School News

Stay up to date on school news here.

Vice Principal of Oyen Public and South Central High School Announcement
<p>Prairie Rose Public Schools would like to congratulate Deanne Smigelski who has accepted the position as vice principal of Oyen Public School (OPS) and South Central High School (SCHS). The vice principal role is a new position in Oyen where the focus will be on providing leadership support to the principal across two school communities under the newly created joint leadership model.</p><p>Deanne is a longtime teacher with Prairie Rose Public Schools having worked exclusively in the Oyen community for the past 15 years. During that time she has primarily focused on teaching elementary students in grades JK-5, while supporting both teachers and students in all grades through her role as the Inclusive Learning Teacher. In addition to a Bachelor of Education, Smigelski also has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Lethbridge.</p><blockquote><p>“I am very excited to welcome Deanne to the Oyen leadership team,” says Oyen Public School principal Jason Duchscherer. “Her background in developing high yielding instructional strategies with a focus on literacy, coupled with her knowledge and passion for the Oyen community make her an excellent fit for the role. I look forward to working with her as we continue to build amazing opportunities for all Oyen students.”</p></blockquote><blockquote><p>“I am grateful for this opportunity and excited to start a new path,” says Deanne Smigelski. “The future of OPS and SCHS as a unified school community is one I am looking forward to being part of and supporting. I am hopeful for what's to come for our small-town schools.”</p></blockquote><p>Deanne Smigelski will officially assume the role of vice principal of OPS and SCHS on August 24, 2022. The transition to the new combined leadership model comes following the retirement of current SCHS principal Jean Kimber at the end of the current school year. Jason Duchscherer was recently announced as the new principal of both schools, starting next fall.</p>
Board Meeting Highlights May 10, 2022
<p><strong>Irvine Agriculture Discovery Centre</strong></p><p>Prior to the May 10th public board meeting, the media, trustees and Cypress County officials were invited for a tour of the new Irvine School Agricultural Discovery Centre. As part of the tour, officials were asked to participate in some of the chores students are responsible for at the Agriculture Centre including cleaning the goat pen, feeding the baby calves, collecting eggs from the chicken coop and working in the garden. The initiative is a joint school project between Prairie Rose Public Schools and program founder Nichole Neubauer of Neubauer Farms. Photos of the tour are available on the Prairie Rose Public School Facebook page: <a href=""></a></p><p><strong>Ralston/Redcliff Proposed Attendance Area Changes</strong></p><p>The Prairie Rose Public Schools Board of Trustees approved the application for proposed changes to the Ralston/Redcliff attendance boundary. It was noted that the request affects the designated school attendance area for only a couple of families (who are already meeting a bus to Redcliff) and will have minimal to no impact on Ralston School, as the majority of land in the proposed area is leased and cannot be purchased. Attendance area requests come forward to the Board for review and consideration once each year, as per the Board Monitoring Schedule.</p><p><strong>The PRPS Board approved the following administrative items:</strong></p><ul><li>The 2022-2023 Board Monitoring Schedule</li><li>Changes to the Board/Teacher Advisory Committee policy to clarify the maximum number of trustees that may sit on the board</li></ul><p><strong>The PRPS Board approved the following school field trips:</strong></p><ul><li>South Central High School Grade 9 Field Trip to the Inter-Varsity Pioneer Camp in Rocky Mountain House from May 4-6.</li><li>South Central High School Biology 20/30 Field Trip to Edmonton to participate in RiverWatch from May 11-12.</li><li>Irvine School Grade 9 Field Trip to Cypress Hills (Saskatchewan) to Treeosix Adventures on June 17th.</li></ul><p>Additional details regarding the board items listed above can be found in the May 10th PRPS Board Meeting Agenda package: <a href=""></a></p>
Assistant Superintendent of Learning Services Announcement
<p><i>Boyd Craven announced as new Assistant Superintendent of Learning Services for Prairie Rose Public Schools</i></p><p>Prairie Rose Public Schools would like to congratulate Boyd Craven who has been chosen as the successful candidate for the role of Assistant Superintendent of Learning Services.</p><p>Currently working as the Eagle Butte High School principal, Boyd Craven is a long-time employee of Prairie Rose with an extensive teaching and leadership background. Throughout his 18-year teaching career with Prairie Rose Public Schools, Boyd has worked in school administration for the past 15 years, first as vice-principal of Ralston School, then vice-principal and principal at Parkside Junior High School and most recently as principal at Eagle Butte High School. In addition to a Bachelor of Arts and Education, he also holds a Master of Education with a focus on Educational Leadership.