News Item

Board Highlights (March 2017)

April 05, 2017

logo-vertical (002).jpgNotes from the Thursday, March 16, 2017 Regular (Public) Meeting of the South East Cornerstone Public School Division (SECPSD) Board of Education


Quarterly Transportation Report

In his newly expanded role as Manager of Facilities and Transportation, Andy Dobson gave the Board a brief snapshot of facts and figures as well as fleet and performance information with respect to the Transportation Department for the months of December 2016, January and February 2017.  Although a departmental report is presented to the Board on an annual basis, the Quarterly Report has been added in compliance with recommendation of the Ministry of Education.

One concern highlighted in the presentation was the number of cancelled bus routes which can be majorly contributed to a lack of available sub-drivers and inclement weather.  In response to a question posed by Vice-Chair Carol Flynn regarding the determination to cancel a bus, Mr. Dobson explained that a bus can be cancelled by a bus driver, a supervisor (i.e. for a particular service area) and/or himself taking into consideration various circumstances including weather conditions and forecast as well as road conditions which can vary greatly across the large geographical boundaries of the division, with safety remaining paramount. Mr. Dobson also reported that his department will be reviewing the quantity and strategic location of spare buses for timely access across the division.

Annual Curriculum Report

Aaron Hiske, Coordinator of Curriculum, provided the Board with an update pertaining to the Curriculum Department commencing with an explanation of his role.  Three of his key functions are: (1) to remain current in effective practices to lead, review, assess, and improve educational programming, (2) to support and actualize Saskatchewan Curriculum and (3) to liaise with all Ministry of Education branches in all subject areas for Grades 6-12. 

In support of these responsibilities, Mr. Hiske directs the division's curriculum team and is a member of several committees including the SECPSD Graduation Committee (a newly formed committee), the provincial Math Team and the provincial Dual Credit Working Group. 

Three curriculum consultants support teachers in the areas of instruction, assessment, grading and reporting. Teachers are also supported through Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) where teachers come together for practice-based professional sharing and learning to inform practice.  In addition, Mr. Hiske noted that there was a lot of uptake on different kinds of mentorships established to extend learning (i.e. similar grade level, split level, small school to small school and a couple of administrator mentorships which were new this year). 

The department also supports students and administrative teams through seven career development counsellors and one career services consultant in the areas of timetabling to actualize Ministry minutes, working with new high school offerings and student engagement.  Of note, Power Engineering, which was offered as a pilot this school year through a partnership with SaskPower and Prairie South School Division, resulted in 23/25 students successfully completing the course and the remaining two realizing it is not the field of work they wish to pursue.  Mr. Hiske is pleased that SaskPower has committed to continuing the program into the 2017-2018 school year.  He further stated that quite a number of students participated in Cow Calfing Production and that the newest offering, which is expected to be taught in Yellow Grass next school year, is the Early Safety Responder Training 10 (consisting of three courses) which would be very beneficial for those pursuing work in paramedics, firefighting, the military and police services.

The Curriculum Report also highlighted focused school supports and data wall information pertaining to literacy, math and graduation rates. In addition, Mr. Hiske stated that in response to feedback received from staff through ThoughtExhange, indicating a preference to stay in their buildings and not have to travel on professional development (PD) days, the division will be looking at offering PD in a blended delivery format through distance and technology in the 2017-2018 school year instead of via face-to-face gatherings as has been the practice. The model will perhaps include some live pieces as well as opportunity for collaboration within schools and across schools with some of the materials that will be used being developing by schools for the upcoming Learning Fair.   

Mr. Hiske concluded his presentation by reporting that Suncorp audits were done on SECPSD's chemical labs and PAA labs through a joint effort between the facilities and curriculum departments.  A chemventory electronic database will be used to identify chemicals and track estimated quantities of chemicals that are in the labs, which information will be readily available should there be a situation where emergency services need to be on site.  As a result of audit recommendations, online WHIMIS 2015 and GHS training as well as modules for Science Lab Safety training will be made available to teachers.

Mr. Hiske was quick to give credit to his "great learning support team" for their work in supporting the staff and himself in achieving the goals and mandate of the Curriculum Department.

Borrowing Resolution, Long Term Debt, Weyburn Comprehensive School

The Board made a motion to apply to the Minister of Education for consent to borrow $4,516,500 from the BMO Bank of Montreal, repayable over a period of 20 years at the fixed rate of 3.39% to finance Contract 2 of the reconfiguration of the Weyburn Comprehensive School. 

Termination of Contract

A motion was passed by the Board to terminate the contract of Troy Ruzicka.

Annual Monitoring Report on Board Policy 12.3 – Fiscal Responsibility

CFO Shelley Toth once again reported to the Board full compliance and provided supporting evidence of the same via a monitoring report on the Director of Education's fiscal responsibility as it relates to the following six areas outlined in #3 of Board Policy number 12:

  1. Ensures the fiscal management of the Division in accordance with the term or conditions of any funding received by the Board.
  2. Ensures the Division operates in a fiscally responsible manner, including adherence to recognized accounting procedures.
  3. Ensures insurance coverage is in place to adequately protect assets, indemnify liabilities and provide for reasonable risk management.
  4. Approves emergency expenditures and change orders on approved projects up to one hundred thousand dollars
    • The Director will inform the Board of expenditures above $50,000.
  5. Approves budget adjustments within approved categories up to an accumulated total of one hundred thousand dollars. Surpluses will be directed towards budget priorities.
  6. Ensures the business continuity and security of the school division's information management and technology assets as per approved administrative procedures.

Quarterly Operating Financial Report

The quarterly finance report for the second quarter of the school year was presented to the Board by Marilyn Yurkiw, Manager of Finance.  The report reflects the revenue received and expenses incurred from September 1, 2016 to February 28, 2017.  The Statement of Operations indicates that revenue of $22,062,649 was received up to February 28, 2017 and expenses incurred for the second quarter were $53,068,426.  Current year to date expenditures equate to 49.4% of the budget. At half way through the fiscal year, the expenditures indicate that the Division is on track financially for the 2016-17 budget year.  The report also included projections for the remaining half of the year with total revenues for the year projected to be 0.19% lower than budgeted and expenses projected to be under budget by 0.89%.

Upcoming Meetings

March 22 17Provincial Budget Day
March 24 17Meeting with the Ministry
March 26-28 17National Congress on Rural Education in Canada
April 5 17Board Strategic Planning Meeting
April 6 17SSBA-Public Section Executive Meeting
April 6 17SSBA-Board Chairs Council Meeting
April 6-7 17SSBA-Spring General Assembly
April 27 17Committee-of-the-Whole Board Meeting
April 27 17Regular (Public) Board Meeting


For more information, please contact:

South East Cornerstone Public School Division

80A-18th Street N.E., Weyburn, SK  S4H 2W4

Telephone:  (306) 848-0080