Back to News

Under the Northern Lights - June 22, 2022

Good News Items

  • Trustee Lois Phillips congratulated the students and staff of J.A. Williams High School in Lac La Biche on hosting a successful Songwriters Cafe. She noted that she enjoyed the enthusiasm of the students and was blown away by the talent that was showcased. 

  • Trustee Debra Lozinski commended the Grade 8 students and staff at Kikino School on their recent Grade 8 farewell ceremony. She was impressed with the leadership shown by the students, who all presented a speech at the event.

  • Trustee Mandi Skogen gave accolades to the division's Facilities Department for the redesign of the office at Cold Lake Middle School. She said she is looking forward to seeing the changes being made at North Star Elementary over the summer. Main offices at both schools have been redesigned to enhance safety.  

  • Board Chair Karen Packard commended the Cold Lake High School students who were involved in a collaboration with the Public Health Agency of Canada to discuss the challenges faced by 2SLGBTQ+ students.  A core youth leadership team, which included a student from CLHS, co-wrote the guidebook, “PRIDE GUIDE: Youth Strategies for Tackling Gender-Based Violence in our Schools.” They were also invited as one of only four National Student Leads to present to a multistakeholder panel to launch the guide and five calls to action. 

  • Board Chair Karen Packard also complimented Art Smith Aviation Academy in Cold Lake on the celebrations held on Indigenous Peoples Day which featured a ceremony attended by Elders and members of the military. She noted that the students were excellent ambassadors for the school. 

  • Superintendent Rick Cusson congratulated the students and staff of North Star Elementary School in Cold Lake on raising $3,300 for Ronald McDonald House. Cusson was one of several volunteers who agreed to be pied in the face when students reached fundraising milestones. He also thanked Cold Lake Mayor Craig Copeland for taking part.

  • Nicole Garner, Communications and Public Relations Manager, presented Good News highlights from the division's schools focused on Indigenous education. The full presentation is available on our website: Good News - Indigenous Education - June 22, 2022.


Annual Insurance Summary

Secretary-Treasurer Paula Elock provided the Board with an overview and update regarding the division's insurance. She noted that since the division joined the Alberta Risk Managed Insurance Consortium (ARMIC), the consortium's members have learned a lot about risk management as well as the different types of insurance required.

One particular area that has been challenging has been securing insurance for Contract Bus Operators (CBOs). Bus contractors have the option to purchase insurance through the division or find insurance on their own. Last year only one insurance company was willing to offer insurance for CBOs through ARMIC. 

ARMIC will be going to market soon to meet with insurers and find the best rates, including trying to secure an insurance option for CBOs.


Transportation Fees

The Board passed a motion to approve the Transportation Fee Schedule for 2022-2023. Fees charged for in-town busing remain the same as 2021-2022. 

Information about student transportation fees is on our Student Transportation page. 

BCHS Grand Opening

The Board agreed to hold the grand opening of Bonnyville Centralized High School on Thursday, September 29th. Further details about the celebration will be shared once they have been confirmed. 


COVID update

Superintendent Rick Cusson reported that all provincial requirements have been lifted and Alberta Education has removed all guidance documents for school divisions. Outbreaks of illnesses, including COVID, will be managed the same way as they were prior to the pandemic with the division contacting Alberta Health Services when there is a higher than usual amount of absenteeism at a school. 


TEBA Ratification

Superintendent Rick Cusson provided the Board with an update on bargaining with the Alberta Teachers' Association (ATA). While the provincial government and the ATA have reached an agreement, the division has not yet engaged in bargaining at the local level. 


Children's Services Changes

Trustees expressed concern with changes being made to the protocols that Children's Services follows when issues of potential child endangerment are reported. The new process will require more involvement by staff in investigations, which could negatively impact the relationship that staff have with families. 

Trustee Blair Norton said he felt it was another thing being downloaded on staff, who have already taken on additional responsibilities as changes have been made to how the province delivers inclusive education and mental health services. Trustees were also concerned about staff being made responsible for duties they are not trained for. 

The Board will be sending letters to the Minister of Education, Minister of Children's Services and Minister of Health expressing its concerns about these changes. 


Achievement Committee Report

Trustee Roy Ripkens shared some highlights with the Board about the results achieved by students as a result of interventions put in place to address learning loss. Students in grades 2 and 3 experienced significant gains in literacy.

As a result of the success that was experienced this year, NLPS will be applying to Alberta Education for permission to continue using Fountas and Pinnell to assess literacy and the CAT-4 assessment for numeracy. 

The Board will also be sending a letter to the Minister of Education requesting that additional funding be provided to continue to address learning gaps next year. 


First Nations, Metis and Inuit Committee

The Board approved changing the name of the First Nations, Metis and Inuit Committee to the Truth and Reconciliation Committee. Trustees felt this better reflected the mandate and work of the committee.

The committee will also be developing an action plan to engage with Indigenous leadership and communities.