Wolf Creek trying to untangle “personnel” issue

About a month after deciding to give him a leave of absence, school trustees are now looking into options regarding the superintendent.

About a month after deciding to give him a leave of absence, school trustees are now looking into options regarding the situation with their present superintendent.

The board of trustees for Wolf Creek Public Schools (WCPS) called a second hastily organized special meeting on March 29 to approve the formation of a trustee sub-committee to review what is being called a “personnel matter” just over a month after the first special meeting, on Feb. 25. authorized an indefinite leave of absence for superintendent Larry Jacobs.

School boards in Alberta legally only have one direct employee the superintendent as teachers and other staff are then employed by the school division under the delegated operation of the superintendent.

The sub-committee made up of board chair Trudy Bratland and trustees Lorrie Jess and Barb Walker have the authority to retain, pay and instruct legal counsel and/or consultants as necessary along with gathering any information from the division office in addition to taking any other actions in order to perform a full review and bring the matter to a conclusion.

A motion calling the second meeting was passed following an in-camera session near the end of the board’s regular meeting on March 17, as notice had to be given to Jacobs about the meeting in order for him to attend or make submissions regarding the issue surround a pair of clauses in his employment contract.

Jacobs didn’t attend the March 29 meeting and isn’t known if any submissions were made on his behalf. However, the board did have their legal representative for the Alberta School Boards Association (ASBA) in attendance at the meeting to answer some questions.

At the board’s regular meeting on April 7, trustees approved the minutes of that special meeting with board chair Trudy Bratland providing no details on the issue, even not confirming whether the matter involved Jacobs.

“It’s a personnel matter and all I can say is we are moving forward with the sub-committee to address and resolve the matter. The process is now under way and there is nothing further that will be released at this time,” Bratland commented.

Jayson Lovell, assistant superintendent in charge of People Services, has been the acting superintendent since the end of February.

No timeline was provided about when a recommendation could be coming from the sub-committee.