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Home News Work of all levels in Catholic Division highlight of 2021

Work of all levels in Catholic Division highlight of 2021

Work of all levels in Catholic Division highlight of 2021
Herald file photo.

By Michael Oleksyn

Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

The COVID-19 pandemic has created plenty of challenges, but it’s also shown the importance of strong relationships, Prince Albert Catholic School Division director of education Lorel Trumier said.

Trumier made the comments while reflecting on the difficulties and successes surround the division’s efforts in 2021. Trumier said staff and administration worked well together over the past 12 months, and that made a challenging year easier to deal with.

“It is very cohesive in that the priorities are clear,” Trumier explained during a December end-of-the-year interview. “What we are trying to do here is have an impact on our children—our students—and we see them as very sacred beings. I think that living through a pandemic has really shone a light on the relationships that we have with our families and the partnership that we have with them.”

Looking at 2021, Trumier said the division would not be able to do what they are doing unless staff, students and families had full engagement in the process because of the relationships that were built.

“I am just so proud,” she said. “I think there are always places where things could have been changed and could have been done different or better, but we are all facing something that we weren’t familiar with.

“We were all working together and I think it made us stronger and more determined to continue quality Catholic education in our community. We are so grateful for our families and their support.”

This year saws the largest graduating class in the history of Ecole St. Mary High School, with 235 graduates in the Class of 2021. Trumier pointed to that as one of their successes, along with high graduation rates across all categories.

The division’s three-year graduation rate for all students is at 78 per cent—92 per cent for non-FNMI and 59 per cent for FNMI. The provincial average for all students is 79 per cent, for non-FNMI it is 89 per cent and for FNMI it is 45 per cent. The division’s total graduation rate for the last five years was 87 per cent—97 per cent for non-FNMI and 74 per cent for FNMI. The provincial average for all students is 85 per cent. For non-FNMI it’s 92 per cent, and for FNMI it’s 62 per cent.

Trumier said that it was not only a highlight for the graduating class but also for staff who have seen the students succeed.

“It’s always such a highlight every year,” she said. “I think it was especially sweet this year. Our graduates really did a great job managing themselves in their final year and a year that they will speak about for a long time in their lifetime.

“It’s quite an accomplishment and so I am very pleased with all of the efforts there.”

She also pointed to the outstanding work being done in elementary and primary education in the division.

“They are so focused on having our children learn how to read and learn the basics in math and in writing. I feel that they are just working so diligently and feverishly to do the best that they can. It is so impressive we have a reading literacy project happening where we are providing intermediate support and additional support to all of the students,” Trumier said.

Trumier added that the program created a number of successes in the division. It also provided a refreshing change, allowing staff and parents to talk about reading, writing and math as opposed to the pandemic.

“Now we have learned strategies on how to work together and work closely together, we can resume that attention on instruction,” she said. “I am so pleased that this is happening at schools right now. Again, it is a shoot-out to our staff and our students and families in our elementary as well because reading, writing and math matter and that’s what we are here to do.”

Trumier also expressed gratitude to the board of education for their work. The board in their current form was elected in October, 2021 and have been forced to learn to function in new ways such as having meetings remotely.

“They have really found their voice and have really come together as a team to do the work that’s required right now. We have got strong leadership with Suzanne Stubbs as our chair and strong membership as trustees. We couldn’t do it without the board’s support and I feel that they need to hear that too,” Trumier said.

She explained that they have found a way to work well with new trustees Darryl Sande, Chrissy Halliday and Andrea Ring finding their voices.

“I think that’s really a credit to their motivation to be involved in education to bring their voice and they are functioning very well as a board. They have different views, different thoughts but they always land in a place or make their decision they will follow the decision that is made at the board table and it’s good people doing good work trying to strike the balance between the needs and a pandemic. It is not easy but they have really come through,” she said.