Clearview studies four-day rural school week

To save growing costs and reduced provincial funding, four-day weeks for public schools

To save growing costs and reduced provincial funding, four-day weeks for public schools in Erskine, Botha, Byemoor, Big Valley, and co-operative programming for schools in Castor and Coronation have become under study Clearview School Division.

At its regular meeting Monday, trustees reviewed these priorities under the administration action plan.

“We have several action steps that are current and rest run into the fall,” said superintendent John Bailey.

Over the months of October and November, administration will examine the four-day school week, co-operative programming for Gus Wetter and Coronation schools, along with other issues such as:

— Report costs of CST programming at Stettler Middle School, William E. Hay Composite High School, Gus Wetter and Coronation School.

— Funding generated by bus route compared to cost per route.

— Report on Stettler town busing and double runs.

More immediate, administration plans to report back to trustees next week with a report on why buses are fuelling up in Bashaw instead of Stettler, a five-year comparison on incoming funding and outgoing expenses for Technology Evergreening and options to track the technology budget spending.

“We had a couple of case of busses getting refuelling in Bashaw,” Bailey said.

With that, one trustee suggested a fuel tank in the northern part of the division.

“Should we get a fuel tank in Donalda,?” trustee Yvette Cassidy said.

Bailey said that could be considered by administration.

Administration and plans to update the board on a needs assessment study for a joint-use recreation facility in partnership with the Town of Stettler and County of Stettler in October.

In the longer-term administration will report back to the board on a priority list of bus routes to the counties of Stettler and Paintearth this fall to assist in efficiency of road clearing and an updated report on Stettler town busing in December.

New strategic plan

Just as students head back to class, Clearview School Division will also hit the books to re-write an updated board plan with a focus on the progress of priorities.

“I question whether the current format is effect,” said Ken Checkel, who chairs the board and led the discussion during the board’s regular meeting Monday.

With that, the board decided on a different direction as suggested by a longtime trustee.

“We should focus on what the board is engaged in,” trustee Patty Dittrick said.

While the past plans have emphasized board goals such as student success, quality education, high school completion rates, transportation and teaching issues, trustees agreed with Dittrick that the plan be a document to feature current division issues such as wider open engagement and communications with all stakeholders such as the budget process, and change and progress in such issues as the restructured administration at the Clearview campus.

“These should be part of the plan,” Dittrick said.

Trustees said this would be a more effective measure of progress.

“I think our goals are too big and we should lower them,” Cassidy said.

With local elections in October, the board chair said this will be an ongoing process for the trustees of the new board.

“It will take a while to flesh out and it will be a work in progress,” Checkel said.

“This will probably be discussed over the next six months to a year.”

As the nomination day of Sept. 23 approaches, trustees welcomes potential candidates to now get more engaged in the process.

“I hope people who consider to run for school board will come to school board meetings to find out the roles and responsibilities of the board and current issues,” Dittrick said.

The board plan has also been part of the three-year education plan developed and reviewed by the board.

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