Presentations to the Board
The Board was pleased to host two presentations at its April meeting. The first was a review and discussion of the Ponoka Composite High School Broncs World Tour, a Social Studies 30 travel initiative led by lead teacher Mr. Ron Labrie. Trustees were very impressed with the testimonials of the students relative to their experiences and how it had impacted their lives and career aspirations. These reflections were augmented by Mr. Labrie who stressed the preparation of the students prior to the trip and the high personal standards that they all demonstrated in visits to the various European countries on the tour. The clear message to everyone was that this example of powerful teaching and engaged students can have life changing impacts on our students in WCPS.
The second presentation was an introduction by Mr. Grant Harder to the development of a Lacombe Performing Arts Foundation. Trustees were pleased to hear that citizens in the Lacombe and surrounding communities were responding to the proposal to build a new performing arts centre in Lacombe, and offered their support, in principle, to the concept. Mr. Harder was very thorough in his outline of the steps taken to this point, the involvement that was building for the concept and how the lead team was working to secure a site for the venture. He also outlined how various stakeholders could access or utilize the center by diagramming the initial thinking relative to its design and performance capability. As a result of Mr. Harder’s thorough presentation and the community enhancement it promises to provide, the Board will be drafting and delivering a letter of support for the project.
Urban transportation costs
The Board discussed the urban transportation system in WCPS and the costs associated with providing this non-mandated service to the educational community. Trustees maintained their foundational principle that this optional transportation system must be self-sustaining and not a drain on the instructional dollars that support staff and resources necessary for the education of our entire student body. As a consequence, the Board decided to adjust the 2011/2012 ineligible urban busing rates to $468 per rider in grades 1-12. This increase was in recognition of the actual costs of providing the service in the school division. Parent link at Ecole James S. McCormick School =. The trustees approved a draft proposal relative to the use of École James S. McCormick School by the Lacombe Parent Link and directed the Superintendent to frame a lease that would accommodate the needs of the school and the Parent Link program.
The Board accepted a proposal from the principals of Terrace Ridge School and École James S. McCormick School to set up a pre-school program for students aged four, beginning in September 2011. The proposal would see École James S. McCormick implement an English and French program; the latter being designed to complement the school’s existing French Immersion program in the regular grade structures. Terrace Ridge School would focus strictly on providing an English based program in its venue.
The schedule will be designed to provide five hours of programming per week with a maximum enrollment of 12 students in each of the proposed programs. The Board was advised that this proposal had been discussed with the other private service providers in the city of Lacombe and that there were arrangements proposed that would allow students to be involved with multiple sites based on their unique family needs.