Sask Rivers board approves track upgrades and SSBA resolution about early learning outcomes

Daily Herald File Photo Darlene Rowden (centre) was acclaimed as Saskatchewan Rivers School Division board chair during the division's organization meeting on Monday.

The project to improve Harry Jerome Track and Max Clunie Field received approval from the Saskatchewan Rivers School Division board of education at their regular meeting on Monday.

City of Prince Albert and Sask Rivers are partnering together to pay for the track upgrades. Sask Rivers has added the replacement of turf as a personal project.

“While we’re doing that, we’ve decided to do to the project the artificial turf that’s going to go into the football field and that’s 100 per cent funded by the school division, artificial turf,” director of education Neil Finch said.

The RFP is expected to go out soon as it is ready and will be worked on by Superintendent of Facilities Mike Hurd and CFO Jerrold Pidborochinski. Finch said they hope to start digging in November.

The City and Saskatchewan Rivers School Division share ownership of the football field and track and will share the cost of upgrading the track at $750,000 each. City Council formally approved the project in August.

Through their joint-use with the City of Prince Albert, reserve funds, and a private donation, the Board was able to ensure this project could be fully funded.

During the meeting, trustees said they are excited to be part of a project that will elevate the athletic facilities in Saskatchewan Rivers School Public Division and the city, as they believe there are many benefits for our students and the community.

During the meeting the board also approved a resolution to be put forward at the Saskatchewan School Boards Association (SSBA) Fall General Assembly from Nov. 12 to 14 in Regina.

The Board will be proposing a resolution to provide directives for action by the association.

The resolution is calling for the association to request that the Minister of Education commit to improving early learning outcomes in Saskatchewan by allocating sufficient resources to fund universal full day kindergarten across Saskatchewan and to work collaboratively with the education sector to review “compulsory school age” as determined in the Education Act.

“The board has brought forward the resolution, whether it will be passed or not at the SSBA level, I’m not sure, looking at trying to enhance, opportunities for kids in their early years,” Finch said.

The rationale for this resolution is rooted in the Board’s enduring commitment to eliminate educational gaps and address systemic inequities guided by a strong belief that students can achieve at high levels when given the right supports, resources and learning opportunities.

The division was planning a meeting with local MLAs for Monday, Sept. 25 which has been delayed according to Finch.

“We are postponing that because we only had a couple respond that they could make it, so we’re working on it. It’s not canceled, but it’s just postponed,” he said.