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Under the Northern Lights - September 19, 2018 Regular Meeting

Good News Items

  • Trustee Garry Kissel congratulated Glendon School on a fantastic welcome back barbecue. The school partnered with the community to offer a community registration event and farmer's market on the same night parents were invited to meet the staff of the school. 

  • Trustee Ron Young enjoyed a pancake breakfast with the students and staff at Ardmore School on the first day of school.

  • Trustee Lorne Kaban congratulated H.E. Bourgoin Middle School on the excellent attendance at its first school council meeting of the year. The meeting included a conversation on the Lord's Prayer and he also received feedback on religious education.  Trustee Kaban also joined students and staff for a pancake breakfast last week.

  • Trustees thanked Jimmi Lou Irvine, Associate Superintendent - Teaching and Learning, and the committee that organized the first NLPS Powwow held at the Bold Centre on Friday, September 12 in conjunction with Beaver Lake Cree Nation. The event was attended by students from throughout the division as well as neighbouring schools. Board Chair Arlene Hrynyk said the event encouraged relationship and community building, learning about each other and celebrating the diversity that is so rich in NLPS. She also thanked Beaver Lake Cree Nation for partnering with the division to organize the powwow as well as for the amazing bead crowns that were given to the tiny tot, junior and senior princesses at the event. The princesses will attend powwows with Beaver Lake throughout the year. 

  • Superintendent Rick Cusson congratulated Communications Officer Nicole Garner on receiving a Bravo Award from the Canadian Association of Communicators in Education. She will be presented with her award at CACE's National Conference in October.


Welcome Back Events

Superintendent Rick Cusson congratulated the Board on hosting three successful Welcome Back Breakfasts for staff during the organizational days prior to the start of the school year. He said all of the feedback received from staff was very positive and appreciative.

Board Chair Arlene Hrynynk thanked Communications Officer Nicole Garner for her assistance in organizing the events, as well as the NLPS senior admin team for their contributions. She also expressed appreciation to all of the division office staff and school staff who pitched in to make the events a success.


Preliminary Enrolment and Staffing Report 

Superintendent Rick Cusson shared the preliminary enrolment numbers for the division. NLPS is currently 65 students more than what schools had projected, with overall enrolment numbers close to the same as the 2017-2018 school year. He noted that since the report had been tabulated, the division had received 10 more new registrations and 20 more intake interviews had been scheduled at the division's outreach schools, so the numbers are expected to increase before the end of the month.

The division's official 2018-2019 enrolment numbers will be determined by the number of students in attendance on September 30. Alberta Education uses those numbers to determine the amount of funding the division receives.


Summer School Report

Jimmi Lou Irvine, Associate Superintendent - Teaching and Learning, provided the Board of an overview of the division's 2018 Summer School program. She noted the number of students attending summer school had declined this year and a review will be undertaken to look at what factors may be influencing that and how the division can continue to offer the service to students in a responsible manner. This year, technology was used to link students to teachers in other communities to ensure students were able to access the courses they needed. Northern Lights is currently the only local school jurisdiction offering summer school and students from several school districts in the area are able to access the programming.


Scholarship Report

Jimmi Lou Irvine, Associate Superintendent - Teaching and Learning, provided the Board with an overview of the scholarships earned by students at the division's high schools last year. She noted that schools are still receiving information about scholarships that students had been awarded, so the final total will be higher than what was in the report. She also noted that the total amount varies from year to year as it depends on the size of the scholarships that are earned.

In 2017-2018, approximately one-third of NLPS high school students received a financial award of some kind. This included one student from Cold Lake High School who earned a $20,000 scholarship. 

Irvine said schools continue to focus on getting information about scholarships out to students and parents and encouraging students to apply. While there is work involved in applying for some of the scholarships, there can be enormous value for students who earn money to help pay for their post-secondary education.