School board ready to gather feedback from public meetings

The Clearview School Division is prepared for a lesson.

The Clearview School Division is prepared for a lesson.

At its regular board meeting last Thursday, the trustees approved the schedule for the community consultation meetings that might chart the future and determine the viability of small schools in the district.

The trustees and administration plan to visit all communities in the division that are home to public schools, with the exception of the schools on Hutterite colonies.

The board has stipulated in recent months the need for Clearview to cut $1 million in spending to balance its budget.

It prompted consideration last fall to review potential closings of small schools in Byemoor, Brownfield and Donalda, but that motion was later defeated in favour of the 2013 study of all schools in the division.

Clearview now wants direction from the stakeholders for ways to achieve that goal.

The alternative is to cut 10 to 15 teaching positions, the board reports.

Meeting dates:

March 12 — Byemoor

March 20 — Donalda

April 3 — Castor

April 4 — Coronation

April 8 — Botha

April 15 — Brownfield

April 30 — Big Valley

May 1 — Stettler

May 2 — Erskine

May 13 — Stettler

Minister to visit

Education Minister Jeff Johnson plans to visit Stettler on Monday for a closed one-hour meeting with the Clearview board.

Trustees say they have plenty of questions for the minister regarding the future of education delivered in small schools in sparsely populated communities.

Big Valley cleanup

The Clearview board moved to contribute $3,750 to the Village of Big Valley for half of the cost of the cleanup of a fuel-storage site where Clearview buses filled up. The contribution comes with a release-of-liability condition.

Courses added

The board approved the addition of three locally developed courses with credits for Clearview high schools. Included are forensic science and philosophy from the Edmonton School District and advanced acting and touring from the Calgary School District.

Pool site purchased

By a unanimous vote last Thursday, the board voted to instruct administration to finalize the purchase of the former swimming-pool property from the Town of Stettler for a total purchase price of $106,501. The cost is pegged to be paid over eight school years.

Information received

The board received data on operating smaller school buses on rural routes and on setting up a fuel storage site in Donalda, as part of cost-saving measures.

Board chairman Ken Checkel said more information is needed on setting up a fuel site in Donalda, and the costs associated with that “would have to be weighed against any savings.”

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