The board of education for the Prince Albert Catholic School Division has finalized possible dates to meet with Local Members of the Legislative Assembly.
Director of education Lorel Trumier returned with possible dates for the meetings after starting the process at their last regular meeting. They will be meeting with Saskatchewan Party MLAs for Prince Albert Joe Hargrave and Alana Ross and with independent Saskatchewan Rivers MLA Nadine Wilson.
“We will work with our MLAs locally here to bring our local needs to government and to the Legislature and that’s what those advocacy meetings do,” Trumier said.
“It will be very similar in a sense that our hope is some focused attention on some of the challenges that we have, but also recognizing that we have some successes, and there are some things we want to preserve. There is some work that we want to continue doing and good academic attainment is what we’re focusing on.”
Ross and Hargrave and tentatively scheduled to meet with trustees in the middle of December, while Wilson will meet in mid-November.
“We want our children to do well,” Trumier said. “It’s an investment. When we invest in our children, it’s an investment for the province.”
During Monday’s meeting, superintendent Charity Dmytruk also updated on the division receiving a grant from the Child Nutrition and Development Program to help support nutrition programs running in schools in the division.
“We couldn’t do it without it,” Trumier said. “We know that there are children who require lunches and breakfasts, so this helps us achieve that. When children are not necessarily coming to school with breakfast, they have an opportunity to (have meals).”
Trumier said there is plenty of evidence children perform better in school when they eat lunch during the school day.
“We know that they will attend better. They will be able to focus better. They will be able to learn,” she explained. “We are pleased that that child nutrition program funding is available to us and we were successful in having that again this year.”
This year the division received $89,950, which is an increase of $1,685 over 2021-2022.
Trumier also updated the board on the return of band programming to the division. COVID-19 haulted most band activities, but the program is starting to return to normal.
“I think with COVID, obviously, you know that many things had to change and shift,” Trumier said. “The performing arts is one of the areas that’s the most difficult to do from afar.”
There are currently 255 students registered across the six elementary schools. The program operates with a full time equivalent band teacher.
“Nand is not playing an instrument in isolation. Band is about playing your instrument with others,” Trumier said. “We have music in our schools, but this is a co-curricular program that we have that supports our students in the elementary (schools), so that’s why we were reporting the increase in numbers.”
According to a memo, school division officials discussed the COVID-19 safety measures with local medical health officials. They emphasized the size of groups when creating the band schedule, and attempted to minimize the number of cohorts.
Trumier emphasized that the Grade 5 to 8 program is still in the beginning stages.
There were 196 students registered in 2021-2022, and there was no program run in 2020-2021.
“These children want that kind of learning and I certainly sense that the families are excited about it,” Trumier said. “We are seeing the numbers resume pre-COVID numbers. We still have a little bit more to go but we know it will take some time to get there.”