Board of Trustees will no longer hear transportation appeals
At Tuesday’s meeting, trustees voted unanimously to change PRSD appeals Policy GP No. 12 so the board will no longer hear appeals “related to bus routes and busing outside of current attendance areas.”
Under the change, trustees will still make the initial decision to either grant busing or deny it when an individual or group makes a transport request outside of its designated attendance area. But, from now on, all appeals of such decisions will be heard and decided upon by the superintendent, and his or her decision “shall be final.”
This policy change may have some repercussions for the New Brigden School closure debate, which has a transportation appeal at the heart of it. Nine local families were given permission by the PRSD board to bus their children to Oyen, which was outside their boundary area, instead of attending New Brigden School. The sudden loss of students due to this decision has undermined the viability of the school, according to some in the community.
Parkside touts trades program
Parkside School language arts and trades teacher Melissa Heidinger, alongside students Clayton Lehr and Caitlyn Watson, made a delegation to the board to highlight the successful collaboration the school has enjoyed with Medicine Hat College the past few years.
The school works closely with MHC instructors and uses the college’s facilities to teach introductory plumbing and carpentry courses. Heidinger hoped to convince trustees to expand the collaboration to include welding and electrical engineering as part of the course.
The cost of the program is $200 a day if Parkside does its own instruction or $365 per day if it uses MHC teachers. The course runs for 10 weeks, which includes one day a week and two hours of instruction time.
Trustees agreed to allow for an expanded trades program for Parkside and other schools in the division who work closely with college.
New Cree language course to be offered
Starting in the fall, PRSD students will have access to a dual credit Cree language course within the division. The course details have yet to be fleshed out, but PRSD staff reported to the trustees there was a definite interest, and it would fit in well with forthcoming provincial curriculum guidelines, which call for more emphasis on inclusiveness and diversity in Alberta’s schools.
Parkside School language arts and trades teacher Melissa Heidinger highlights the value of her school's collaboration with MHC to provide quality trades instruction to students. In front of her are a sampling of some of the items her students have built.