</p><blockquote><p>“I am excited to welcome Boyd to the Prairie Rose leadership team,” says Superintendent Reagan Weeks. “Boyd has a strong background in building positive school cultures that support a teamwork approach to learning. As Prairie Rose continues to create exceptional opportunities for students, his leadership and collaborative approach will be instrumental in executing our division education plan.”</p></blockquote><blockquote><p>“During my years as a school leader, I have witnessed deeper learning and academic excellence occur when students are given the opportunity to engage in learning they love and have a passion for,” says Boyd Craven. “In my new role as Assistant Superintendent of Learning Services, I look forward to being part of a leadership team that is continuously striving to find new ways for students of all ages to be innovators and find success through access to these opportunities.”</p></blockquote><p>Boyd Craven will make the transition from Eagle Butte to the Assistant Superintendent position at the end of the current school year. The Eagle Butte High School principal position will be posted in the very near future.</p>
Principal Announcement - OPS and SCHS
<p>Prairie Rose Public Schools would like to congratulate Jason Duchscherer who will assume the role as principal of both Oyen Public School (OPS) and South Central High School (SCHS) in Oyen, starting fall 2022. The announcement comes following the retirement of Jean Kimber at the end of the current school year as principal of South Central High School.</p><blockquote><p>“Combining the leadership roles allows the two schools in Oyen to continue forward on the path towards a future of one amazing K-12 school,” says Duchscherer. “Both OPS and SCHS have already made steps to connect and build programming that enables a smooth transition for students as they move from elementary to junior high and onto high school, so this further supports that work.”</p></blockquote><p>The move towards a unified school community is something both OPS and SCHS have been working towards for the past few years. Following a community consultation in 2019, the Board of Trustees added a new K-12 school in Oyen to the Prairie Rose Public Schools Capital Plan. Last spring, both schools collaborated on their school rebranding projects and established a single vision statement of developing confident, engaged and caring citizens. Both schools have also focused on building opportunities where students are learning alongside each other through programming such as the South Alberta Hockey Academy and the Badlands Junior Badgers program.</p><blockquote><p>“I would like to extend my heartfelt congratulations to Jean Kimber who has contributed tremendously to the education of countless students and wish her well in her next adventures. Jason Duchscherer takes on this newly structured role with a breadth of experience and a passion for rural education,” says Superintendent Weeks. “We have other schools in the division that operate under a similar model and it has worked very successfully in building a community of one school, despite being in different buildings. To further support the transition to one administrative position, a vice principal role will be added in Oyen to ensure leadership resources are maintained.”</p></blockquote><p>Duchscherer will officially assume the role of principal of both OPS and SCHS at the start of the 2022-2023 school year. The vice principal role will be posted later this spring.</p>
Roots and Wings
<p>Families living in the Redcliff area may have started hearing about a new program called Roots and Wings. The program aims to provide flexibility and ease of access to Redcliff students and their families for basic needs such as clothing, baby formula, and non-perishable food.&nbsp;</p><p>Eagle Butte teacher Scott Raible came up with the idea for the program when he was tasked with finding an initiative for his Masters degree that helps fill an identified gap for students. As a teacher he says he often sees that families can be hesitant to access the many supports already available in communities due to accessibility issues. The Roots and Wings program is aimed to remove those barriers to ensure that no Prairie Rose family in Redcliff goes without.</p><blockquote><p>“The process is quite simple,” says Raible. “Our school staff keep an eye out for those who may require assistance and information is provided directly to families via our Family School Liaison Workers. Families can also reach out to the schools directly and initiate support. All the family has to do is make an appointment and come “shopping”; selecting the clothing and food items that they need. There is absolutely no cost and no forms to fill out. If they need something we don’t have, we will find a way to get it.”</p></blockquote><p>Raible says the new program is growing and word of mouth is getting out in the community with many people providing donations. This support is greatly appreciated and is vital to ensuring continued success of the program. Currently those who wish to donate non-perishable food, can do so at the Redcliff Library and at the Redcliff Youth Center.</p><blockquote><p>“The entire purpose of Roots and Wings is to ensure that every student and their family in Redcliff has access to what they need to be successful. The program is organic in that we know each school has different needs. The staff at IF Cox, Margaret Wooding and Parkside have been essential in ensuring that we can be prepared when a family reaches out to us for assistance.”