Tuesday, September 12, 2017

SD52 hosts first School Board meeting for 2017-18 tonight

The fall bell sounds tonight for the
SD52 Board Members
It's not just the students, teachers and administrators who are back at work as school resumes, the elected officials of School District 52 head back to their duties tonight as well, with the School District officials hosting their first meeting of the new school year.

The return to their deliberations takes place at the School Board office on 6th Avenue East, and marks the first of the eleven board meetings scheduled for the 2017-18 year.

No Agenda has been posted to the SD52 website, so parents, guardians and others with an interest in the Board's work will have to wait for the recap of the night's work, or the official minutes to learn more about the issues at the top the list with the start of school.

As they prepare for the new year of sessions, the elected board members will be working with a familiar but new face at the top of the SD52 administration lists.

With the retirement of former Superintendent Sandra Jones in August, Ken Minette has stepped into the top position at the District.

The long time educator who first arrived in the District in 1989 has held a number of roles prior to his appointment as the new Superintendent.

Change also came to the HR department into the summer, as the School District welcomed a new Director of Human Resources to the administrative team with David Carter taking on those duties last May.

One item that might make for discussion at tonight's meeting, could be the status of the search for and hiring of teachers district wide, with the Board having filled the majority of its open positions over the summer, but still reportedly seeking applicants for interim positions, teacher on call duties and other support positions.

After the increase in funding for School Districts across the province in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling of last year, hiring has been an ongoing issue for many Northern based School Districts, as they compete with School Districts around BC for teaching positions.

In addition to the teacher's roll call, Board officials may be able to offer up some background on the progress of the Prince Rupert Middle School proposal, with a new NDP government now in place, hopes increased over the summer that the long sought for new building may finally gain an approval from Victoria.

One other item that remains unresolved is the make up of the board itself, with SD52's elected board operating one member short, having never replaced former trustee Judy Carlick-Pearson who resigned two years ago.

With the new year ahead, the Board might wish to offer up some background on the issue for parents and advise if they plan to fill that spot with a by-election prior to the next municipal election phase of next November.

One item that won't be up for review tonight, will be the status of enrolment figures for 2017-18 at the District, in order to get a more reliable count on the student population District wide, Board officials don't normally compile those numbers until the first month of school has been completed.

Tonight's board meeting runs from 7 to 9 PM at the Board offices.

For more items related to education across the Northwest see our archive page here.

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