Pam Hansen WCPS Trustees Chairperson

COLUMN: WCPS trustee speaks to collaboration in schools

Balancing schedule needs at the many schools at Wolf Creek Public Schools requires planning

Pam Hansen

WCPS Trustees Chairperson

As you can imagine, a school and school division calendar must strike an appropriate balance between a myriad of factors, including the amount of instructional days, professional development time, holiday inclusion, and more.

As the board of trustees for Wolf Creek Public Schools (WCPS), we take a great deal of care and consideration in respect to weighing these pressures and differences across our division.

In developing school and division calendars it’s about listening and having a frank conversation. The WCPS superintendents’ team takes a crucial advisory role, providing valued insight, while provincial regulations and settlements, as well as community realities, are all elements in the mix. Our board is cognizant that not all communities in WCPS are the same; it’s a big school division. To that end, a base calendar is developed for review each November, to be used for the following school year. That base calendar is shared with school principals for feedback, and principals then have the opportunity to review the draft calendar with school councils and staff to garner a full range of input and perspective.

Part of the calendar for WCPS, and for all school divisions, is professional development or PD days for staff. When allotting the number of PD days in WCPS, the board makes comparisons with other divisions, with an aim at striking the proper balance between PD and instructional days. Of course time in the classroom is critical, but we know there are real and tangible benefits created for students through the collaboration and sharing of practices that come from staff professional development.

Our board is sincerely proud of the efforts of our teachers and support staff, and the dedication they show in the classroom. Those efforts are boosted through what is learned and shared in professional development. These strategies help all students on their path forward, while lifting up students who may need a little more assistance, and challenging those high achievers who are clamouring for more.

Whenever possible, calendar alignment is important. One example is school-to-school within communities, to ensure siblings are in class on the same days, even if they attend different schools. Alignment allows schools and staff to collaborate on programs and resources, and alignment with neighbouring divisions allows for efficiencies in partnerships, such as in delivering transportation.

There’s not a guide or a checklist to follow that allows for the development of a perfect school and division calendar. It’s the expertise of our leadership teams at WCPS, the valued counsel of our parents, guardians and school communities that gets us closer. The board knows and respects that it’s only through this collaborative effort we arrive at a calendar that can create success for all learners throughout WCPS.

Pamela Hansen is board chair of Wolf Creek Public Schools (WCPS). WCPS board of trustees consists of six trustees representing the communities and rural areas of Alix, Bentley, Blackfalds, Bluffton, Clive, Eckville, Lacombe, Ponoka, and Rimbey. Serving approximately 7,300 students, from Kindergarten to Grade 12, WCPS employs approximately 412 teachers and 350 support staff in 30 schools, including five colony schools, throughout the division.

Just Posted

Contentious property back in Ponoka County spotlight

Community complaints bring recycling business back to council to discuss allegations

Kiya Bruno, 13, a quadruple threat

Actress, singer, dancer, activist and entrepreneur

Permit rescinded by Ponoka County for cannabis production facility

Apparently miscommunication on water led to decision by council

Ponoka RCMP arrest male on Canada wide warrant

Ponoka, Alberta - On Monday May 15, 2019, at approximately 2:25 a.m.,… Continue reading

Ponoka RCMP updates council on crime stats, performance plan

Sgt. Chris Smiley, acting commander of the Ponoka RCMP detachment, gave a… Continue reading

Grumpy Cat, who entertained millions online, dies at age 7

Grumpy Cat, actually named Tardar Sauce, died of complications from a urinary tract infection

Canada’s parole officers say correctional system has reached breaking point

About half of Canada’s federal parole officers work inside penitentiaries and correctional institutions

Speed, alcohol considered factors in deadly Calgary crash: police

Two female passengers in the Corolla, aged 31 and 65, died at the scene

Montreal researchers create audible hockey puck for visually impaired players

Three years ago, Gilles Ouellet came up with the idea for a puck that makes a continuous sound

‘What’s your number?’: Advocates urge Canadians to check their blood pressure

May 17 is World Hypertension Day, marked to spread awareness on the risks of high blood pressure

National Impaired Driving Enforcement Day is May 18

Alberta RCMP participates in Canada Road Safety Week during Victoria Day long weekend

Alberta issues fire ban in northern part of province due to wildfire threat

The government says the decision was made due to the growing threat of wildfires

Fashion Fridays: White sneakers

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Southern Alberta city pulls plug on $13-million solar power project

Goal was to test whether the technology was a feasible way to make steam at city-owned power plant

Most Read