I would like to open this communication with an expression of my gratitude to all of our schools and school communities for your significant efforts to honour the men and women who have served our country in times of peace and war at our Remembrance Day ceremonies. Their memory deserves our attention, and our students are served well by your poignant tributes. Thank you.
As well, I would like to express my appreciation to all staff especially our administrative assistants who have been doing much of the heavy lifting in the implementation of PowerSchool. We have made significant progress, and have leaned on colleagues in other school divisions for support. We are also starting to see many of the advantages of this robust program. As well, we’re receiving positive feedback from parents on the portal.
As you know, the Alberta Government recently announced its budget.
Although government announced it would not be decreasing the education budget, it is very important to note that the fiscal year of the government (March to February) does not mesh with the school year. So, in effect, there are less dollars for public education for this school year. There is a net reduction of $380,000 for Clearview. Compounding this fiscal challenge, our insurance rates have more than doubled as a result of the fires/floods that have impacted schools in Alberta. This has resulted in an additional increase of $240,000 in fees.
Clearview will weather these challenges without any reduction in staff, or reductions in budget. However, schools are not able to access their reserves this school year; we must live within our budgets.
You may be aware that Alberta Education is in the process of designing a new funding model which is expected to be released in February or March of 2020. We are expecting significant changes, and we are hopeful that government will be faithful to their stated commitment to rural education.
I’m pleased to share with you that Clearview has received again a wellness grant. These funds will be used to support the March 6 professional day.
Representatives from our schools have received training in MyBlueprint. This program which serves students from K-12 will be instrumental in engaging in the process of learning, reflection, and self-discovery with a kid-friendly digital portfolio. As well, this program supports student exploration, planning, and decision making with a one-stop individual pathways planner. Many thanks to all of you as you work with this important software.
All the best!
Peter Barron, Superintendent