minutes per class. Teachers are able to have longer classes as the schedule permits.</p><p>Please remind your students of their responsibility during the two-week at-home learning period and why it is important they stay engaged. Instruction will continue to progress during this timeframe. For students who do not have access to reliable internet, technology devices, or due to cultural norms, teachers will provide paper package materials and contact the home twice a week over the two-week learning at home period to provide support and monitor progress.</p><p><strong>Grades 4-6</strong><br>Teachers will be scheduling a minimum of two Google Meets per day focusing on literacy and numeracy. Student expectation of learning time is greater than 80 minutes per day, but schools have the discretion of making age-appropriate decisions related to learning expectations. Minimum instructional time for each Google Meet is 40 minutes per class. Teachers are able to have longer classes as the schedule permits.</p><p>Please talk with your child about the importance of staying connected and engaged during the two-week at-home learning period. Instruction will continue to progress during this timeframe. For students who do not have access to reliable internet, technology devices, or due to cultural norms, teachers will provide paper package materials and contact the home twice a week over the two-week learning at home period to provide support and monitor progress.</p><p><strong>Kindergarten - Grade 3</strong><br>Where possible, teachers will connect with students via Google Meets each day focusing on literacy and numeracy instruction. For kindergarten, this will be a minimum of one 30 minute class per day. In grades 1-3, there will be a minimum of two 30 minutes classes each day.</p><p>For students who do not have access to reliable internet, technology devices, or due to cultural norms, teachers will provide paper package materials and contact the home twice a week over the two-week learning at home period to provide support and monitor progress.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>How can I help my child be successful at home?</strong><br>There are many ways parents can help their children be successful through the transition to Scenario 3 Learning from Home. Here are a few ways we encourage parents to help support their children:</p><ul><li>Have a conversation with your child about expectations of the learning from home model.</li><li>Establish a routine.</li><li>Have your student ready to learn in the morning by making sure they get up on time, are dressed, eat breakfast and are ready to learn when class begins.</li><li>Set up a space for learning, not in their bedroom, without distractions.</li><li>Explain the importance of using their Chromebook cameras and keeping it on during class time, as face to face instruction supports learning engagement.</li><li>Take an active approach in engaging your child’s teacher to inquire about your child’s progress.</li><li>Have a conversation with your child at the end of each school day to check in on progress and determine whether they are feeling successful.</li></ul><p><strong>Will grade 12 students be required to write diploma exams?</strong><br>All diploma exams for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year remain optional. The decision to write diploma exams resides with students and their families. Students will receive an exemption if they choose not to write an exam, however, if an exam is written it will continue to be worth 30% of their final mark. This decision carries through until the end of August 2021.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>How else will schools be impacted by the recent announcement?</strong></p><ul><li>There will be no reduction in staffing and all employees will continue to work. This includes all teachers, support staff and bus drivers (as required).</li><li>Bus transportation will continue for any students with an approved exception for in-person learning. Bus drivers will be in touch with impacted families to coordinate pick up and drop off times.</li><li>Allocated supports will continue such as EA assistance, speech, counseling, etc. These services will just be provided in different ways. Your school will be in touch with you to discuss options.</li><li>We want resources in the hands of students. Schools will work with students to ensure they have books, technology, and other resources to be successful at home.</li><li>Information and details related to academy programs or school clubs will be communicated directly to impacted families through their designated program facilitator.</li></ul><p>We acknowledge this transition to <i>Scenario 3 Learning from Home</i> is not optimal for some families, but we will get through this. Our staff understands how important it is to keep students moving forward with their learning and Prairie Rose is committed to ensuring this happens. As parents, I encourage you to continue to support your child and be engaged with their learning. COVID-19 may keep us from being in one building, but we will continue to learn together. I would like to thank each of you for your patience and understanding as we continue to navigate this challenging year.</p>
COVID-19 Update
2021-05-04T21:48:14.000Z
COVID-19 Update
