New Cree Language course off to a great start in Prince Albert

The Sask Rivers Education Centre/ Daily Herald File Photo

During the course of the regular meeting on Monday the board of education for the Saskatchewan Rivers School Division received an update on the new Cree language Kindergarten program at John Diefenbaker Public School in Prince Albert that began this year. 

 “The teacher and the staff and the administration there are doing just amazing work to be connecting with those young learners and just a great start to that program” director of education Robert Bratvold said. 

According to Bratvold there was some apprehension about starting the new program from parents about how it work because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“They have been encouraging and supportive. We have 15 kids in there who are coming on a regular basis and doing some good things,” Bratvold said. 

The success in the first year will lead to trying to prepare for eventual growth in the coming years. 

“We will do some planning around that about how will we grow this Cree language program and what will that look like. So that is one of those plans that is coming up shortly,” Bratvold said. 

New schools assigned to trustees in Saskatchewan Rivers

Each year trustees in the Saskatchewan Rivers School Division are assigned clusters of schools, which they will work with for the school year. At the board of education’s regular meeting on Monday the assignments were finalized. 

Board chair Barry Hollick and administration worked on the assignments before they were brought forward to be finalized Monday. 

 “That’s always exciting because you get a balance because it’s important to have representation from within the ward or subdivision the trustees are elected from. But it is also important to have a broad experience for trustees. When they come to this table they bring perspectives from whence they come but they are representative of the division as a whole. So there is some balance between rural and urban,” director of education Robert Bratvold said. 

The assigned trustees work closely with School Community Councils (SCCs) and trustees have built relationships with the schools. 

 “Part of that is just the value that SCCs bring and the important role they can play and it’s different at every school but that’s a really important thing in our local governance structure,” he explained. 

Newly elected trustee Alan Nunn was assigned Meath Park Public School, Princess Margaret Public School and Queen Mary initially but trustee Jaimie Smith-Windsor and Nunn made a trade. Now Nunn will also be working with the SRPSD Distance Learning Centre. 

Smith-Windsor is now assigned Meath Park, Christopher Lake Public School, Riverside Public School and Spruce Home Public School. 

The remaining trustees kept their assigned clusters. Trustee Bill Gerow is assigned Big River Public School, Ecole Debden Public School and TD Michel Public School. 

Trustee Michelle Vickers is assigned Prince Albert Collegiate Institute (PACI), Westview Public School and Wild Rose Public School. New trustee Cher Bloom is assigned Canwood Public School, Shellbrook Elementary Public High School and W.P. Sandin Public High School. 

Trustee Grant Gustafson has East Central Public School, Ecole Arthur Pechey Public School and Won Ska Public School. 

Hollick has been assigned Carlton Comprehensive Public High School, Osborne Public School and Vincent Massey Public School. Vice chair Darlene Rowden’s cluster include Birch Hills Public School, Red Wing Public School, St. Louis Public School and West Central Public School.  

Trustee Arne Lindberg’s cluster includes Arthur Pechey, Wesmor Public High School and W.J. Berezowsky Public High School. 

Trustee Bill Yeaman has John Diefenbaker Public School, King George Public School, Kinistino Public School and Winding Rivers Colony School. 

Each cluster is also assigned an alternate in case the trustee is unable to fulfill their duties. 

“The alternate trustee for those clusters do a lot of work and the trustees do a great job working together and helping each other,” Bratvold said.