Board Highlights, October 12

Transportation Quarterly Report:
The Board reviewed a detailed report, which shows the current projection for the 2016-2017 Transportation budget at a deficit of $546,256. This includes the purchase of seven new buses, which is part of the Board’s priority to ensure the division’s 107 bus fleet has specific plans for renewal. The combination of acquiring new buses and retiring old ones is lowering the average age and the average kms on the overall fleet. The in-town shuttle service that is provided in the communities of Carstairs, Olds, Innisfail and Sylvan Lake continues to represent the greatest expense per student for transportation. The Board continues to examine various methods to mitigate transportation expenses while ensuring safe and efficient transportation services to students.

Closure of Chinook Center School:
The Board presented a notice of motion for the closure of Chinook Center School in Innisfail at the end of the current school year, as was outlined in Innisfail Schools capital planning documents. The Board and Central Office staff are working with staff, students and families at Chinook Center to gather input and ensure effective plans are in place as students transition to École  John Wilson Elementary School for the start of the 2017-2018 school year.

Background: At the time Chinook Center School originally opened in 1996, it was in response to a pressing need for additional instructional space in Innisfail. The relocation of approximately 100 students into Chinook Center was a temporary measure to alleviate the crowding at John Wilson Elementary. Through the intervening years, Innisfail Middle School was formed and the grade configurations at each school were modified accordingly. Finally, accommodation to house Chinook Center students within the $12 million modernization project at  École John Wilson Elementary School became a distinct part of the extensive project plans at the Innisfail Campus.

Music Festival:
The Board will be providing $700 to the Olds & District Kiwanis Festival Society in support of the festival, which takes place in March 2017.

Community Learning Campus:
The CLC is reporting a budget surplus of $270,000 in operating funds, due to rental increases and other revenue, which is being directed toward maintenance of CLC facilities. As well, it was reported that Dual Credit programming continues to be strong, with strong involvement from students in high schools throughout Chinook’s Edge.

Chinook’s Edge student awards/scholarships/bursaries:
Trustees reviewed the four annual awards that fall under Board jurisdiction, to ensure the requirements and information outlined for each award is current and clear. These include: Roy E. Cope Trust Fund (awarded to a person who has made a significant contribution to the educational welfare of students); Exceptional Accomplishment Award (presented to a student with unique needs and is determined by staff in the division’s Student Services Department); Roy Brassard Scholarship (awarded to Chinook’s Edge students entering their first year at Olds College), Bruce Moltzan Scholarship (presented to students achieving the highest marks in the division on diploma exams). Information on these awards, along with many others that fall outside Board jurisdiction, is available at all Chinook’s Edge high schools. The Board indicated there are a number of awards that remain unclaimed each year, and encourage high schools to promote these scholarship opportunities to students.

Trip Requests:
The Board approved in principle the following trips: Delburne Centralized School trip to Hawaii in April 2017; H.J. Cody School band trip to Disneyland, CA in May 2017.

Student enrolment:
The Board discussed the enrolment report which was filed with Alberta Education on September 30. Student numbers show a slight increase of 139 students across the division, with a total of 11,127 students in Chinook’s Edge.

Recognition of Excellence:
Chair Colleen Butler and Superintendent Kurt Sacher, along with the entire Board, congratulated H.J. Cody School grad Emma Laqua, for achieving a rare 100% on the Biology 30 Diploma Exam. The Board also acknowledged the efforts of teacher Nicole Round and the support of Principal Mike Garrow which led to this achievement.

The next meeting of the Board of Chinook's Edge School Division No. 73 is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, November 9, 2016.