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Attendance increasing at Bentley school parent meetings

By June Norvila

A classroom full of adults was in attendance for the first Bentley School Parent Advisory Council (PAC) meeting for the 2009-2010 school term on September 15.

Many came to see and hear a presentation given by Dawne Atkins, the adult educator for the Suicide Information and Education Services out of Red Deer.

She gave on overview of what will be presented to Grade 1-6 Bentley students on September 28 and to Grade 7-12 students on September 29 and explained that the terminology used will be gauged to fit the level of the students

Grades 1-2 will see a puppet show for example and Grades 3-6 will talk about loss of material things such as pets, good friends moving away, family and loved ones (could be a divorce), etc.

Grades 7-9 will talk about making choices and the Grades10-12's presentation will be more in-depth and talk about what to do if a friend might be considering hurting themselves, for example.

Statistics she presented indicated more are killed by suicide than in motor vehicle accidents.

Also at the meeting, school principal Mr. Lane Moore explained how the new Bentley school motto PRIDE (Partnership, Respect, Integrity, Dedication, and Excellence) will be tied into all aspects of the school including assemblies and awards presentations and extended into the community.

Final enrollment will not be known until the end of September.

There will have to be a deficit budget this year and Moore is expecting more cuts in government funding next year meaning programs may have to be cut.

Informal interview times with teachers will be offered October 7 and 8 so parents can touch base with teachers earlier in the term.

There has been a big increase in the numbers accessing the lunch program this year and donations will be accepted. Contact the school.

The next Bentley School Parent Advisory Council (PAC) meeting is scheduled for Oct. 26 at 7 p.m.