Clearview pilot project takes flight

With a pilot project into its second month, the Clearview School Division has mapped out its plans for education in Stettler.

With a pilot project into its second month, the Clearview School Division has mapped out its plans for education in Stettler.

The “Stettler Schools Study,” which involves reconfiguring grades and administration, is seeking feedback from staff and parents. A survey was sent home last week, the school board reported.

“We ask that people respond by Oct. 10,” superintendent John Bailey said during the board meeting.

People also have the option to complete the survey online, while all information will help administration set direction at an information meeting later this month.

“We value their input and it is very important to explain why we are doing this,” Bailey said.

Under the pilot project this school year, the division has initiated a plan to study and analyze potential benefits and implications to amalgamate, in whole or in part, the schools at the Stettler campus.

On the survey, respondents can offer reaction about opportunities and barriers the changes create and other questions and suggestions.

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

Stettler Outreach School principal Roe Desrosiers and Bailey comprise the team leading the project.

While the board last spring planned to have an update community forum in late September, longtime Stettler trustee Patty Dittrick expressed concern that the division didn’t follow through.

In response, Bailey said the project didn’t have enough adequate information to present to a public meeting.

“Principals are very supportive of this plan and value all response,” Bailey said.

“We are going into this study with an open mind and no pre-conceived notions.”

Bailey further described that information will be presented to the board, parents and teachers in January, with a community forum in February. A final report to the board, with recommendations, is planned for April, so the division would have adequate time to authorize changes with the provincial government for the next school year.

“Once research information is available, it is recommended a report be made available to staff, parents and the community,” outlining the research findings and recommendations and asking for feedback on specific ideas,” Bailey said.

Joanne Steinman of the University of Calgary has indicated she would be interested in assisting Clearview with the project to help determine steps for the next school year.

The report from Bailey also stated that administrators are committed to key principles:

— “Our primary focus is students, programming for student learning and funding is secondary.

— “All Clearview students are our shared responsibility.

— “We support all Clearview programs.

— “We are committed to working together with the board to conduct a study to best address the programming needs of students in Stettler.

— “Our collaboration will promote equity for all students, regardless of school location, size and/or configuration.”