News Item

Board Highlights (June 2019)

June 21, 2019

Notes from the June 19, 2019 Regular (Public) Meeting of the South East Cornerstone Public School Divisionlogo-vertical.jpg

Quarterly Operating Financial Report

The Quarterly Finance Report, presented by Marilyn Yurkiw, Manager of Finance, was reflective of revenue and expenses received and incurred up to May 31, 2019.  The Statement of Operations indicates that revenue of $70,060,942 was received up to May 31, 2019, while expenses incurred up to this period of time were $81,774,262.  The report also included a projection compiled with the assistance of all budget manager's input.  The projection includes variances from budget in the grants and tuition revenue, complementary and external services, as well as other revenue areas with the net adjustment being an increase in revenue of $1,070,567.  With the projections from all budget managers taken into consideration, expenses have variations from budget in all categories.  Currently, the expectation for total expenses is to be over budget by $19,682.  Yurkiw shared explanations for all variances in both the revenue and expense projections for the 2018-2019 fiscal year. 

2019-2020 Budget

CFO Shelley Toth presented the school division's proposed budget for the 2019-2020 fiscal year which includes total revenue of $115.8 million; operating expenditures of $107.9 million; capital expenditures of $19.9 million; and total staff of 1,045.22 full time equivalents (FTE). 

Toth reported that the budget was prepared in accordance with Public Sector Accounting Board (PSAB) standards which requires the amortization of capital assets over their useful life and the recording of provincial grants at the time they have been authorized.  The surplus of $7.8 million on the Budgeted Statement of Operations reflects the recognition of a $13.5 million capital grant for the continued construction of the new Weyburn elementary school; however, the construction costs will not appear on this statement until the school is completed.  Once complete, the total cost of the new school is expensed over 50 years as an amortization expense. 

She further reported that the conversion of the budget to a cash basis with the separation of capital from operating results in an operating cash deficit of $3.2 million.  The small increase of 0.3% in provincial funding was not enough to obtain a balanced budget.  In order to maintain the level of service and support provided to students and staff, the Board has chosen to run a deficit budget.  The operating deficit will be funded using accumulated surplus from prior years.  The Division will have approximately $27 million in unrestricted surplus once the current 2018-2019 fiscal year is completed.

The budget also includes $3 million for the construction of a bus garage in Weyburn.  The garage will be built on division owned land located beside the division office.  As the government does not provide capital funding for non-school buildings, the Division will be required to use accumulated surplus to pay for the construction.  Toth also provided a breakdown of revenues, operating expenditures and capital expenditures as part of the report.  The budget received board consent and will be submitted to the Ministry of Education for approval.

Director of Education Performance Evaluation

External consultant, Ernie Cychmistruk, selected by the Board's Governance/Human Resources Committee to collect data relative to leadership practices of the Director of Education, Lynn Little, through interviewing school division members in accordance with Board Policy 12 provided a brief report to the Board.  Cychmistruk commented, "Certainly her plate is full," referring to the ten areas of responsibility for which Little is responsible, some of which are: Student Well-Being, Educational Leadership and Continuous Improvement Planning and Reporting.  "She's to be congratulated for the kind of review and the kind words that people have spoken of her." Kevin Keating, board member for subdivision #4, added, "We can all say she did a really, really, good job!"

Cychmistruk reported that 34 persons were interviewed.  The process culminated with the Board approving the performance review report as developed during an evaluation workshop with the Board and Director on June 13, 2019 as an accurate description of the Director's performance for the period June 1, 2018 to May 31, 2019.  Board member Harold Laich, representing subdivision #2, commented that it was really good having a former Director of Education conduct the evaluation as he was very familiar with what Directors of Education do, which adds tremendous credibility to its importance.

Preventative Maintenance and Renewal Plan

Andy Dobson, Manager of Facilities & Transportation, provided the Board with an update with respect to the Preventative Maintenance & Renewal (PMR) plan for the division stating that when the plan was initiated, SECPSD's allotment was just shy of $900,000 whereas today it is nearly $2.8 million. He stated, "The good thing is that it carries over from year to year." Due to additional funding, the plan for 2019-2020 was amended to include various new initiatives.

