Catholic board updated on new sector strategic plan development

The Prince Albert Catholic School Division board of education met at Ecole St. Anne School gymnasium on Monday night./Michael Oleksyn

The Prince Albert Catholic School Divisions director of education says she’s anticipating great things from a new strategic plan being developed by the Provincial Education Council.

The council met for the first time on Dec. 17 to discuss the development, implementation and governance of Saskatchewan’s next decade of learning. PA Catholic education director Lorel Trumier said it was an encouraging development, and one she hopes will benefit all stakeholders in the division.

“I am excited now,” Trumier said. “There is hope for our sector. There is a great amount of work that is going to occur to make us very cohesive and I am looking forward to participating at the provincial level, (and) at our school division level.”

Deputy Minister of Education Donna Johnson chaired the council’s first meeting, which focused on outlining roles and responsibilities for the next 10 years. Another meeting is planned for later this month. The new plan will set the course for education delivery until 2030.

The feedback process is scheduled for early spring and the first implementation will start in September with the 2021-2022 school year.  

Trumier said that she expects some of the timelines to shift because of the uncertainty around COVID-19.  

“The timeline was that we would start the new educational plan at the end of the school year 2020, because the intent was to start the following fall, but we couldn’t complete the work,” she explained.

“We were too busy looking at different ways to manage the health and safety of our students and still educate them.”

Former Minister of Education Gord Wyant invited 20 organizations to nominate representatives for an initial two-year term with a possibility of an extension. The representatives are from the Pre-Kindergarten to Grade 12 sector, Indigenous organizations, post secondary institutions, business and industry and both French and English schools.  

Trumier explained that the feedback was then structured in pillars including items such as course skills and knowledge and mental health.  

“The one I am most excited about is connections and relationships,” she said. “That is a strength of what we are going to build the next education plan on.”

The new plan will work from a provincial level and then down to school division strategic plans and down to school level plans.  Educators, Elders, local academics and international experts in the field of education innovation will all be consulted.

The work of the council will be informed by the operational structure that is in place. Members of the operational structure met on Dec. 15, 2020 to review draft outcomes. These plans were developed in November 2020 through small committee work.  

Operational structure membership includes directors of education from the province, First Nation and Metis education authorities, two members of the Saskatchewan Teachers Federation (STF) and senior officials from the Ministry of Education.  

Development of action plans will occur in Dec. 2020 and Jan. 2021, with the provincial-level plan expected to be released in June 2021.  

Development will include online and direct engagement with provincial partners and the education system.  

The report received by the PA Catholic board was released in Dec. 2019.  

Now that the process has resumed, Trumier said it would help to guide the sector in terms of goals and expectations.  

“I am excited now because, again, we get to start focusing on what we should be doing a little more deeply and of course that is our achievement of our students,” she said.