<h1>May 4, 2021 COVID-19 Update</h1><p>On Tuesday, May 4, 2021, Prairie Rose Public Schools was informed by Alberta Health Services of a positive case of COVID-19 connected to Burdett and Margaret Wooding schools. Close contacts were identified and a total of 28&nbsp;students and 6&nbsp;staff and have been placed into quarantine. The positive case puts Burdett School and Margaret Wooding School on Alert status.</p><p>Those who are required to isolate will continue to be supported by the school through online and remote learning methods. Siblings and family members of close contacts are not required to self-isolate, however they are asked to monitor for any signs or symptoms of COVID-19. &nbsp;Out of respect for privacy and in accordance with AHS guidelines, we cannot disclose personal details about the positive case.&nbsp;</p><p>Burdett and Margaret Wooding schools remain open to in-person learning and we are working closely with Alberta Health Services to ensure necessary measures are in place to protect students and staff. We continue to focus on preventing the spread of COVID-19 and have directed our custodian team to conduct enhanced cleaning protocols of the school. This additional cleaning will focus on areas where the individual was present along with our continuous attention to high touch areas and surfaces throughout the facility.</p><p>We also remind all families to monitor for any signs or symptoms of COVID-19 using our <a href="https://drive.google.com/file/d/12oedZgsqwxJlmL6yMMLlR86E4PeuvGMG/view"><strong>Student Illness Guide</strong></a> and keep students who are sick away from school. Our <a href="https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Thp-h3EVTfnZtwr9iWECN619iNYVQfHg/view"><strong>COVID-19 Close Contact Guide</strong></a> outlines the process of identifying close contacts in schools and what to do if you have been around someone who tests positive for COVID-19.</p><p>For more information about positive COVID-19 cases in school please read <a href="https://drive.google.com/file/d/1_rBenG-RvBSK0VHIFft3kVNnSa6ObevW/view"><strong>COVID-19 in Schools (K-12) Settings.</strong></a></p>
Superintendent Roger Clarke Retirement Announcement
2021-05-03T21:46:39.000Z
Superintendent Roger Clarke Retirement Announcement
<h1>Superintendent Roger Clarke Retirement Announcement</h1><p>After working with students and families for 31 years, Prairie Rose Public School Superintendent Roger Clarke has announced his retirement from the Superintendent’s role, effective November 1, 2021.</p><p>Roger Clarke joined Prairie Rose in August 2017 following a long career as a teacher and superintendent with Fort Vermilion School Division. His wealth of experience as an educator and leader has made a significant impact on the quality of education and programming offered to Prairie Rose families over the past four years. This has included the expansion of options for students such as the South Alberta Hockey Academy, the Dave Rozdeba Flight Academy, rodeo clubs and programs, agriculture and fine arts initiatives, a partnership with Medicine Hat Public Schools and the Medicine Hat College with the Coulee Collegiate program, the Badlands Cre8tions entrepreneurial program at Eagle Butte High School and many more.&nbsp;</p><p>“Over the past four years, Prairie Rose has been fortunate to learn and grow under Roger’s guidance,” says Prairie Rose Board Chair Stuart Angle. “Roger understands the challenges, but also the benefits, of living in rural Alberta and has led our board to explore new and exciting opportunities for children. The board thanks Roger for his passion and leadership excellence and we wish him all the best in his retirement.”</p><p>“The decision to retire presents many mixed emotions,” says Clarke. “The need to spend time with elderly parents is a significant driver and has played a major part in altering the life plan for my wife and I. Since moving to Southern Alberta in 2017, I have thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to be part of the Prairie Rose family. Prairie Rose staff are passionate about inspiring and teaching children. This is evident across the division and I am incredibly proud of what I see happening in our schools. I have also been fortunate to work with an exceptional executive team, group of school leaders, central office staff and board of trustees, who work tirelessly to make these creative ideas come to life. I know they will continue to explore and implement amazing learning opportunities for students and families in Prairie Rose. We really only have the limits we as adults create. Thank you all for joining me in being positive difference makers for kids!”</p><p>The Prairie Rose School Division board of trustees will begin the process of selecting a new Superintendent of Schools immediately with a transition of the leadership position this fall.&nbsp;</p>
Local Boards Urge Vaccination Priority for School-Based Staff
2021-04-28T21:45:17.000Z
Local Boards Urge Vaccination Priority for School-Based Staff
<h1>Local Boards Urge Vaccination Priority for School-Based Staff</h1><p>Medicine Hat Public Schools, Medicine Hat Catholic Board of Education and Prairie Rose Public Schools representing school jurisdictions in Medicine Hat and surrounding areas in southeast Alberta have collaborated to request government prioritize school-based staff, as essential workers, to receive the COVID-19 vaccination.</p><p>Together, the three boards strongly encourage the Alberta government to immediately offer vaccinations to school staff. Alberta’s schools have been expected to operate at 100% capacity during the COVID-19 pandemic, posing unavoidable increased health risks for staff who do not have the option to work from home. While our schools &nbsp;vigilantly follow the public health guidelines, our education K-12 facilities &nbsp;are the most densely populated buildings throughout the school day. Given this circumstance, our staff deserve the opportunity to access an extra layer of protection vaccines provide.</p><p>Based on the province’s current vaccination roll out plan, it is estimated that approximately 30-35% of school staff, unless they are immune compromised, will not get vaccinated until after the end of June. &nbsp;We are deeply concerned that school-based staff have not been prioritized for vaccinations. Providing the COVID-19 vaccination will minimize significant costs associated with staff replacement and help to avoid disruption to student learning. Additionally, with no approved vaccine for those under the age of 16, staff vaccinations would provide additional protection for all students and their families.</p><p>School-based staff play a vital role in providing high quality education to students, as such, deserve to be protected by the COVID-19 vaccination. &nbsp;Further, keeping schools open Is one of the key elements of maintaining the economy of the communities we serve. Having children in school facilitates parents being able to go to work and keeps business flowing. We strongly urge the government of Alberta to take action immediately and prioritize COVID-19 vaccinations for school-based staff.</p>
