Those with an interest in the Catholic school system in Ponoka are being encouraged to speak up.
The St. Thomas Aquinas Roman Catholic School Division (STAR) has announced it will begin a review next month of its electoral boundaries and ward system.
Meetings will be held in each of the six communities the division serves — Ponoka’s town hall style meeting will be on Oct. 13 starting at 6:30 p.m. at St. Augustine Catholic School.
Thalia Hibbs, STAR board chair, explained the review is similar to what municipal, provincial and federal governments do.
“What will be looked at is how our electoral districts are in terms of size and equal representation,” Hibbs said in a phone interview Monday.
“This is the first time this has been looked at since the division was formed 22 years ago. We are being proactive here, because as things have changed and grown we want to know if this system is working at its best.”
STAR was created in 1994 through the amalgamation of several small Catholic school divisions and Hibbs stated that as the division continues to see growth within its large geographic area of 11 schools – which includes the communities Leduc, Beaumont, Drayton Valley, Lacombe and Wetaskiwin – there is a need to find out what their stakeholders think.
“We have contracted a consultant from the Alberta School Boards Association who has done many of these before to help us take advantage of the best process available,” she said.
Attendees will first receive some information and data to explain the role of trustees and provide background on what the review is all about before being asked to answer some questions. Following that, people will be given the opportunity to ask questions as well as provide some feedback.
The final meeting will take place in November with a report to be presented to the STAR board of trustees a short time later, as any potential changes would need to be presented to the provincial government by March 1 if they are to be in place for the next election in Oct. 2017.
“It’s immensely important that we get that feedback from stakeholders, so I would encourage all to come out and participate,” Hibbs said.