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Board Highlights (April 2018)

April 20, 2018

Notes from the​ April 18, 2018 Regular (Public) Meeting of the South East Cornerstone Public School Division Board of Educationlogo-vertical.jpg

Support for Humboldt Broncos

At the April 18 public board meeting held at the head office in Weyburn, SECPSD Board members and senior administration wore green and yellow ribbons and observed a moment of silence in support of the victims of the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team who were involved in a tragic bus crash on April 6.

Design of the new Weyburn elementary school

Christina Legris from Number TEN Architectural Group (Winnipeg) and LeeAnn Croft from Site360 Studio (Regina) provided the Board with a captivating presentation on the contemporary design of the new Weyburn elementary school, a joint use/shared use facility with the City of Weyburn, via Powerpoint and a two minute virtual tour by video.  They informed the Board that they are just finishing up the design development report to the Ministry, which submission ensures they are meeting the learning areas required by the government to go forward with the design. Legris expressed her excitement upon initially learning that the school will be connected to a park.  She provided a chart with a projective timeline and key milestones and explained the complete collaboration process involving key stakeholders for the school which will accommodate a 650 student opening capacity with 750 student design capacity all within a ministry established budget of $12 million for the school portion of the project.

Legris and Croft explained the project design concept and inspiration stating that the five drivers were community partnership, park connections, history & art, 21st century learning & teaching, and wellness & activity.  Twelve guiding principles have also been incorporated into the design, some of which include flexible adaptable learning and gathering spaces, collaborative opportunities for students and staff, safe and welcoming entries, safe student flow, an environment supportive of health & wellbeing and unique learning opportunities.  Legris and Croft spoke interchangeably throughout the presentation which echoed the theme, "Learning happens everywhere," with the intent that no space will be unused in the school. 

The presenters explained that the younger students will be housed on the lower level of the two-story facility and the older students on the upper level with designated entrances guiding students directly to their learning communities.  The school will include six student services offices, two quiet rooms, a sensory room, a gymnasium, a media centre, a day care, administration offices, a performing arts centre with a transparent window, separate play areas, spaces for kids throughout the school that fit their size, i.e. a seating wall where students can sit inside the lettering BOOKS, or on other carpeted areas and next to windows as well as in the outdoor commons. 

The heart of the school will be the all school commons – a presentation space – a flexible gathering place at the central stairway.  There will be multi-purpose rooms and operable walls.  The site will be sectioned off in accordance with ownership with the Weyburn recreational community center being physically connected to the school but having a separation on a daily basis.  The large student body will be scaled down into smaller senses of community through five age appropriate learning communities.  Each of the lower age level communities will have four classrooms, a common instructional space, two break out spaces for meetings and study groups, a "wet and messy" for art projects and such, as well as a teacher collaboration space, storage and age specific resources with a connection to other common spaces.  With the learning communities everything is decentralized and has adjacencies for students with teachers being kept close to the students.  The second floor is designed age-appropriately for the upper grade level students and will include a large work room for them to utilize.  Immediate comments from board members at the conclusion of the report were, "Wow!", "I want to go back to school!" "That's incredible!" Construction is expected to commence in October 2018 for a September 2020 opening.

Naming of Library

The Board approved a motion to support a request from Hillcrest School for naming of the school library in honour of Rose Davenport and her many contributions.  Davenport, who passed away suddenly last June, was a former teacher and employee of the school division.  She was incredibly well loved and influential in the Hillcrest community and the greater community of Estevan.  The proposal had the support of the Hillcrest School Community Council, school staff, members of her family and members at large in the community. 

MidYear Funding and Literacy Teachers

Gord Husband, Superintendent of Schools for the west service area, updated the Board with respect to the allocation of mid-year funding received from the government.  An analysis of immediate and short term needs of the school division resulted in the identification of teaching support for Wapella, the impact of implementation of the new Unified Student Information System (USIS) and reading scores. SECPSD's three Superintendents of Schools worked together to determine the focus and level of the intervention for the targeted grade levels (primarily 2, 3, 4 and 5), secure very qualified and skilled localized educators to carry out the process, and to develop a plan for the 6 to 8 week intervention period which will conclude on or about June 8.  Deputy Director Keith Keating expressed kudos to the people supporting the children above and beyond what they could support through RtI and LST and who put the plan into place rather quickly. Board Chair Audrey Trombley was thrilled with the program that is "so measurable that we will be able to see the growth in the designated time period" and that it can be a pilot that could be used to meet the goals of the Education Sector Strategic Plan.  By the end of the school year there will be 124 students achieving closer to grade level in literacy.

Attendance Process Update

Superintendent of Education, Aaron Hiske, gave the Board a quick peak at the new feature being used by administration across the division for attendance gathering, tracking and reporting.  He stated that the division must report attendance to the Ministry seven days after month end and that the former process had been cumbersome resulting in some delays in submission of the data.  The new tool allows administrators to drill down to each student, grade or the overall school attendance records as well as the interventions that were put in place for each student to date.  As well, they can monitor students who are approaching chronic or severely chronic attendance through the live data which is always current as of 8:00 PM the night prior.  Once the previous year's data is populated, data for two years will be available at their fingertips.  Hiske emphasized the importance of regular attendance particularly since classroom dynamics have now changed and cannot be replicated as learning is becoming much more about engagement.  The division endeavours to help families understand the rationale and impact around absences, regardless of the reason for the absence.  The Superintendent expressed appreciation to the division's two programmers/analysts Indira Naini and Brian Buydens for building the program, which he said, "all started with a seven minute meeting."

SECPSD Annual Fact Sheet

With the discontinuance of the Annual Report by the Ministry of Education, SECPSD decided to prepare fact sheets that will be sent out to school community councils for distribution in their communities.  The first fact sheet, which provides reading information, was previously released with the second one, which refers to graduation rates, to follow in the near future.


The Board received two pieces of correspondence of a celebratory nature and in that regard expresses appreciation to the staff, students and families from 29 schools across the division who together raised $58,326.86 to benefit cancer research in 2017 through the Terry Fox Foundation event season.  Their volunteerism, compassion and leadership is commended.  In addition, the Board is pleased to congratulate Manor School, McNaughton High School, Assiniboia Park Elementary School, Queen Elizabeth School, Maryfield School, Midale Central School, MacLeod Elementary School, Weyburn Comprehensive School, Rocanville School and Gladmar Regional School for their achievement in each qualifying for a 2017-2018 Quality Daily Physical Education leadership award through the Saskatchewan Physical Education Association. Their dedication to helping SECPSD students strive for excellence through participation in daily physical education is appreciated.

Articles by Norm Park

Articles submitted by Norm Park, contracted reporter for SECPSD, are available at these links:

Board Briefs, Literacy Funding, New School

Upcoming Meetings

May 2 18Board Strategic Planning Meeting
May 2 18SECPSD & Holy Family School Division, Joint Meeting
May 7 18New Board Member Orientation
May 16 18Committee-of-the-Whole Board meeting
May 16 18Regular (Public) Board Meeting

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For more information, please contact:

South East Cornerstone Public School Division

80A-18th Street N.E., Weyburn, SK S4H 2W4

Telephone:  (306) 848-0080