</p></blockquote><p>The program is currently only available to students who attend IF Cox, Margaret Wooding, Parkside Junior High, and Prairie Mennonite Alternative School and operates out of the old Redcliff Mennonite Alternative School. Families can call their local Redcliff school to get details on accessing the Roots and Wings program.</p><p><strong>Program sponsors:</strong> Prairie Rose Public Schools, Redcliff Library, Redcliff Youth Centre, The Salvation Army, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, The Mustard Seed, Little Munchkins.</p><p><strong>Program contact:</strong> Scott Raible,</p><figure class="table"><table><tbody><tr><td><figure class="image"><img src="/images/860873c1-d07f-401e-b9c3-4999dbfb0568" alt=""></figure></td><td><figure class="image"><img src="/images/030ab9da-99af-4a10-a384-490ca5aa3159" alt=""></figure></td></tr></tbody></table></figure>
South Alberta High School Principal Announcement
<p>Prairie Rose Public Schools would like to congratulate Darren MacMillan on being selected as the principal of South Alberta High School.</p><p>MacMillan has been a teacher with PRPS for 25 years having previously worked at Schuler School, Irvine School and Eagle Butte High School. Most recently he has been instrumental in developing academy programming for both the South Alberta Hockey and South Alberta Flight academy programs and holds the General Manager role for the U18 Male and Female CSSHL Prep hockey teams. In addition to a Bachelor of Education and Bachelor of Arts, MacMillan also has a Master of Education with a focus in coaching studies.</p><p>South Alberta High School will offer a wide range of programming and learning opportunities with a focus on academy development and growth, non-primary distance education for high school students, collaboration with non-profit groups and establishing business partnerships. MacMillan will oversee the South Alberta Hockey Academy, the Dave Rozdeba South Alberta Flight Academy, Badlands Baseball Academy, Player X, E-Sports, House of Leaders, rodeo and equine programs, summer educational opportunities and international student recruitment.</p><p>“I am excited to continue working alongside my colleagues in Prairie Rose Public Schools to develop unique learning opportunities and provide high quality education,” says MacMillan. “South Alberta High School will increase accessible options for high school students as we continue to develop partnerships with community members. I am grateful for this opportunity and look forward to starting the work.”&nbsp;</p><p>“Prairie Rose Public Schools has been working hard the past few years to build unique programming opportunities that focus on a wide range of student interests and maintain long-term enrollment stability across the division,” says Deputy Superintendent Mark Heinricks. “Darren’s role will be to provide guidance and leadership to support these efforts.”</p><p>At the April 2022 Board Meeting, the PRPS Board of Trustees officially approved the name South Alberta High School which was previously called Rural Futures. MacMillan will assume the role of principal of South Alberta High School on July 1, 2022.</p>
PRPS Kiwanis Science Fair Winners
<p>Congratulations to the following Prairie Rose Public Schools students who came out on top at the annual Kiwanis Southeast Alberta Regional Science Fair held earlier this month. The event is an opportunity for students in grades 4-12 to showcase their scientific investigative skills and present the findings in front of peers and a panel of judges.&nbsp;</p><p>A special shout out to Victoria Rooks (Senator Gershaw School) and Britten Kurtzweg (Foremost School) who have been chosen to compete at the 2022 Canada Wide Science Fair. Good luck and we are excited to have you represent Prairie Rose Public Schools.</p><p><strong>Elementary School Winners</strong></p><p><i>Bronze</i></p><ol><li>Elise Poku, Ralston School (Grade 6) – Will bacteria increase or decrease depending on temperature?</li><li>Isaac Holmes and Elias Pemberton, Ralston School (Grade 6) – Mini Drill</li></ol><p><i>Honourable Mentions</i></p><ol><li>Yasmine Kamara and Joyous Raskoti, Ralston School (Grade 6) – EV3 Mindstorms Space Challenge</li><li>Lucy Cowley and Hollie Hemingway, Ralston School (Grade 6) – How to extract iron from corn flakes</li><li>Kyla Green and Jamie-leigh Beatty, Ralston School (Grade 6) – Growing Bacteria</li></ol><p><strong>Junior Winners</strong></p><p><i>Bronze</i></p><ol><li>Froese, Parker &amp; Froese, Taten – Ralston School (Grade 7): “What Humidity Ivy (My Snake) Best Sheds At”</li><li>Spaan , Ava – Ralston School (Grade 8): “Lava Lamps – “How Can I Make a Homemade One?”</li><li>Sumner, Poppy – Ralston School (Grade 8): “What Are We Wasting?”</li></ol><p><i>Silver</i></p><ol><li>Rodrigue, Patrick – Ralston School (Grade 7): “How Do Different Drinks Affect Your Teeth”</li><li>Owusu-Ansah, Kofi &amp; Reilly, Kayden – Ralston School (Grade 8): “How It Works”</li></ol><p><i>Gold</i></p><ol><li>Pemberton, Marlie &amp; Sherpa, Rinzen – Ralston School (Grade 7) – “Marlie and Rinzen Colour Change Flower”</li><li>Pflughaupt , Aden – Ralston School (Grade 8) – “Does the Colour of Food Affect Its Taste?”</li></ol><p><strong>Intermediate Winners</strong></p><p><i>Silver</i></p><ol><li>Wall, Joseph – Ralston School (Grade 9) – “Chemical change”</li><li>Davies, Riley &amp; Green, Kian – Ralston School (Grade 9) – “Are Sports Drinks Actually Better Than Water?”</li></ol><p><i>Gold</i></p><ol><li>Kurtzweg, Britten – Foremost School (Grade 9) – “Pondering Pendulums”</li><li>Rooks, Victoria – Senator Gershaw School (Grade 9) – “Killing It!”</li></ol><p><strong>Senior Winners</strong></p><p><i>Gold</i></p><ol><li>Rooks, Ayden – Senator Gershaw School (Grade 11) – “Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons”</li></ol>