Special Board Meeting Highlights
2021-04-20T18:18:46.000Z
Special Board Meeting Highlights
<p><strong>1. Procedures related to the April 13, 2021, notice of motion to close New Brigden School</strong></p><p>Moved by L. Bedwell to delay the New Bridgen School procedure until the 2021-2022 school year.</p><p>Board members speaking in favour of the motion included L. Bedwell, L. Hertz, and S. Hammel. Reasons for delaying the motion included the timeframe for potential closure, ability to provide appropriate online community consultation in a remote rural area where internet connectivity is limited, added workload on administrative and school staff who are managing through a pandemic, and stress on the families and students who were completely unaware a notice of motion for closure was coming.</p><p>Board members who spoke against the motion included G. Dennis, P. Cursons, S. Angle and C. Hogg. Reasons for continuing forward with the current timeline of June 2021 were related to facility and maintenance costs, a timeline for consultation and decision-making that meets Education Act guidelines, and the challenges of putting a possible school closure on a newly elected board of trustees following the October election. It was noted that a Special Meeting could be held later in June to extend the timeline for consultation.</p><p>The motion was defeated by a vote of 3-4. A recorded vote was asked for by L. Hertz.</p><ul><li>In favour: L. Bedwell, L. Hertz, and S. Hammel</li><li>Opposed: G. Dennis, P. Cursons, S. Angle and C. Hogg</li></ul><p>Moved by C. Hogg that a public board meeting be scheduled for June 29, 2021, to discuss the motion for closure of New Brigden School. CARRIED.</p>
Brittney Peters: 2021 Edwin Parr Nominee
2021-04-15T18:17:49.000Z
Brittney Peters: 2021 Edwin Parr Nominee
<h1>Brittney Peters: 2021 Edwin Parr Nominee</h1><p><strong>April 15th, 2021</strong></p><p>From an early age, Brittney Peters knew that she loved being around children. Growing up in the Mennonite culture, Brittney was part of a large family and often spent time caring for her younger siblings. She loved to watch them grow and cherished the milestones they reached as they learned about the world around them. However, it wasn’t until she was much older that education became a priority in her life.</p><p>As is common in most Mennonite families, education was not emphasized as a priority. In most cases students attend school until the end of grade 9 and then move on to enter the work environment to help support their family. Brittney’s path started out much the same until she began housekeeping for a lady in Schuler who began talking with her about other possibilities for her future.</p><p>“I don’t even think she needed her house cleaned,” says Peters. “Her house was always spotless. I think having me there provided her with the opportunity to have the conversation about education and to push me in the right direction.”</p><p>Unlike others in her family, Brittney made the decision to give high school a try. Only weeks before her grade 10 year she registered at Eagle Butte High School. It was a decision that changed the path of her life and led her to a career in the education field.&nbsp;</p><p>“Grade 10 was kind of out of bounds for me”, says Peters. “I didn’t even know if it was even an option. I was living at the women's shelter at the time, and in order to avoid talking about my feelings in group sessions, I kept myself busy with school in the day and work at night. I ended up being really inspired by the teachers who took the time to get to know me and understand my background and where I came from. Their support really encouraged me to pursue this journey.”</p><p>Peters recalls entering high school without the skills to use technology or write an email. A teacher at the school took the time to work with her to learn these skills which gave her the confidence to carry forward beyond high school and obtain her education degree.</p><p>“When I saw the position open up at Burdett I was ecstatic”, says Peters. “I wanted to be there. I wanted to be that person that could push those kiddos who didn’t get pushed.”</p><p>“Brittney really strives to make good connections with her parents and students,” says Burdett principal Cheryl Rebmann. “As we are a mainly Mennonite school, Brittney’s background and ability to speak in German with her families is invaluable. As a young and enthusiastic teacher, Brittney is eager to implement new strategies, tools, and ideas that she believes will be well received by our community.”</p><p>In addition to teaching grades 1 and 2, Brittney Peters also teaches elective programs to the junior high students at Burdett School. This gives her the opportunity to have the same conversations with her students that the lady from Schuler and her high school teachers had with her.</p><p>“I love my junior highs”, says Peters. “I tell them. You might not know if you want to go to high school today. You might not know if you want to go tomorrow. You might not even know by the end of the year. I didn’t even know until two weeks before I went. But keep that door open. Three years is not a long time to keep that door open for yourself.”</p><p>The Edwin Parr Teacher Award is presented annually by the Alberta School Boards Association (ASBA) to six exceptional first-year teachers from across the province of Alberta. Each spring, Alberta school divisions nominate and recognize one outstanding teacher who will represent them at the zone awards ceremony. The Prairie Rose Public Schools board of trustees would like to congratulate Brittney and wish her luck at the Zone 6 awards event taking place in May.</p>