Regular Board Meeting Summary - November 2021

Regular Board Meeting Summary - November 2021
Posted on 12/02/2021

The High Prairie School Division Board of Trustees met virtually on Tuesday, November 23, 2021, for their regularly scheduled meeting. Trustees approved the agenda with additions and the consent agenda and moved into their regularly scheduled items.

 

Trustees received a delegation from the Division's auditors, MNP LLP, to present the audited financial statements for the 2020-21 school year. The report noted, "We would like to express our appreciation for the excellent cooperation we have received from management and employees with whom we worked". The Board accepted the audited financial statements, which can be found on the hpsd.ca website.

 

The Board discussed the Alberta School Councils' Association (AASCA) engagement opportunity as presented in a letter from ASCA dated November 10. The engagement session is being offered for free for one elected or staff representative to discuss topics including the current education environment, the draft K-6 curriculum, and the Assurance Framework.

 

Trustees then discussed the HPSD Re-Entry plan and the contents therein. The discussion was on two components, the allowing of spectators in schools and the masking of children in Kindergarten to Grade 3 in the school. The option for having spectators in schools was reviewed considering the current health restrictions and mandatory guidelines for school authorities which states, "Spectator attendance is restricted to 1/3 fire code capacity and limited to households or two close contacts for those living alone. Attendees must be masked and distanced". Trustees discussed the option and considered the input from school administrators, and decided not to adjust the re-entry plan to allow spectators in the schools at this time. Trustees then discussed the masking requirements for students in Kindergarten to Grade 3 in schools. TheHPSD Re-Entry Plan, as it related to masking, stated the following:

 

  • All students K-12 and all staff will wear masks in common areas such as hallways, libraries, washrooms and on buses and at all times in classrooms unless they are in their class, seated facing forward or they can maintain 2 metres distance.  
  • Students in Kindergarten to Grade12 and teachers do not need to wear masks in the classrooms if the teacher is at 2 metres distance from students and students are in their seats facing forward. If students are facing each other, sitting in pods, or working together on group projects whereby they cannot distance, they must be wearing masks.
  • Neither students nor staff members need to wear masks while outside.
  • Exceptions to the above are the medically exempt, while eating, during intense physical activity, or while outdoors. 

 

The discussion from Trustees involved following the mandatory guidelines from the Alberta government, which are as follows:

 

  • Masking is mandatory for students in grades 4 and up, plus staff and teachers in all grades.
    • Masks are recommended for students attending kindergarten to Grade 3.
  • Masks are required on school buses.

 

In a recorded vote, the HPSD Board of Trustees repealed the masking mandate for students in Kindergarten to Grade 3 unless the school is listed as being in an outbreak. The new wording reads as follows:

  • All students 4-12 and all staff will wear masks in common areas such as hallways, libraries, washrooms and on buses and at all times in classrooms unless they are in their class, seated facing forward, or they can maintain 2 metres distance. 
  • All students K-3 are recommended to wear masks in common areas such as hallways, libraries, washrooms and at all times in classrooms unless they are in their class, seated facing forward, or they can maintain 2 metres distance.
  • Should any school be placed into an outbreak, all students shall wear masks.

There are currently 2 HPSD schools classified by the Government of Alberta as being in an outbreak: C.J. Schurter School and E.G. Wahlstrom School. 

 

The next agenda item discussed was Board meeting protocols as related to COVID-19. HPSD administration met with the Public Health Officer to confirm the best practices for in-person meetings. It was determined that in-person meetings can take place but that participants must be masked at all times, and no food or beverage is to be served. 

 

Trustees discussed succession planning for the Division and what plans or steps should be considered, including key roles and locations.

 

The next item discussed was Administrative Procedure 101 - Workplace Health and Safety - COVID-19 Hazard Control Vaccination Status Procedure as an addition to the agenda. Trustees discussed the administrative procedure and noted that it will be reviewed within six months.

 

Trustees then discussed the HPSD bus status and timely updates.

 

The Board then reviewed the Public School Boards' Association representative. A new representative needed to be appointed as Trustee Tammy Henkel, as an Alberta School Boards Association representative, could not sit on both associations. The Board appointed Trustee Karin Scholl as the alternate representative on the Public School Boards' Association Council.

 

Trustees approved the 2020-21 High Prairie School Division Annual Education Results Report as presented. It is now posted on the hpsd.ca website.

 

The capital purchase of volleyball equipment for Roland Michener Secondary School was approved. The Board also received and accepted the Finance Report and then moved into closed for the reminder of the meeting.

 

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