Updated 2022-2023 School Calendar
<p>At the April 12, 2022, public board meeting, the Prairie Rose Public Schools Board of Trustees revisited the previously approved 2022-2023 school year calendar. The calendar was brought back to the board to review following feedback from parents and staff citing concerns that the Prairie Rose calendar was not in alignment with neighbouring school division calendars. Specifically, concerns were raised regarding the difference around the Christmas break, as there would be challenges for both parents and staff to find childcare services and that the current calendar only included two full weekends within the break instead of three.</p><p>The following changes to the calendar were approved by the board by a vote of four (Haraga, Cursons, Hogg, Vanderspruit) to three (Bedwell, Dennis, Rooks) at the April 12th public meeting:</p><ul><li>The Christmas break has been shifted to December 24th – January 8th. Students will still have an early dismissal day on December 23rd and will return on January 9th.</li><li>The SI day scheduled on November 14th has been moved to November 9th.</li></ul><p>The revised calendar has been posted to the public documents section of the Prairie Rose website and is available for online viewing.</p><p>The approved calendar can be found here: <a href=""></a><br>&nbsp;</p>
2022 PRPS Edwin Parr Nominee Lisa Dixon
<p>For Lisa, the journey to the front of the classroom did not begin right out of high school. Instead, her path to teaching led her in many directions and through all aspects of working with children. Before returning to post-secondary, Lisa worked in preschools, daycares and even as an Educational Assistant (EA) for ten years at Margaret Wooding, Parkside and RMAP in Prairie Rose Public Schools. Still, it was her son who eventually inspired her to take the leap to go back to school to get her Education degree.</p><p>“My son struggled in school. He had to learn differently in order to understand the concepts being taught, so all of those strategies put in place for all learners really did help him.”</p><p>As a mother of a child who was not your typical in-the-box learner, Lisa recognized that each child required a different level and approach to learning to be successful. This understanding was further reinforced through her previous work as an EA where she was always looking for ways to support students based on individual learning preferences.&nbsp;</p><p>“I really learned how to be flexible and intuitive to support all learners. So incorporating those universal design strategies in my classroom now as a teacher just feels like it is just a part of who I am and what I do because it is how I had to help support my students with special needs as an EA. In my classroom, it is more about equity over equality. I feel like everybody needs something different. We all learn in different ways.”</p><p>Lisa currently works as a grade 5 teacher at Ralston School on the Canadian Forces Base Suffield. Principal Stacey Nunweiler says that she knew right away when interviewing Lisa that she would be a fabulous teacher and a perfect fit for Ralston School, where 90% of the student population comes from outside of Canada.</p><p>“Her life experience and desire to make a difference in student learning were admirable. Lisa took the first part of the year building relationships with her students that allowed them to trust her even with their vulnerabilities. Lisa has a passion for making learning equitable in her classroom that includes making the curriculum accessible to all her students through tools, strategies and intentionally planning to work one to one with students as much as possible.”</p><p>As well as ensuring equity and equality among her students, Lisa also has a strong passion for learning about culture and incorporating this knowledge into her classroom teachings. As an EA she spent many years working with Mennonite families, while in her current classroom, she has students from the UK, Ghana and Nepal. She has also taken a special interest in indigenous studies and enjoys finding unique ways to incorporate these teachings into her instructional practices.&nbsp;</p><p>“It is important to me to educate students about the inequalities that still exist today in Canada and why we participate in reconciliation. I find if you want to create critical thinkers, you need to talk about the heavy stuff, those topics that make people uncomfortable. But as the facilitator, I can navigate these topics with students to make it appropriate and show each other we can appreciate each other's opinions and ideas and maybe even be persuaded to think differently.”</p><p>When asked where she sees herself in the next five to ten years, Lisa says she wants to keep learning and growing throughout her career and feels blessed to be working in a profession that allows that to happen. She also looks forward to being part of the special moments that come from being a teacher, mentor and caregiver.&nbsp;</p><p>“My heart is just beaming all the time. When you have just those moments where the lightbulb goes on with the kids, or you get nominated for this amazing award, there are many ways to feel rewarded. This career is awesome because you are not in this alone. You are in this with other people willing to share and inspire you. I want to be one of those people for somebody else.”</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 Lisa and wish her luck at the Zone 6 awards event in May.</p>
