Saskatchewan Rivers has positive meeting with PAATA

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

Following their special meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 16 the board of the Saskatchewan Rivers School Division met with representatives of the Prince Albert Area Teachers Association (PAATA).

According to director of education Robert Bratvold, the conversation was positive and covered many subjects.

We had good conversation, lots around what’s the impact of the changes to the Public Health orders and how COVID has impacted schools and support for some of the layers of protection we have in place and some questions about what the Minister’s directive will mean, so some really good conversation on that,” Bratvold said.

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic was a major topic of conversation.

We talked about looking about what we had learned from COVID and what we can continue to do in terms of its impact. You look for those silver linings, it’s been a big challenge in lots of ways but it has also showed some ways we could do things differently and better going in the future so that’s some positive things as well,” Bratvold said.

During the meeting, the board also approved a motion out of their closed session naming their top three capital projects. This happens each year where the division submits their top three priorities to the Ministry of Education hoping for major capital project approval.

Essentially that is just an annual event where the Facilities Committee takes a look at our capital priority list

and current needs, if the context has changed with enrolments and condition of facilities and those sorts of things and then brings a recommendation to the board to list its top three,” Bratvold said.

It can be kind of challenging to have all of the discussion and sort of the message out of this one is there is the list and it is unchanged from last year,”

The list is not part of the public meeting package but was approved in closed and moved out in the public section.

The division is the midst of a facilities review and this may change the circumstances for next year according to Bratvold.

So AODBT is doing that consulting for us over the next couple of months and that will certainly provide some updated and detailed information for a capital priorities going forward,” Bratvold said.

Bratvold explained in December after the review was announced that the level of detail will help provide future direction for Superintendent Mike Hurd and the maintenance team and his planning the Preventative Maintenance Renewal (PMR) budget and regular maintenance budget. It will also allow the board to look into the future 20 years and know what to expect in terms of demands on budgets and facilities decisions.