Board supports learning conference
The board of trustees have decided to give $25,000 to support the Leading and Learning Conference.
The conference will feature Dave Edyburn, a professor in the Department of Exceptional Education at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, who focuses on how technology can enhance teaching, learning and performance.
Also present will be Angela Maiers, who’s worked as a teacher, reading specialist, and special programs facilitator; Dawn Reithaug, an educational and behavioral consultant; Gordon Porter, a consultant, trainer, researcher and teacher; and Jim Warford, who serves as senior advisor and keynote speaker for Dr. Bill Daggett’s, International Center for Leadership in Education.
A motion was also approved that the board would also attend the event.
Literacy program and task force
A task force and program is in the works to help First Nations, Métis and Inuit (FNMI) and other students with literacy and other academic struggles.
“I share this with the greatest humility; we’ve seen across the province of Albert and Canada, our First Nations’ students are not performing as well as we hoped they would,” said Jacobs.
He believes the students’ struggles with literacy could stem from factors such as a Cree background, where literacy learning may not mirror what is taught in schools.
‘That happens to a lot of our students as well,” said Jacobs, referring to literacy problems.
Jacobs has met with the principals of the Ponoka Outreach School, Diamond Willow Middle School, Ponoka Elementary School and Ponoka Composite High School to discuss the program and who should be on the task force; students, parents and teachers.
“What are the problems as they see them?,” said Jacobs. He wants a lot of input to build the program.
Jacobs has also asked the school board to pool funds from Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC), funding students with First Nations background already receive from the province as well as other funds at their disposal for the program.
Parking lot repair bids refused
Wolf Creek Public School Board of trustees has refused all the bids made to repair the parking lot at Ponoka Composite High School.
When the school board called for bids on the project they had two options in mind. The first was repairing the lot in a traditional way and the other was building a cellular containment structure using cloth and gravel, and a paved surface.
The estimated cost was $500,000. However, the lowest bids for options one and two surpassed the estimate.
A traditional repair was set to cost approximately $574,000 and option two was around $533,000.
“I find that these numbers are quite high,” said trustee Bob Huff. “Especially when we have concerns about class sizes and concerns about buses.”
Secretary-treasurer Joe Henderson said that another possible option was to build the containment structure with a gravel pad on top. “It would allow us to use the parking lot and it wouldn’t sink out of sight.”
There was also mention of moving parking behind the school and expanding to accommodate. However, Henderson said expanding would cost as much as repairing the current one.