Board Meeting Highlights March 9, 2022
<p><i>The board meeting agenda package can be found here:</i> <a href=""></a></p><p><strong>Schuler School Presentation</strong></p><p>Schuler School principal Lisa Lindsay provided an overview of the school and highlights from the past year. Schuler is a K-9 school of approximately 70 students located 90 kilometres north of Medicine Hat. The school has implemented several new initiatives from the feedback received from students, parents, and staff through the 2021-2022 assurance survey. These include; new routines for junior high students during the recess and lunch break, increased choice in the option courses available, an active student voice, enhanced weekly communication to parents and the community, and opportunities for team building and collaboration amongst the staff. A summary of the school’s education goals was shared, focusing on literacy, deeper learning and promoting a positive culture. The full school presentation can be found in the meeting agenda package.</p><p><strong>Technology Accountability Report</strong></p><p>Director of Technology Wayne Rossler presented the 2022 PRPS Technology Accountability Report for information. The report includes a list of the division’s technology assets, along with a summary of key projects and priorities for the current school year, which includes; the digitization of student records, security upgrades, the moving of files to a cloud-based data centre and the installation of Chromebook internet filtering. It was noted that during the 2020-2021 school year, Prairie Rose Public Schools spent 1.3 million dollars on technology purchases and licensing. The full report can be found in the meeting agenda package.</p><p><strong>2022-2023 School Calendar Approval</strong></p><p>The board approved the school calendar for the 2022-2023 year. The calendar has a start date for students of August 29, 2022, a mid-week start to the Christmas break, a day for all students and staff to honour Truth and Reconciliation, and the inclusion of two wellness days into the calendar. The approved calendar is available on the Prairie Rose website:&nbsp;<a href=""></a></p><p><strong>Capital Plan Approval</strong></p><p>Chief Financial Officer Ryan Boser shared that Prairie Rose has been granted an extension by Alberta Infrastructure for late submission of the annual Capital Plan, which is usually required by the end of March. The division will be working with Ferrari Westwood Babits Architects to formally revamp the plan to ensure essential school facility needs are represented. The plan will be returned to the board for approval at the April public board meeting.</p><p><strong>GP15 Trustee Development</strong></p><ul><li>A modification was made to GP15 to allow trustees the choice to attend the Rural Education Symposium or First Nations Metis Education Gathering conference annually as part of their allocated PD budget.</li></ul>
PRPS COVID-19 Update - February 28, 2022
<p>On Saturday, February 26, 2022, Alberta Premier Jason Kenny announced that the province will be moving forward with lifting most of the remaining COVID-19 restrictions on March 1st. For K-12 schools this will result in the removal of all current protocols, <i>with the exception of the sickness/isolation guidelines</i>.</p><p>Specifically, starting March 1, 2022, the following restrictions will no longer apply:</p><ul><li>Cohorting will be removed for grades K-6.</li><li>Youth screening activities for entertainment and sports activities will no longer be required.</li><li>Capacity limits for large gatherings are removed.</li><li>Indoor and outdoor social gathering limits will be lifted.</li><li>There will no longer be a requirement for those over the age of 18 to wear a mask, however, Prairie Rose Public Schools will continue to support any individual who wishes to continue wearing a mask.</li></ul><p>As mentioned, the illness and stay at home when sick requirements remain in place. <strong>Please continue to use our Student Illness Guide to determine whether your child is well enough to attend school</strong>. &nbsp;This requirement also applies to all adults visiting school facilities. A link to the most recent versions of our PRPS Illness Guides can be found below.&nbsp;</p><p>(<strong>Updated February 2022</strong>): <a href="">Student Illness Guide - Staying Home When Sick</a></p><p>(<strong>Updated February 2022</strong>): <a href="">Adult Illness Guide - Staying Home When Sick</a></p>
2022 Alberta Education Assurance Survey - Extended Deadline
