Trustees pass again on alternative program

WCPS trustees keep status quo on Rimbey Christian School request.

With several changes taking place, trustees at Wolf Creek Public Schools (WCPS) weren’t interested in looking at anymore major moves right now.

That included considering another request from Rimbey Christian School to take on their school as an alternative educational program that was presented to trustees at their regular meeting Sept. 15

WCPS superintendent Jayson Lovell explained the board reaffirmed they wished to remain with the status quo in the division following some significant changes already being worked through this school year, which included Lovell being promoted from within along with wanting to focus on a new direction. Earlier this year, a similar request from Rimbey was turned down following a full review of their programming and facilities, with trustees not wishing to take on such a task with the financial uncertainty they faced at the time.

“Trustees felt that our plates were full enough and wanted to stay the course with all of the recent changes,” Lovell said.

“There was early discussions held and we were committed to seeing what the new school year brought in way of opportunities. We revisited the issue to find out the interest level and trustees had a thorough conversation, but wished to remain with the direction we are heading.”

New engagement

Trustees decided to move forward on a new way to try and gauge what the public, parents, students and staff think about the what’s happening in WCPS.

Following an update from Lovell on just what they would be allowed to do and whether they could afford the contract, trustees approved the $54,000 expenditure for the three-year deal with Thought Exchange, a B.C.-based enterprise that conducts and co-ordinates engagement communications and research studies for several school divisions in Canada and the U.S.

“Trustees were reassured that the information collected in the large division-wide engagement process would roll over and be usable in subsequent years, while also being able to conduct smaller scale engagement processes on an unlimited basis with lots of flexibility through use of the training that five division staff will be taking through the company,” Lovell stated.

He added the first big engagement process that is planned will be surrounding the formation of WCPS’s three-year plan, scheduled for sometime this school year.

Trustees were excited at the prospect of having a better engagement with their stakeholders and reaching those through the new online process that they normally wouldn’t be able to.

Unique delivery

A pilot project featuring a new model of course instruction at the Bentley and Alix high schools has so far been well received, according to Lovell, who presented trustees with an update on the enhanced learning model that has students working online in several core subject areas.

Lovell stated the initial feedback from staff, parents and students at the two small rural schools has been very positive and they really like the flexibility it allows for students to accomplish their learning goals anywhere and anytime they want.

“The 10 teachers that spent the summer did a lot of preparation for this and have also provided a lot of support to the schools during the initial start up. There is also the opportunity now for those teachers to physically visit the students at those schools,” he said.

He added, as a pilot, the division is closely monitoring the project and should it prove successful, there is a chance it could expand its course offerings plus move to other schools in the division.

Reviewing processes

Talks are being undertaken within WCPS to figure out how best to move ahead on the processes to replace a pair of long-term, high-ranking members of administration.

It was announced at the meeting that WCPS will be losing secretary-treasurer Joe Henderson and facilities manager Brad Buss to retirement in the near future and trustees are looking into whether the hunt for replacements should be done internally or through the hiring of an external consultant to assist them.

Lovell added there is an additional question of what to do with Buss’ position, as there will be a void when he leaves.

“Brad has been in this post for a very long time and has done things in such a way, with such a strength and skill level, that we don’t think we could replace that,” he said.

“So, trustees understanding the current situation, are looking at a possible review of the department as a whole in order to best come up with a new job description and look at whether the present model or a new structure might be the best way to manage our facilities.”

 

Just Posted

Snow flies at Ponoka Legion’s Flags of Remembrance ceremony

Despite the chilly weather, 128 Maple Leaf flags were raised at Ponoka’s Centennial Park

Ponoka senior Broncs take second win of season

The Broncs defeated the Wetaskiwin Sabres at home

Young Ponoka barrel racer one to watch

Janae McDougall won Lakeland and Wildrose Rodeo Association peewee barrel racing

Ron Orr to return for another run as MLA

Lacombe-Ponoka UCP contest won by incumbent MLA

Wolf Creek Schools raises Treaty 6 flag for first time

Chiefs, school officials took part in a ceremony that is aimed at acknowledging Treaty 6 land

Video: Flyers new mascot ‘Gritty’ a bearded, googly-eyed terror

The Philadelphia Flyers unveiled their new mascot Monday, and as one would expect of the team that gave us the “Broad Street Bullies,” he’s far from cuddly.

Veterans Affairs ordered to take second look before supporting vets’ relatives

Liberal government ordered officials to adopt a more critical eye

Ottawa working to iron out kinks in public alert system

The alerts are being credit with saving lives during last week’s tornadoes

Assault charge withdrawn vs. ex-Jays pitcher Roberto Osuna

Former Toronto player agrees to peace bond

UPDATED: Bill Cosby gets 3-10 years in prison for sexual assault

Judge also declared the disgraced comedian a ‘sexually violent predator’

U.S. worker charged after video shows him spitting on customer’s pizza

Jaylon Kerley of Detroit is charged with a felony count of food law violations

Robbery report at outlet mall turns out to be fake: police

Leduc RCMP respond to weapons complaint at premium outlet collection mall

Canada aiming for the moon, and beyond, with new space technology efforts

With an eye on future lunar exploration, Canada’s space agency is calling on companies to present their ideas for everything from moon-rover power systems to innovative mineral prospecting techniques.

New Brunswick Premier meets with lieutenant-governor as Tories, Liberals vie for power

New Brunswick Premier Brian Gallant said the only other leader he had spoken with since results came in was Green Leader David Coon.

Most Read