School enrollment numbers a concern in Hardisty

Written by Submitted

Although the Battle River School Division has assured the town of Hardisty that they have no intentions of closing their school both Councillors Penny Wurz and Connie Beringer expressed their concerns over enrollment numbers for next year after attending the recent Parent Advisory meeting.
Beringer stated, “I think six grade nines will be leaving,” stated Beringer, “and if we get anymore kids that will be pulling out and moving to Sedgewick next year, our numbers are going to be under 60 again.”
In smaller schools the number of staff is understandably going to be lower than a larger school and this sometimes makes it difficult to plan as many field trips and engage in the same amount of extra-curricular activities as schools with a much higher population base.
Council brainstormed ways to get the community more involved with the school and pondered whether accessing some of their skills and talents would be beneficial for programs during and after school.
This would provide more opportunities for the students.
The Parent Advisory committee intends on inviting the Battle River School Division to one of their meetings and council will attend as well.
They want to discuss how the provincial budget is making it hard for aides to be in the classroom and the plan to hire more teachers may not help a school with low enrollment as that is a key factor in how many teachers a school can employ.
Hardisty School has some split grades and the committee feels that aides are a very necessary part of the student’s education process.

Missoula Children’s Theatre
There is something exciting planned for the students at the Hardisty School next October 1 – 5.
The Parent Advisory is hosting the Missoula Children’s production and the council has agreed to pay the $800 hall rental feel to assist in this experience for all the students.
They will work hard all week learning lines, dances, designing sets, learning the value of team work to create a memorable performance for the whole community to enjoy.

Rural Crime
Rural crime continues to escalate, and the Flagstaff Rural Crime Watch Society is taking steps to educate both the rural and urban population by hosting a Crime Prevention Trade Show on Tues. April 17 at the Lougheed Field house. Hardisty council agreed to contribute $200 to this event.
There will be guest speakers engaging in conversations about what you as a property owner can do, and what will result in charges to you as the victim as well as what you can do to prevent crime.
Booths will be set up with security systems, surveillance cameras, GPS Tracking devices, locks and deadbolts and alarm systems.

Infrastructure revenue charge
Council discussed at length an infrastructure revenue charge to properties that are not hooked up to water and wastewater services but are serviced with municipal services.
These would generally be vacant or undeveloped properties.
Council agreed that this would not happen in the 2018 year.
Council is planning an open house in June hoping for feedback at that time.

Beautification Committee
Councillors Wurz and Beringer will call a meeting with the Beautification Committee to discuss plans for a new welcome sign, possible revamping of the town slogan, community projects and preparing the planters that will need to be ready for spring.
Deputy Mayor Dean Lane expressed interest in attending as well and has some ideas on landscaping and planting more trees in the community.

Lisa Bye
ECA Review


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