Clearview endorses Stettler pilot project

When school starts in two weeks with a one-year pilot project at Stettler schools, all stakeholders and community residents can expect

When school starts in two weeks with a one-year pilot project at Stettler schools, all stakeholders and community residents can expect updates about the process and progress.

That was the message as Clearview School Division trustees and administration met last Monday when they discussed the one-year pilot project to analyze potential benefits and implications to amalgamate — in whole or in part — the schools at the Stettler campus.

“I want to see a public meeting in late September, so we can continue to take positive steps,” trustee Yvette Cassidy said Monday.

As a way to cover reduced funding, Clearview launched a pilot project to study reconfigured grades. The board appointed Sharon Fischer as the principal of Stettler Elementary School and Stettler Middle School, while Norbert Baharally continues as the principal of William E. Hay Composite High School (grades 9 to 12).

“It is my plan to keep the board updated and we need to have a further meeting about two months after the first meeting,” said superintendent John Bailey. “I believe that this will be ongoing discussion at the board table.”

Trustees and administration are eager to keep the lines of communication open and positive, despite opposition from some sectors.

“We need to remember that in the spring, we decided that the 2013-14 school year would be one of analysis, consultation and planning for educational programming in Stettler,” said trustee Patty Dittrick.

Bailey told the board that he was scheduled to meet with the school administrators this week to further discuss the pilot project and the plan.

“We don’t expect a lot of staffing changes and program changes,” he said.

Bailey further reported that he also plans to partner with a post-secondary institution to recruit two students to study the pilot project, though he hasn’t received any responses.

Clearview trustees and administrators admitted that positive discussion and communication during the study time and possible transition would help the process.

“You want to engage all stakeholders and let staff know that they have a voice,” said Peter Neale, associate superintendent of business and finance. “They are interested that they want to see success we want to see.”

Board members agreed with the positive message.

“The more positive we get out there, the better the changes will be for everyone,” Cassidy said.

Back in June, the board expressed that Clearview is committed to offering “excellent support” to its staff, parents and students and would adjust administrative time in Stettler elementary and middle schools accordingly.

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