Prince Albert’s school divisions meet to discuss matters of mutual interest

Saskatchewan Rivers School Board director of education Robert Bratvold answers a question at the 2016 AGM.

The two school divisions in Prince Albert met together on Monday, January 27 ahead of this year’s provincial budget.

According to Robert Bratvold director of education Saskatchewan Rivers School Division the two boards get together once a year to talk about joint interests and provincial concerns.

“Boards work together a lot throughout the year and that’s a way to do some of that work so it’s a very positive thing,” Bratvold said.

Among things that are discussed are matters of interest including the upcoming Provincial Budget.

“The budget itself is part of the conversation generally. It is more about advocacy for sufficient, sustainable and adequate funding similar to what the School Board’s association of the province advocates for too,” Bratvold said.

The divisions will both finalize their 2020-2021 budget in their May or June meetings.

The boards discussed the upcoming renewal of the Provincial Education Plan.

“There is some excitement around the Provincial Education Plan, there is a framework in place and there is some work being done to renew the provincial education plan and we had some conversations about that and its potential impact on our boards,”

The boards also addressed advocacy around needs of students in the meeting.

They also discussed professional development for trustees in the two divisions.

”Trustees are great learners they come to their position elected and do lots of learning in the process,” he explained.

“We also talked about sort of joint advocacy to connect with the ministry and other stakeholders around issues that are facing both school divisions around student populations and those kinds of things,” he said.

According to Bratvold, the Saskatchewan Rivers population is steady.

“I think we are anticipating a small decline this coming year based on what we have seen with our Kindergarten numbers going in and our graduation rates and students graduating and some other factors too. They have been relatively stable. We experienced some growth a few years ago and then a little bit of decline the last year or two but relatively stable since I came in 2011,” he explained.

The formula for school funding uses school population among other factors. Enrolment was not a topic at the joint meeting, Bratvold said.