Under the Northern Lights - October 31, 2018
Good News Items
- Trustee Maurice Richard congratulated J.A. Williams High School on another successful Wow Pow volleyball tournament. This year's event featured teams and included participation from over 100 student volunteers.
- Trustees Mandi Skogen and Karen Packard highlighted the Peace Feast that was held at Nelson Heights School. The annual event features students making dinner for their parents and other invited guests.
- Board Chair Arlene Hrynyk congratulated Lexis Roy from J.A. Williams High School on receiving an ATCO Merit Award. The awards are given to students who demonstrate leadership in their communities. More information about the awards can be found on the ATCO website.
- Associate Superintendent Bill Driedger thanked all of the staff who were involved in planning System Day and noted the division has received a lot of positive feedback on this year's event. Trustees complimented the organizers on the quantity and depth of sessions that were offered, the choice of keynote, and the timing of this year's event.
- Associate Superintendent Bill Driedger also congratulated Crossroads Outreach School on its 15th anniversary celebration. Participants had the opportunity to meet the first graduate from the outreach school and learn about the impact the school has had on students since it first opened.
- Trustee Lorne Kaban highlighted the Stream of Dreams program that Duclos School was involved with recently. The program is sponsored by LICA and involved every student in the school painting a fish that was then attached to the fence around the playground to make a "Stream of Dreams."
Staff Wellness Report
Associate Superintendent Terry Moghrabi provided the Board with information on the many initiatives underway in the division to support staff wellness. Through its partnership with the Alberta School Employees Benefits Plan, the division is currently focusing on the eight dimensions of wellness: emotional, environmental, financial, intellectual, occupational, physical, social, and spiritual.
Through the Board's staff wellness initiative, staff can access funding to organize wellness activities at the school, regional, or division levels. Last year, staff participated in 63 wellness activities throughout the year.
The division is continuing to work on strategies to address staff wellness and encourage a healthy work/life balance.
2017-2018 Accountability Pillar
Associate Superintendent Bill Driedger reviewed the division's 2017-2018 Accountability Pillar with the Board.
The Accountability Pillar includes the results of surveys done with the division's teachers, students and parents that measure how well the division is doing in seven areas: Safe and Caring, Program of Studies, Education Quality, Work Preparation, Citizenship, Parental Involvement, and School Improvement. It also includes several other measurements related to the goals given to the division by Alberta Education. This includes Drop Out Rate, High School Completion, Provincial Achievement Test and Provincial Diploma Exam results, Rutherford Scholarship Eligibility, and Transition Rate.
Driedger noted when looking at the division's results over a five year period (2013-2018) there is a clear upward trend in all of the measures based on the surveys. Overall, Northern Lights has improved in 13 of the 16 measures on the Accountability Pillar during that five-year period. One of the most significant improvements has been to the division's high school completion rate, which was at 60.6% in 2013 and is now at 71%. The division's drop out rate has also improved from 5.7% in 2013 to 3.8% in 2018.
The Accountability Pillar is used to help develop the Division's Three-Year Education Plan, which details the strategies the Division will use to continue to improve in the areas measured by the pillar, as well as the priorities areas established by the Board in consultation with its stakeholders.