<p>Starting February 23rd, parents will start receiving survey packages by mail from Alberta Education for the 2022 Assurance Survey. &nbsp;Parents will either complete the surveys online or return completed paper copies directly to Alberta Education.&nbsp;</p><p>Here are some important notes for parents regarding the survey:</p><ol><li>The survey package will include:<ul><li>a copy of the Education Minister's letter</li><li>a Random Access Code for accessing the survey online and instructions for accessing the survey in other languages, if needed.</li></ul></li><li>Parents with more than one student in the relevant survey grades will receive a separate survey package and Random Access Code for each child.</li><li><strong>The survey will remain open until April 1, 2022 (the deadline has been extended)</strong>.</li></ol><p><strong>Who will receive the survey?</strong></p><ol><li>Where a school community is fewer than 120 students in grades 4-12, all students in grades 4 and above will meet the survey eligibility criteria.</li><li>Where a school community is above 120 only parents and guardians of students in grades 4, 7 and 10 will receive the survey.</li></ol><p>More information regarding the Assurance Framework and how the survey data will be used can be found by visiting the <a href="">Alberta Education Assurance and Accountability website</a>.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p>
PRPS COVID-19 Update - February 9, 2022
<p>Yesterday evening, Premier Jason Kenny shared details regarding the province’s plan for moving forward, beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. Full details of the <i>Alberta plan for returning to normal</i> is available here: <a href="">February 8, 2022 Announcement</a></p><p>As a result of these changes, please be aware of the following updates to our division COVID-19 response plan:</p><p>→<strong> &nbsp;Masking:</strong> Starting next week (February 14th), all masking requirements for students will be removed from the public health order for all K-12 students. This means that students in grades K-12 will not be required to wear a mask while riding the school bus, or while attending school. At this time, the Alberta Government still requires all adults (18 years of age or older) to wear masks while in schools. This includes school and division staff, bus drivers and any adult visitors to our schools. As always, our schools will continue to provide a supportive environment for those students who wish to continue wearing a mask.</p><p><strong>→ &nbsp;Daily Checklist and Isolation Requirements:</strong> Parents are encouraged to continue to use the daily checklist when making decisions regarding sending their child to school. All isolation requirements for students who are close contacts or test positive for COVID-19 remain in place. The <i>PRPS Student Illness Guide</i> can be found here: <a href="">PRPS Illness Guide</a></p><p><strong>→ &nbsp;Spectators and Visitors in Schools</strong>: Restrictions on spectator limits (sports and performance) have been lifted, however all adults in school buildings are still required to wear a mask for the duration of the time they are in the school as per the current government direction.</p><p><strong>→ &nbsp;Field Trips</strong>: The restrictions to field trip activities have been lifted. Schools are still encouraged to prioritize outdoor field trips and maintain cohorts, where possible.</p><p><strong>→ &nbsp;After School Facility Use (youth)</strong>: Outside user groups for youth are once again permitted at Prairie Rose Public School facilities. Please contact your local school for details.</p><p>As part of the three step <i>Alberta plan for returning to normal</i>, it is likely more changes will be coming throughout the next few weeks. Our division will continue to follow the direction provided by the provincial government as they move toward reopening Alberta.&nbsp;</p><p>Thank you again for your continued patience and understanding as we navigate the challenges of COVID-19. If you have any questions, please contact your school principal.</p>
Response to Protest Action at PRPS Schools
<p>On Friday, February 4, 2022, Prairie Rose Public Schools was made aware of a number of organized protests taking place outside our schools in communities across the division. These protests were part of a provincially planned action advocating against public health measures. We acknowledge this action would have caused worry for many of our students and staff. As such, our focus was on providing support in our schools and creating a sense of normalcy throughout the day, as much as possible.</p><ul><li>Our number one priority was to ensure the safety of our students and staff. All efforts were made to provide support and reduce anxiety for students. As part of these efforts, our staff were directed to continue with classes and try to maintain normalcy as much as possible.</li><li>As is consistent with our emergency response Hold and Secure protocol, all school doors were locked and access in and out of schools was monitored throughout the school day.</li><li>Any student who made the choice to actively protest the rules while inside the school building were moved to a location away from the other students. A choice to be at school still requires the student to be responsible for their actions and to follow the expectations for learning in our buildings. The <i>Education Act</i> clearly states that it is a parent’s responsibility to help their student comply with the rules of the school.</li></ul><p>It is extremely unfortunate that our students and staff have been put into the middle of a political debate in which school divisions do not have the authority to make changes. Any concerns that have been shared with us have been passed along to both the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health who are responsible for these decisions.&nbsp;</p><p>These recent events have caused unnecessary challenges and stress on schools. This does not support a positive environment for learning and further impacts the mental health of educators and students. We strongly encourage all community members who have concerns with the current mandates to take their conversations to their local members of government and not our teachers and children.</p><p>Reagan Weeks<br>Superintendent<br>Prairie Rose Public Schools</p><p>Cathy Hogg<br>Board Chair<br>Prairie Rose Public Schools</p>
