Trustees had a broad range of questions to ask of Wildrose MLA Rick Strankman, who stopped in to the Feb. 25 Clearview School Board meeting to touch base with the board.
Keeping rural schools open and viable is one of Clearview’s priorities.
Trustee Ken Checkel was curious to know how much influence the opposition parties had with the government, specifically on the issue of the Small Schools by Necessity Grant, which helps to keep small schools open.
As Checkel explained, the larger school districts like Edmonton or Calgary would hardly notice the small amount of funds the grant provides but those grants are essential to smaller schools.
“We absolutely depend on those grants. That’s really the only thing keeping them [smaller schools] going,” stated Checkel.
Strankman stated that, even though the ‘theatre of the Chamber’ can get contentious and heated, outside of that environment, MLAs can speak with each other openly.
“I like to think we have a respectful relationship.”
How to deal with the latest government policy regarding transgendered students was also on the board’s list of concerns.
“This government has a misconception of their role,” stated Strankman. He believes the government is trying to implement their ideology without having a mandate to do so.
As Trustee John Schofer stated, “We believe we are doing this already,” referring to Clearview’s policy of making its schools safe places for all students.
In an effort to gather feedback from the public, Clearview will host two public meetings, Mar. 15 at Gus Wetter School, Castor and Mar. 16 at W.E.Hay, Stettler.
Edwin Parr nominees meet the board
Melissa Burton, who teaches kindergarten at Botha School and teaches at the Lane’s Lake Colony School, was the first nominee for the Edwin Parr Award to make a presentation to the board.
Nominated by Botha School Principal Mike Flieger, Burton described the busyness of an elementary school class was uniquely suited to her teaching personality.
Burton’s early life was always full of numerous activities that required managing: very similar to the way a kindergarten class operates, explained Burton. She enjoys having the opportunity to ‘change things up’ for her class to keep students interested.
Teaching has always been part of Jennifer Knowles life, who teaches at Gadsby Colony School.
Nominated by Colony Schools Principal Tim Croker, Knowles came to the profession of school teacher a little later in life, after spending a number of years in various careers, but primarily in dance.
As a Colony teacher, Knowles has found project based learning to be a very effective tool for colony kids. Students have more choice about what subjects they want to study, consequently, their studies can be more directed to the lifestyle of the colony.
Clearview will announce the winner this week.
The Alberta School Board Association presents the Edwin Parr Award each year to one first year teacher selected from nominees from across the province.
Board approves student activities
The board approved two student trips. William E. Hay band students will travel to New Orleans in May and Big Valley students will participate in a student exchange to Amherstview, Ontario in April.
Stettler Minor Football Association also received approval from the board to acknowledge sponsors by naming them on a wall plaque and to negotiate with a major sponsor to name the Cougar room after the sponsor for a set period of time.