Parents get Bentley school information

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A good turnout, more than 20 adults, met Sept. 19 in the Bentley elementary school library for the first Parent Advisory Council (PAC) meeting for this school term.

Principal Lane Moore chaired the meeting.

Assistant school principal Steven Lush led people through finding information on the school website and the school calendar as lots of information parents want is posted there, including sports teams, special activities, PAC meeting minutes, staff contacts, etc. Upcoming events were also discussed.

With the increased enrolment, Moore was pleased to report that the school has a surplus budget this year after running deficits of $30,000 to 40,000 the last while. Although it is a small profit of $13,000 to 16,000 it indicates numbers are going in the right direction.

Moore informed attendees he is disappointed with the indifferent response from the Sylvan Lake RCMP to school concerns, supposedly due to detachment staffing problems.

French is now present for junior high. A full course load is expected from the grades 11 and 12 students meaning no spares for them and creating lots of credits in the school curriculum.

The new full-time science teacher is trying to get the science lab updated and again useable after having been largely unused for science classes in the last few years.

There was lots of discussion around courses and options being offered. Swimming lessons will be expanded to include the junior high as well as the elementary this year.

Sports were discussed. There is a need of help from the public because of the number of sports teams needing coaches and volunteer. Some staff members are taking on all they can.

Early Childhood Services (ECS for three- and four-year-olds) enrolment for two half days has a split class of 35. Kindergarten (for the five-year-olds) has a split class of 28 attending two full days. By getting children into the Bentley school system early and seeing what Bentley offers, it is hoped they will stay in Bentley and numbers will continue to grow.

It is hoped added intramurals at lunchtime will keep students more occupied over lunch hour. Older students will be expected to take on more of a leadership role and become more involved with running and supervising them as well as other activities such as assemblies.

The Performance Lab with the training and exercise equipment will be opened to the public after renovations, including change rooms, are added.

Moore invited the community to make more use of the school by arranging other activities outside of school hours that can make use of the space, especially the gymnasium.

The registration fees from Zumba fitness classes offered Tuesdays after school and Thursdays in the early evening and organized by teacher Lee Varty are being donated back to the school.

Some adult courses such as Internet safety or drug awareness may be offered later. Watch for details.

PAC meetings will now be scheduled the third Tuesday of the month when possible to avoid confusion over meeting dates. In the past, meeting dates were not on a fixed day of the week to try to accommodate more people.

The next meeting is Tuesday, Oct. 18 at 7 p.m. in the high school science lab. All interested residents are invited. Feel free to contact the school at 403-748-3770 or drop in at the office. Check out the school’s website under Wolf Creek Public Schools at www.wolfcreek.ab.ca and click on schools.