A year of COVID-19 and we are cautiously optimistic about reopening. This is good news for families who are eagerly awaiting youth activities to return to normal. At least the promise of spring brings hope and sunshine as we look forward to the return of outdoor activities. I would like to acknowledge the many volunteers on School Councils who work tirelessly on behalf of students volunteering in many ways to advance learning, raising funds to purchase needed resources, assisting in organizing adventures for students, and providing school administration with community feedback. School Councils welcome individuals who are willing to contribute their time and talent for the benefit of our youth.
This link takes you to a nation-wide coding challenge – kids need no prior experience: mindfuel.ca/2021/01/14/cv-crack-the-code/
Provincial Government News
The provincial government has announced 14 new school builds and 140 million dollars of funding for portals. Both of these fundings would be welcomed by Rocky Views Schools. Bill 55 when passed will allow Superintendents to become a self-regulating governing body. Bill 52 when passed will allow for recall of a Trustee.
The government has given school boards the dollars boards will be receiving for the 2021-2022 school year. The government did not penalize schools boards for lower enrolments during this COVID-19 year. As a result, boards will not be negatively affected by the 3-year rolling average enrolment calculations.
In the recent capital funding government announcement, Rocky View Schools Division received no new schools. The news was very disappointing as the majority of Rocky View Schools are at capacity.
The Board was privileged to listen to a wonderful presentation by high school students who lead the Division Student Leadership initiative training students in leadership. The students focused on an adaptive approach in COVID-19 thinking not what I can’t do, but what can I do. Students introduced their mentees to a number of new online tools for communicating, problem-solving and brainstorming. More than 300 students in our division are impacted by this division-wide initiative.
The Board has setup an ad-hoc committee to meet with Rocky View County to develop a new joint-use agreement since Rocky View County cancelled the last one.
Nominations are now open for all candidates in the upcoming municipal elections including Trustee.
Wondering what Rocky View schools are doing to support student mental health?
Rocky View Schools have been addressing student mental health for some years. Currently, Rock View Schools use Positive Behavioural Interventions and Supports (PBIS) framework as best practices to support students with mental health challenges. Interventions are culturally responsive to the student, school and community. The PBIS framework is designed to create emotionally responsible and predictable environments. It is strength- based, intentional social-emotional learning woven through the school culture. The practice is responsive to the needs of all kinds of learners.
The Board has a partnership with Stepping Stones for Mental Health which includes MindUP. The Stepping Stones program uses a universal approach with classroom, school and community.
Administrators have been receiving Traumatic Events Systems (TES) training. This initiative is having an impact on the understanding of mental health and well-being of students dealing with trauma.
The Working Mind was made available to all staff including support staff.
A recent legal webinar identified the current trends in legal issues for schools. These include increasing numbers of court cases arising from human rights challenges. COVID-19 issues have also affected schools as some divorced parents argue schooling options during the pandemic.
Students enrolled in the Building Futures Program in Airdire, used their skills to upgrade the animal shelter in Airdrie.
Two Calgary schools will be piloting rapid testing for COVID-19 so study applicability of wide-spread use.
Submitted by Judi Hunter
Trustee for Ward 5