The Manager also provided the Board with the proposed PMR plan for the 2020-21 to 2022-23 which will be amended as required in accordance with changing priorities such as emergent issues across the division.  He explained that the division relies on engineering reports received with respect to roof replacements and mechanical issues to determine plan priorities.  The PMR Funding Program covers matters pertaining to architectural, mechanical and electrical systems, site, environmental, consulting fees related to PMR projects as well as studies.  It permits boards of education to maintain owned facilities in satisfactory operating condition. "The funding is intended to assist in the proactive inspection, detection, and correction of incipient failures before they occur or before they develop into major defects." (

Bi-Annual Transportation Report

The Board received the second portion of a Bi-Annual Transportation Report, presented by Andy Dobson.  The report, which he acknowledged doesn't change very much from year to year, focused on transportation performance information and emerging issues.  The update indicated that since the last report, the total number of transported students dropped from 4,189 (January) to 4,145 (June) and the number of transportation routes decreased from 157 to 156 in the same time period.  There were 116.5 route cancellations in the first period and 402.5 in the second with inclement weather, particularly in February and March, and a lack of spare bus drivers being usual factors. The average age of the bus fleet was 2010 in January and 2011 in June.  The manager informed the Board that an ad campaign has been started to recruit bus drivers in the Moosomin area, particularly due to retirements. 

Naming of the new elementary school in Weyburn

Legacy Park Elementary School was selected as the name for the new elementary school being built in Weyburn with a scheduled opening date of September 2021.  The selection committee, comprised of the Principals and School Community Council Chairpersons of the three school bodies which will be coming together in the new facility (Haig, Queen Elizabeth and Souris), under the leadership of area Superintendent of Schools Gord Husband, brought forward the name, chosen out of over 80 submissions, to the Board for approval.  Taken into consideration was the contest's criteria that name proposals represent a PreK to Grade 6 school with an architectural theme of "a school in the park" which will be a family-oriented school with a community focus of Weyburn and area.  Both board representatives for the City of Weyburn, Brandon Tichkowsky and Melanie Sorensen were very pleased to have a name selected for the school. While Tichkowsky explained the rationale around the name selection, the Director of Education said there were other names that the committee considered which they feel can be incorporated into the facility as plans move forward. Sorensen commented that the name, "is definitely appropriate," while other board members commented, "Good name.  Good process."

National Indigenous Peoples Day (NIPD)

Superintendent of Education Aaron Hiske presented the Board with a presentation on how the division will be celebrating National Indigenous Peoples Day which is tied to June 21 - summer solstice day, as well as other work undertaken by the division on the journey towards truth and reconciliation.  Each school has been provided resources including a specific support document built for administrators for celebrating NIPD as well as treaty medal installation to honour and celebrate the diverse cultures of the First Nations, Métis and Inuit (FNMI) on that day.  Schools will install their treaty medal plaque(s) for Treaty 4 and/or Treaty 2, as appropriate, to affirm their school's commitment to reconciliation and treaty education.  At the division's head office in Weyburn, Elder Pete Bigstone and his spouse, from Ocean Man First Nation, will join staff to conduct a pipe ceremony. There will also be a land acknowledgment and symbol ceremony at that time.

Hiske praised staff members for their work in starting the conversation around the importance of truth and reconciliation, raising awareness with teachers via professional development opportunities, and planning and coordinating some pieces for June 21st to recognize NIPD as a school division.

Change of Meeting Dates

A motion was passed by the Board to reschedule meetings as follows: 

  • Regular (Public) Board Meeting, rescheduled from September 11 to September 18, commencing at 1:00 PM
  • Regular (Public) Board Meeting rescheduled from November 20 to November 26, commencing at 1:00 PM
  • Organizational Meeting of the Board rescheduled from November 20 to November 26, commencing at 1:30 PM

All three meetings will be held at the school division office in Weyburn.

Articles by Norm Park
Articles submitted by Norm Park, contracted reporter for SECPSD, are available at these links:
Appraisal, Board Briefs, Budget, Transportation

 Upcoming Meetings


August 14-15/19Board Annual Strategic Planning Meeting
August 29/19SECPSD Teachers' Convention
August 29/19South East District Athletic Association AGM
August 29/19Board Strategic Planning Meeting
September 18/19Committee-of-the-Whole Board Meeting
September 18/19Regular (Public) Board Meeting

– 30 –

For more information, please contact:

South East Cornerstone Public School Division

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

Telephone:  (306) 848-0080



Calendar Picture.jpg