Board of Trustees will no longer hear trans­porta­tion ap­peals

Medicine Hat News - - COMMUNITY-WEST - TIM KALI­NOWSKI tkali­nowski@medicine­hat­ Twit­ter: MHNTimKal

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.

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