Clearview Public Schools trustees received an update from their superintendent during the regular board meeting on Sept. 21.
Superintendent Peter Barron reviewed Clearview’s Strategic Action Plan, highlighting the proposed strategies to make Clearview Public Schools the “first-choice” for students and families in our communities.
Highlights of this ambitious plan include strategies for creating a division literacy plan, supporting student achievement in mathematics, reviewing diploma exam results, examining best teaching and learning practices, encouraging early identification of students who are struggling, providing targeted support and exploring opportunities to expand programming in small schools.
The goal is to create a learning environment so engaging, enviable and successful that parents and students will want to choose Clearview Public Schools over any other educational alternatives.
Barron reported that there has been a significant growth in the use of Twitter by staff throughout the division over the past three years.
According to Barron, this enhanced communication benefits the whole school community by publicizing school events and sharing successes.
He encouraged trustees to get involved with Twitter and suggested that training in the use Twitter could be part of board orientation.
Board Chair Cheri Neitz and Vice-Chair Dave Goodwin discussed their work in the consultations hosted by Alberta Education on improvements to the School Act.
Ranking high on the list of topics, the government is debating age of access and age of completion for children in the K-12 school system.
Determining the youngest age at which a student may access funding for education would provide consistency across the province.
“But,” Neitz asked, “Will they choose what is best for the child or what is convenient for the parents” and questioned whether the government is listening to what local boards are saying.
Age of access discussions reviewed the maximum age for providing educational funding to students.
Currently at 19, raising the age of free school access to 20, would allow students to attend school for free until they are 21.
“The age of leaving school, whether 19 or 20, dramatically affects funding,” noted Trustee Karen Holloway, “Where will the money come from?”
If Alberta Education allows students to stay in school until 20, would they allow college courses to be brought into the high schools?
Are they saying that three years of high school are not adequate?
Does it mean they anticipate kids will stay in school longer or come back?
These were a few of the questions posed by the board.
It is important to note that the compulsory ages for education, between the ages of six (at Sept. 1) and 16. Younger than 16 on Sept. 1 of the school year, has not changed in the School Act.
During the last couple of years the Clearview board has been hesitant to approve international school trips, especially overseas.
According to the board, student safety must come first. “This is a new world and we have to get used to it.”
Vice-chair Dave Goodwin suggested trips within the country, stating, “Canada has a lot to see and experience.”
The board will support trips in North America first and include Iceland and the Caribbean as safe destinations, though in light of the recent hurricanes, there is probably no infrastructure in place for students to be safe.
Schools may request trips to other areas, which the board would consider, on a case-by-case basis.
ECA Review Reporter