News Item

Board Highlights (April 2017)

May 01, 2017

Southeastcornerstone3425[1].jpgNotes from the Thursday, April 27, 2017 Regular (Public) Meeting of the South East Cornerstone Public School Division (SECPSD) Board of Education


Outstanding Canadian Principal Award

Estevan's Westview School Principal, Cheri Haberstock, who was selected as one of Canada's Outstanding Principals for 2017, presented the Board with a report with respect to the award and her five days of high quality professional leadership and management training in February in Toronto, four of which were held at the Rotman School of Management.  The presentation spoke to the value of networking, building professional relationships and learning from the business community which provided the participants with a fresh new look outside of education on the topics covered including leadership, wellness and mental health, reconciliation, leading change, technological advances and the impact on education, education law and change leaders.  Ms. Haberstock emphasized the importance of creating a sense of trust with people and that the difference between a good leader and a great leader is their openness to receiving and proficiency in offering feedback as well as the necessity for change leaders to communicate and be resilient.  She explained that while on the stage accepting her award at the gala on the huge screen behind her there was a picture of the Westview School playground, students and staff which made her feel that her whole school community, which she appreciates so much, was with her at that moment.


Ms. Haberstock said she is very much looking forward to participating in The Learning Partnership's one day Take a Leader to Work program in May.  The exchange program is an invaluable opportunity for a corporate/government leader and an educational leader to job-shadow each other's role.  Further, she reported that she is already putting into practice aspects of her learning experience which will enable her to be an even better leader and expressed appreciation to all who made her award and learning opportunity possible stating that she feels so encouraged by the support provided for her ongoing professional development.


2017-2018 School Year Calendar

Deputy Director Kelly Hilkewich provided the Board with a report on the calendar setting process for the 2017-2018 school year, noting that the calendar was established in consultation with a variety of stakeholders at meetings held via technology and took into account Ministry requirements and parameters as well as feedback received from teachers through the Thoughtexchange program.  The process resulted in calendar efficiencies of $1,269,255 through a change in the professional development (PD) delivery model as well as strategic calendar blocking of unassigned time.


During the process, the calendar committee looked at feedback from teachers which indicated that they value time to collaborate with peers in their own school and at their same grade level, having choice in selecting the PD that is right for their situation and having practical resources that can be implemented the next day following the PD.  In addition, teachers suggested better ways to address PD and find savings through in-school professional development and the use of technology, prep time (unassigned time), logistics and transportation.


Working with the LINC (teachers' representatives) enabled 10% of unassigned time (known to teachers as prep time) to change to a minimum of 7% in-school time and 3% in blocked school days within this calendar providing teaching staffs time to prepare for the start of the school year as well as new semesters.


The calendar vote resulted in 59% of staff favouring calendar option #2 which provides a school start date of September 5 and a longer Christmas break.  The 2017-2018 calendar was approved by the Board and is available at on the front page under Division News and under Documents.


Donation of Technology

A request for four decommissioned computers to be donated to schools in Cuba was received and reviewed by the Board.  Authorization was granted for the donation.


Ratification of Service Employees International Union – West (SEIU – West) Agreement

A motion was passed by the Board of Education to ratify the collective bargaining agreement as negotiated between the Board of Education and the Service Employees International Union – West for the period September 1, 2016 to August 31, 2018.  SEIU West encompasses Education Assistants, Library Technicians, Custodians, Maintenance/Journeypersons, Kitchen/Cafeteria staff, Administrative Assistants and School Bus Drivers.


Safety Audit

Chief Financial Officer Shelley Toth explained that the school division has been working on managing the risks associated with chemical labs and PAA shops, but there is still work to be done around items such as eye wash stations, fume hoods and dust collection systems.  Further, as reported in March, the quarterly financial report for the division as at February 28, 2017 projected that the division would be under budget by $768,878.  Therefore, in accordance with Board Policy 12.3 the Board passed a motion to allocate a maximum of $750,000 within the current year budget to address emergent items identified in the safety audit of labs and shops across the division. 


Upcoming Meetings

May 4/17Board Strategic Planning Meeting
May 4/17Employee Recognition Dinner, Weyburn
May 10/17Employee Recognition Dinner, Redvers
May 11/17Employee Recognition Dinner, Estevan
May 16/17SECPSD Board & Holy Family RCSSD Board Joint Meeting
May 18/17Committee-of-the-Whole Board Meeting
May 18/17Regular (Public) Board Meeting