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Under the Northern Lights - May 25, 2022

Good News

  • Board Chair Karen Packard thanked Wandering River School, Ecole Plamondon, Caslan School, Kikino School, Crossroads Outreach and Journeys Learning Academy for welcoming trustees during a recent tour of rural Lac La Biche area schools earlier this month.

  • Nicole Garner, Communications and Public Relations Manager, presented Good News highlights from the division's schools. The full presentation is available on our website: Good News - May 25, 2022.


2022-2023 Budget

Secretary-Treasurer Paula Elock provided the Board with an overview of the 2022-2023 budget which is due to be submitted to Alberta Education at the end of the month.

Next year's budget is not substantially different from 2021-2022 as the overall funding from Alberta Education is the same and the division is not anticipating a significant increase in enrolment. Elock noted several things that will change for next year:

  • Jordan's Principle funding is increasing as schools have been applying for funding for more students to access the services that are available. As a result, staffing in this area has increased.

  • Pandemic costs have been removed, but the budget still includes higher costs for subs than what was budgeted pre-pandemic. 

  • The division now has a requirement to report asset retirement obligations, which includes an adjustment to record accumulated amortization resulting in a decrease in the investment in tangible capital assets.

  • As it is anticipated that enrolment will be consistent with the projections provided to Alberta Education, the budget does not include a clawback of funding due to not meeting projections.

  • Revenues from facility rentals are expected to be lower as the division is disposing of the former Grand Centre Middle School site.

  • Transportation revenues have increased due to increased funding from Alberta Education, MELT training revenue, and a co-operative funding agreement with Conseil scolaire Centre-Est.

Elock also highlighted several factors which may impact the budget, but at this time have not been included:

  • The budget does not include any potential costs that may be incurred as the result of collective bargaining. If there is an increase included in a collective agreement that is not funded by Alberta Education, NLPS will need to cover those costs.

  • The insurance company that is providing insurance for Contracted Bus Operators (CBO's) has provided notice that it will no longer be offering coverage next year. It is unknown at this time if an alternate provider can be found and if there will be an increase with a new provider.

  • NLPS is currently receiving $4.8 million in bridge funding from Alberta Education. If that is eliminated or reduced, the division does not have an alternate revenue source to offset it.

  • The division has been experiencing inconsistency with some Alberta Health Services offices completing assessments for families and has been told separate assessments may be needed for educational purposes. This may result in increased costs for the division. 

  • Operations and Maintenance continues to operate at a deficit. Staffing has been reduced to compensate for increases in utility and insurance costs. The 2022-2023 budget includes anticipated increase for utilities and custodial services.

  • The division has expanded the number of students who have access to meals through the Nutrition Program. If funding is reduced or eliminated, changes may need to be made to that program.

The 2022-2023 projects a deficit of $151,000 which will need to be approved by the Education Minister. The full budget will be shared on the NLPS website once it has been submitted to Alberta Education. 


2022-2025 Three-Year Education Plan

Bill Driedger, Associate Superintendent, presented the final draft of the division's 2022-2025 Three-Year Education Plan, which the division is required to submit to Alberta Education at the end of the month. 

The plan maintains the current division priorities that were previously approved by the Board following extensive engagement with stakeholders: improving students' mental health and wellness, and improving students' numeracy skills and understanding. Implementation of the strategies and actions that were originally identified in 2019-2020 were significantly impacted due to the pandemic so the division is continuing with those same priorities.

The plan outlines the actions the division is taking to address those division priorities as well as four Assurance Elements that have been identified by Alberta Education: Students are successful; First Nations, Metis and Inuit students are successful; Excellence in teachers, school leaders, and school authority leaders; and The K-12 education system is well-governed and managed.

The division's schools will each develop their own plans that will outline the actions and strategies they are using to address the division's priorities as well as any school-specific goals they have identified. 

LINK: 2022-2025 Three-Year Education Plan


2023-2024 Draft Calendar

The Board gave approval in principle to a draft school calendar for the 2023-2024 school year.

The draft calendar is similar to the 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 calendars previously approved by the Board. It includes 178 instructional days when students are in attendance at school and a total of 192 operational days for staff. 

The calendar will come back to the Board in the fall for another review and potential amendments and will then be shared with stakeholders for feedback.


2023-2024 Draft School Calendar



Curriculum Announcement

Terry Moghrabi, Associate Superintendent, provided the Board with an update on curriculum changes and implementation. Alberta Education announced on May 17 that updated drafts were available for K-6 science, French language arts and literature, and French Immersion and that divisions could express interest in piloting them next year. Moghrabi said NLPS will not be piloting the draft curriculum due to the implementation of the new K-3 English language arts and literature, and math curricula, and the K-6 physical education and wellness curriculum. He noted that students and staff have already experienced a lot of changes over the last two years and the division wants to reduce additional stressors.

NLPS teachers are currently engaged in professional development opportunities related to the new curriculum that is being implemented in September and NLPS is also working on reviewing the resources are available and what resources it may need to acquire to assist teachers with implementation.