Catholic school division to return to in-person meetings, Sask. Rivers adds additional meetings to schedule

Michael Oleksyn/Daily Herald The Saskatchewan Rivers School Division board of education met at the Education Centre in September

Both the Saskatchewan Rivers School Division and Prince Albert Catholic School Division boards of education made changes to their meeting formats at their final regular meetings on June 20.

The Catholic Division is returning to in person meetings for the first time since COVID hit, while the Saskatchewan Rivers board will move to two meetings a month beginning in the 2022-2023 school year.

“Our board really did take a cautious approach this year,” Catholic School Division education director Lorel Trumier said. “They knew that the operations of the board were critical and they weren’t willing to risk necessarily a stoppage in the board of education’s work and responsibilities.

They did meet virtually and they are happy to return in person. They really want to do that so we are really looking forward to it.”

For the past two years, Catholic School Division meetings have been held by teleconference. When public health orders were lifted, the board initially decided to continue with the format until the end of the school year.

At their meeting on Monday the board decided to resume in person meetings beginning in August.

“I think that they were very responsible throughout their process, to ensure that they could continue their operations during the pandemic,” Trumier added.

The vote passed unanimously.

The Saskatchewan Rivers board established its work plan and meeting schedule at their last meeting on June 20. The board has decided to move to two meetings per month for most months of the year after discussions.

“That will bring more opportunity for public discourse and action on events,” director of education Robert Bratvold said.

“I think that it will be somewhat challenging, because it will be lots of work on reports and those sorts of things. We will have to navigate how we manage that.”

For a time after the creation of the division through amalgamation in 2006 the board met twice a month.

“So there will be some adjustments and I think there will be some good opportunities to provide some focus, conversation and a good use of time,” Bratvold said.

There is significant work trustees do between meetings, but the Sask. Rivers board determined that the collective work requires more frequent meetings.

The Work Plan outlines the known topics for discussion, the decisions needed and engagement events for the upcoming school year.