Highlights from the December meeting of the South East Cornerstone Public School Division’s board:
*A state of internet connectivity report for the school division was presented by information systems manager Brian Belinsky. The report provides an analysis of a SaskTel report – on short-term options to address enhanced Kindergarten to Grade 12 education connectivity in Saskatchewan – and its relationship and impact to school and division connectivity. As well, it identifies internet connectivity usage from schools and how it is managed through divisional systems.
*Analytical services coordinator Walter Wood recapped the results from the 2012 Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) Report. The assessment was written by approximately 510,000 students in 68 countries, including 1,933 students at 86 schools in Saskatchewan. The results showed that Saskatchewan students ranked fifth in Canada in mathematics, sixth in reading and fourth in science. Saskatchewan also recorded some of the lowest equity gaps in the country, indicating a smaller difference between higher performing and lower performing students than other provinces. The data from the past decade showed that Canadian scores decreased in all provinces, except Quebec and Saskatchewan, where the changes were not statistically significant since the PISA assessment of 2003.
*A delegation of three individuals from Parry, which is in the western part of the division, appeared before the board to request transportation services, either through grandfathering or a boundary change.
*The board approved starting the search for a deputy director of education. The position will begin August 1, 2014. This position will support the three school superintendents with the day-to-day operations at 39 schools, and in developing structures and processes to implement and monitor system priorities.
*The board approved a framed copy of the federal government’s Statement of Apology to former students of Indian Residential Schools, which will be hung in a prominent location in each school, as recommended by motion at the Saskatchewan School Boards Association's recent fall general assembly. A suitable celebration and learning expectation to accompany this will be recommended by the school division’s First Nations and Métis Committee.
*The school division’s quarterly financial report for the first quarter of the 2013-14 fiscal year was presented by manager of finance Marilyn Yurkiw. As of November 30, 2013, the school division’s expenses were approximately 24.2 per cent of the budget. In compiling the report, all budget managers were consulted to see if there were any changes within the operations of their respective budget areas, and even though there were minor adjustments, there were no significant items to report. Therefore, the current year projection figures contained in the first quarterly report are equal to budget figures.
*The next regular meeting will be on January 16.