Re-Entry Plan Update
<p>As we committed to families upon the return to in-person classes on January 10th, Prairie Rose Public Schools has reviewed three key sections of our revised 2022 Re-Entry Plan with regards to field trips, spectators and audience members in schools, and the use of school facilities after school hours.</p><p>✅ &nbsp;Spectators and audience members will be allowed in schools to watch sports and performance events with the following conditions.</p><p>Starting immediately (or when the school can manage the adjustment):</p><ul><li>Each player or performer may have 2 immediate family members attend.</li><li>All visitors must follow the guidelines for visitors in schools, including the requirement to wear a mask for the duration of their time in the building. More details regarding visitors can be found in our <a href="">School Re-Entry Plan</a>.</li></ul><p>Starting February 7th:</p><ul><li>The maximum number of visitors at an event cannot exceed ⅓ capacity.</li><li>All visitors must follow the guidelines for visitors in schools, including the requirement to wear a mask for the duration of their time in the building. More details regarding visitors can be found in our <a href="">School Re-Entry Plan</a>.</li></ul><p>❌ &nbsp;Outside user groups will continue to be restricted at this time and approved on a case by case basis. This decision will be reviewed again by the end of February.&nbsp;</p><p>❌ &nbsp;Field trips that are not part of an educational program will continue to be restricted at this time. Schools have been asked to reschedule any pre-planned trips until the end of February. This decision will be revisited again at the end of February.</p><p>The full school re-entry plan along with our COVID guidelines can be found here: <a href=""></a></p>
Board Meeting Highlights - Jan 11, 2022
<p>The full board meeting agenda package can be found here: <a href=""></a></p><p><strong>IF Cox School Presentation</strong></p><p>Principal Linda Asham and Vice Principal Tracy Frank provided an overview of IF Cox School highlighting a number of strategies developed by staff focused on increasing learning opportunities and student success. In their presentation to the board, the school leaders featured several initiatives including; a strong focus on literacy, character education and social emotional learning, and respect for one another and the earth. It was noted the school is really proud of the work their students and teachers have done towards improving literacy across grades K-3 through focused strategies such as Secret Stories and the introduction of Heggerty Phonemic Awareness. The full presentation can be found in the board meeting agenda package.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>COVID-19 Update</strong></p><p>Superintendent Reagan Weeks provided a brief system update regarding the return to in-person learning following the extended winter break. It was noted that currently Prairie Rose has been able to maintain in-person learning across the division with minimal disruption and that a few schools (Prairie Mennonite, Jenner, Parkside) had already received their shipment of PPE (as of Tuesday PM) with the rest expected to come throughout the week. All items will be shipped directly to schools so they can be distributed quickly once they arrive. It was also shared that unlike in previous COVID-19 waves, Alberta Health and the province have made the decision to no longer ask schools to report positive COVID cases to their school communities. The complete Prairie Rose return to school plan and the updated illness guides can be found on the website: <a href=""></a></p><p><strong>Maintenance and Infrastructure Report</strong></p><p>Director of Maintenance Operations Darrell Drefs provided the Maintenance Accountability Report to the Board for information. Highlights of the report include a summary of the maintenance budget, an overview of projects completed in the 2020-2021 year through Infrastructure Maintenance and Renewal (IMR) funding and Capital Maintenance and Renewal (CMR) funding, and a summary of the Prairie Rose Capital Plan. It was shared that during the 2020-2021 year, $592,838 was spent on IMR projects. Some of those upgrades included the modernization of the Oyen Public School entrance, window replacement at Eagle Butte High School, creating barrier-free access at South Central, and upgrading the Ralston server room. Completed CMR projects included (but were not limited to) mechanical upgrades at Parkside, BMS control upgrade at IF Cox, and a fire alarm panel and systems upgrade at Seven Persons. Drefs noted that the main difference between IMR and CMR is how the spending is reported and projects capitalized, and that CMR projects must be pre-approved. Overall, during the 2020-2021 year the actual maintenance deficit came in $195,902 over budget. A complete list and photos on completed projects can be found in the board meeting agenda package.