Sharon Fischer, Principal of the Stettler Elementary (SES) and Middle Schools (SMS) was in attendance at the Clearview Board meeting on August 26, 2013 to update trustees on ‘The Leader in Me’ program that both schools will introduce this year.
‘The Leader in Me’ program is based on Dr. Stephen Covey’s ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’. The goals of the program are to increase students’ self-confidence, sense of direction, responsibility and better equip them to more positively respond to conflict situations.
The anticipated outcomes from such a program are to encourage students to take responsibility for their own education, help reduce discipline problems, establish a common language, increase student engagement, enhance parent involvement and encourage better attendance.
Resources and teacher training are expensive but are viewed as an investment for the future. SES has already approached the Kinette Club of Stettler, who offered to sponsor some of the resources to be shared with the SMS.
Staff from both schools will attend a 3-day training session workshop.
Trustees were very supportive of this initiative and it could become something other schools in the district may consider.
Steve Meyer, Director of Technology presented the current status of technology and his department’s budget. A joint decision by all senior administration and principals five years ago to establish the evergreen fund, which deducts a per student fee from each school’s budget to cover the costs of student-use computers, has been successful.
At that time, it was decided that strictly applying the funding formula would mean many of the smaller schools would only be able to fund five or six computers in total. Jointly, the group agreed that every school should have a functional computer lab.
This cooperative funding plan has been successful in bringing computer-to-student ratios for larger schools in the 3.5:1 range, and for smaller schools in the range of 2:1. The provincial goal is a 5:1 computer-to-student ratio.
The final results show all schools in the district received more than they contributed except for Wm. E. Hay.
“The types of technology and numbers of units that the department is accountable for has steadily increased over the years,” said Meyer, “yet we continue to maintain these very low student-to-computer ratios.”
“We seem to be winning,” said Ken Checkel, “it’s been years and years since I’ve walked into a school and had complaints about the network and computers down.”
Technology use concerns
Trustee Yvette Cassidy, expressed continued concern that individual schools are having a tough time keeping their websites current, yet many parents want to access school websites for recent information.
Meyer said his department has encouraged and provided support to schools through an easy input structure, assistance when requested and help desk support.
“It’s the schools themselves that have the current information,” said Meyer, “and unfortunately with their increased workloads, websites become the afterthought that is put off to tomorrow and that tomorrow never comes.”
Trustee Patty Dittrick expressed disappointment in the lack of video conferencing used. “I’m really disappointed too,” said Meyer, “with both the Board and the classroom use of video-conferencing.”
“The Board hasn’t taken advantage of it and although we’ve seen off and on use of on a daily basis for some classes, it’s not enough to justify the costs,” said Meyer.
Meyer recommended not putting new money into the video conferencing budget until more people fully buy into it, improvements are made in use or they find another tool that provides a comparable delivery at a lower cost.
A motion was passed at the August 19, 2013 board meeting to offer a three-year contract to John Bailey. The Board is pleased to announce that Bailey will continue as the Superintendent in Clearview.
The next meeting of the Clearview School Board will held at 9:15 a.m. on Wednesday, September 18, 2013 at the Board office in Stettler. Regular board meetings are open to the public.