Saskatchewan Rivers board to discuss Pride recognition at future meeting

The Sask Rivers Education Centre/ Daily Herald File Photo

During their regular meeting on Monday there was a notice of motion brought forward by trustee Jaimie Smith-Windsor to discuss a recognition of Pride month in the Saskatchewan Rivers School Division.

The notice of motion read: “Whereas Policy 1 commits the board of education to actively recognize, respect and celebrate diversity in our schools I move that the board of education invite student and staff submissions for the design of the SRPSD logo in recognition and celebration of Pride June 2021 for approval at an upcoming meeting.”

According to director of education Robert Bratvold there was a request to do something similar a few years ago for a similar project.

“So I am guessing this comes out of that. It’s a bit of a proactive piece to do this and a collective way to do it. We haven’t had discussion about it. It is I think a positive proactive approach to anticipation of things we might be looking to within this school year,” Bratvold said.

The motion will now be discussed during the board of education’s next regular meeting on May 10.

During the Saskatchewan Rivers Students For Change (SRSC) virtual report student trustee Emily Zbaraschuk explained that the group has been working on professional development. This included work on presenting more confidently and other topics.

“This time we did group presentations and it was really interesting and informative to hear everyone’s perspectives on things ranging from student leadership to mental health to how we can makes school a less stressful place,” Zbaraschuk said.

Zbaraschuk also outlined some activities in schools including Canwood beginning intramural sports and reopening their lounge and Prince Albert Collegiate Institute (PACI) starting a canteen program.

“There is now a few lunches every week that students can choose from and those steps towards normalcy I know made school seem a little more like school used to before the pandemic,” she said.

There were also spirit weeks at schools related to St. Patrick’s Day and Easter including things like Shamrock Shakes at Kinistino School. As well Birch Hills School recently received a grant for a commercial cooking class that has enabled them to institute a hot lunch program.
”Which I think is super cool that they have used this grant as a way, of course to make delicious food and I guess build a sense of community amongst the students,” Zbaraschuk said.

Fellow trustee Kelly Lam was unable to attend the most recent meeting of the SRSC but did offer an update on things at Carlton Comprehensive High School.

“When it comes to Carlton classes juts started up today obviously with everyone and everything has been good. Something that I have heard from students just talking to them is usually in this last half of the year is the university classes offered at Carlton have been starting up and a lot of people have actually been liking those. Obviously it’s a little bit more of a condensed workload considering you are doing essentially two classes in one block … but really liking it,” Lam said.

Carlton also recently started their GSA (Gay Straight Alliance) club which had been on hiatus due to the pandemic. The Book Club which started earlier this year is also going strong according to Lam.

The board also addressed their recent meeting with representatives of the Prince Albert Area Teacher’s Federation. During discussion it was described as positive conversations. Trustee Bill Yeaman impressed by the honesty and back and forth because everyone works as a team.

The board also appointed trustee Bill Gerow as the new representative on the Saskatchewan School Boards Association (SSBA) Indigenous Council.

The trustees also discussed the recent provincial education budget’s impact while they were in closed session before the regular meeting.

“I think it’s important for the public to know the board was anticipating and had a chance to be informed about the obvious impacts of the budget provincially and we will do some more work to adapt our own interim budget,” Bratvold said.