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Under the Northern Lights - June 28, 2023

Good News Items

  • Trustee Cheryl Edwards commended the students and staff of Art Smith Aviation Academy on a successful Aviation Expo.

  • Trustee Cheryl Edwards congratulated Cold Lake Outreach School on its 25thish Anniversary celebration earlier this month.

  • Trustees thanked schools for their assistance in recognizing staff milestones and the students who participated on the Student Advisory Council to the Board.

  • Trustee Cheryl Edwards congratulated students from Bonnyville Outreach School on their graduation and complimented them on their beautiful ceremony.

  • Board Chair Karen Packard thanked the Bonnyville Friendship Centre for providing Bonnyville area students with the opportunity to participate in Indigenous Peoples' Day celebrations at the Bonnyville and District Centennial Centre.

  • Trustee Cheryl Edwards congratulated students from Bonnyville Centralized High School on their graduation and thanked them for inviting her to speak on behalf of the Board.

  • Trustee Garry Kissel congratulated Glendon School students on their graduation.

  • Board Chair Karen Packard congratulated students and staff from North Star Elementary School on raising over $5,000 for Ronald McDonald House with their Pie in the Face fundraiser. Packard was one of the "celebrity" participants.

  • Trustee Mandi Skogen congratulated Cold Lake Outreach School students on their graduation and the perseverance they have demonstrated to achieve their goals.

  • Trustee Blair Norton complimented Wandering River School and Ecole Plamondon School on their Kindergarten graduation ceremonies.

  • Trustee Blair Norton congratulated Ecole Plamondon School students on their graduation. 

  • Trustee Debra Lozinksi congratulated students from J.A. Williams High School and Lac La Biche Outreach School on their graduation. 

  • Trustee Lois Phillips highlighted Aurora's Got Talent, which featured amazing performances by Aurora Middle School students.

  • Nicole Garner, Communications and Public Relations Manager, presented Good News highlights from school's throughout the division, focusing on School Plans. The full presentation is available on the division website: Good News - School Plans - June 28, 2023.


Technology Report

Bob Barret, Director of ET/IT, provided the Board with an update on technology in the division. The division currently has one Chromebook for every 2 students in grades 1 to 4, and a 1:1 Chromebook ration in grades 5 to 12. 

The division is in the process of upgrading wireless units, security cameras and intercom systems. Other technology is being upgraded in alignment with the division's evergreening plan. 

Terry Moghrabi, Associate Superintendent, reported that the division sent a team of administrators and teachers to Edmonton to collaborate with Telus World of Science and Northern Coding Academy on potential opportunities for robotics programming for students. 


Facilities Report

Leah Rout, Director of Facilities, provided an overview of the extensive work being done by the Facilities team and contractors in schools over the summer. This includes secure entrances, fencing, accessible washrooms, gym floor refinishing, carpet removal, roofing, flooring replacement, painting, paving, building exterior upgrades, millwork, as well as numerous regular maintenance tasks. In addition, four modulars are being relocated from schools in Bonnyville, Glendon and Cold Lake to North Star Elementary School in Cold Lake.

As a result of feedback received from students who participated in the Student Advisory Council to the Board, the division will be adding two hours of cleaning per day to each school in 2023-2024. Rout will be working with custodial contractors and CUPE custodians to put that in place for September.


Ministerial Request for Exemption

The Board will be sending a letter to the Education Minister requesting an exemption to the cap on its reserves until the end of the 2024-2025 school year. The division's projected reserve percentage is just slightly higher than what the province has allocated, despite efforts to reduce reserves through deficit budgeting.


Policy 22 - Board Supported Projects/Initiatives

The Board approved an update to Policy 22 - Board Supported Projects/Initiatives. This policy provides student and school councils with an opportunity to apply for funding for initiatives that align with division priorities, enhance the culture and climate of schools, and/or create new opportunities for student success.

The updated policy is available on the NLPS website: Policy 22 - Board Supported Projects/Initiatives.


Board Policy 30 - Ward Boundaries

The Board approved a new policy: Policy 30 - Ward Boundaries. This policy establishes the factors to be considered when reviewing ward boundaries.


Tri-City Transportation Boundary Review

Secretary-Treasurer Paula Elock provided an update on the Tri-City Transportation Boundary Review. A survey of parents and guardians who live in that are indicated they would prefer to stay at the school they currently attend. Elock noted that at this time due to constraints in the student transportation system, no boundary changes were recommended for the 2023-2024 school year.

Elock said a more in-depth review will be done next year to determine if changes should be made for the 2024-2025 school year. 


Truth and Reconciliation Committee

Trustee Lois Phillips reported that the Board's Truth and Reconciliation Committee had developed a land acknowledgement for the Board to use at meetings and events. The acknowledgement will also be added to the division's website when it is updated over the summer.


Communications Committee

Trustee Cheryl Edwards reported that the committee recommended three recipients for this year's Friends of Education Awards. Recipients will be recognized in the fall at board meetings.