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Under the Northern Lights - October 19, 2022

Good News Items

  • Board Chair Karen Packard thanked Lac La Biche County for meeting with trustees from Northern Lights Public Schools and Lakeland Catholic Schools. The Board was grateful for the opportunity to share information and explore ways the County and Board can work together.

  • Trustee Cheryl Edwards congratulated all of the students from Bonnyville Centralized High School who were recognized at the school's recent awards ceremony.

  • Trustee Mandi Skogen congratulated the NLPS students who play on the Bonnyville Bandits and Cold Lake Ravens football teams on a great game when they faced off against each other in September. 

  • Trustee Lois Phillips thanked the Vera M. Welsh Elementary School Parent Advisory Council for inviting her to their most recent meeting. She said it was great to see lots of new and motivated people ready to volunteer to help students.

  • Nicole Garner, Communications and Public Relations Manager, presented Good News from schools throughout the division focusing on Literacy. The full presentation is available on our website: Good News - Literacy - October 19, 2022


September 30th Enrolment Report

Bill Driedger, Associate Superintendent, shared updated student enrolment numbers with the Board. Enrolment has increased by 150 students from last year and there was increased enrolment in Bonnyville, Cold Lake and Lac La Biche.

Three schools experienced significant increases. Cold Lake Junior High has 90 more students than what was expected when projections were made last year. Bonnyville Centralized increased by 40 students and Vera M. Welsh Elementary School in Lac La Biche increased by almost 60 students. The total enrolment is approximately 5,800 students.

Secretary-Treasurer Paula Elock explained that while the division has experienced an increase in enrolment, it won't impact the division's funding until next year due to the new funding formula. She cautioned that any increased funding due to enrolment next year could be offset by an adjustment to bridge funding that the division is currently receiving to offset the impact of the funding formula.


Student Advisory Council Update

With COVID restrictions removed, the Board is planning to re-engage students and seek their input. The Board provided Superintendent Rick Cusson with feedback on what format they would like to use for the student advisory council meetings.


Out of School Care Report

Jimmi Lou Irvine, Associate Superintendent, reviewed the annual Out of School Care report with the Board. One of the highlights from 2021-2022 was the introduction of $10 a day care, which was great news for families. She noted that there was some confusion, however, because only licensed programs qualify for the subsidized care and not all NLPS sites are licensed. 

One area that NLPS has been focusing on is integrating the division's Little Lights program with its daycare and preschool programs to create an inclusive environment for preschool-aged children. The division receives a pre-determined amount of funding to address the needs of children who are preschool aged and are identified as having developmental delays or medical diagnosis requiring specialized services. There are currently waitlists at some locations while the division is waiting to confirm whether or not it can access additional funding to provide services to all of the families that have requested it.