</p><p><strong>Inclusive Education Accountability Report</strong></p><p>Director of Student Services Camille Quinton presented the Inclusive Education Accountability Report to the Board for information. It was noted that the division received an additional $300,000 in funding last year for services and student supports for a total of $4,483,013. The total spent on providing student services amounted to $5,036,985, with the remaining funding coming from general instruction. A breakdown of the types of services and student codes was provided along with allocated funding for each school. The full report can be found in the board meeting agenda package.</p><p><strong>Financial Update</strong></p><p>Assistant Secretary Treasurer Candice Hintz provided a financial update to the Board for information. As of November 2021, the division was 25% of the way through the current fiscal year. There were no reported changes to revenues, compared to the fall 2021 approved budget. The school division is currently projecting overall revenues of $51,511,580 for the year and projected expenses of $52,141,775. Overall, the 2021-2022 school year deficit is expected to come in at $595,195.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Other Items:</strong></p><ul><li>The board approved the borrowing resolution with ATB Financial for the 2021-2022 year.</li></ul>
Parent Update: Return to In-Person Classes on Jan 10th
<p>On Wednesday, <a href="">January 5th the Alberta Government confirmed</a> that in-person classes would restart on January 10th. With the classes resuming next week, Prairie Rose Public Schools is prepared to welcome back students using enhanced cleaning and health practices such as masking for grades 4-12 (and all adults), cohorting when possible, and enhanced cleaning practices.&nbsp;</p><p>To supplement our current efforts, the government will begin distributing medical grade masks and testing kits to each student and staff member. The school division has been told that we can expect to start seeing shipments of these items as early as Friday, January 7th, although there is no guarantee they will arrive by the start of classes next week. Once schools receive the materials they will be sent home with students. <i>The use of the medical masks and testing kits is optional and can be used at the discretion and guidance of parents. </i>A video has been created with instructions on how to use the <a href="">testing kits</a> for those who wish to use them.</p><p>Other important information:</p><ul><li>All individuals are still required to review the <a href="">Student Illness Guide</a> with their child each day before coming to school. If your child shows any signs of illness, parents will be contacted to pick up their child from school. It is anticipated there will be new changes to the daily checklist, but currently we ask families to follow the same process as prior to the winter break when determining if their child is well enough to attend school. Over the break the government also announced changes to the <a href="">isolation and quarantine timelines</a>. Please take a moment to review the new changes.<br>&nbsp;</li><li>Based on current health data, there will likely be a high number of student and staff absences in the coming weeks due to the rising number of Omicron COVID-19 cases within communities. Should this happen in Prairie Rose, it may be necessary to move a class or classes to online learning for a short period of time. Online learning will only be used as a last resort when it is not possible to offer in-person learning.<br>&nbsp;</li><li>It is our hope that extra curricular activities (including sports programs) will continue as planned. We have not received official confirmation regarding extra curricular and expect more information related to the continuation of these programs in the next few days.<br>&nbsp;</li><li>It is expected that the government will be making several changes to their K-12 school guidance documents. Currently, we do not have additional information related to what these may be, including contact tracing practices. Once we have more information this will be shared with families.<br>&nbsp;</li><li><strong>For high school students only</strong>: Diploma exams have been cancelled for January. Prairie Rose has also made the decision to cancel exam week, which means there will be no final exams for any high school students. Classes will run for all high school students up to and including January 26th. Students will be off on January 27th and January 28th (SI Day). Second semester will begin on January 31st.</li></ul><p>We understand that families may have additional questions. We continue to ask for your patience as we amend our guidelines based on new information from the province. Please watch your email over the weekend, as it is likely you may receive another update from us with these details. As always, we appreciate your cooperation and patience as we navigate the uncertainty of the pandemic and look forward to a return to in-person learning next week.</p><p>Sincerely,</p><p>Reagan Weeks<br>Superintendent of Schools<br>Prairie Rose Public Schools</p>