By Tim Kalinowski on January 24, 2018.
SD76 trustees voted to send a letter of thanks to Cardinal Energy for donating funds to help make Southview Community School’s Christmas a special one. Cardinal employees decided to forego a Christmas party this year to ensure every child at Southview got a present. Trustees revealed Tuesday night the company’s generosity had gone even deeper, donating $3,000 to help pay for a new sensory room at the school for kids to enjoy and learn while playing.
“It’s a pretty amazing gift to our school,” said superintendent Mark Davidson.
Deputy superintendent Lyle Cunningham tabled his report on this year’s class sizes in SD76 at Tuesday night’s public meeting. According to the report the division is slightly above the recommended provincial average at the Kindergarten to Grade 3 level, with 18.7 students per teacher in a classroom. The provincial recommendation for that level is 17.
Cunningham also provided individual school statistics, which show huge variations between local elementary schools in that respect. At the high end, Crestwood School has just over 20 students per teacher in a classroom. On the low end, Webster Niblock has fewer than 16 students per teacher in a classroom.
Cunningham said the division is working with principals to try to find ways to bring the higher-end numbers more in line with provincial recommendations.
At other levels, SD76 ranks closer to the provincial recommended average, with 21.8 to 1 at the Grade 4-6 level (prov. 23 to 1), right at the recommended average of 25 to 1 at the Grade 7-9 level, and far below the recommended average at 23.8 to 1 at the Grade 10-12 level (prov. 27 to 1).
While the Grade K-3 level is slightly high throughout the whole district, no school class sizes are larger than those found at Medicine Hat Christian School and Webster Niblock at the Grade 4-6 level. MHCS has about 27 students per teacher in classes at that level, and Webster Niblock is at nearly 28.
Local classes OK’d
The SD76 board of trustees voted unanimously to approve, retroactive to September 2017, new locally created and credited Dance 15, Dance 25 and Dance 35 classes for Medicine Hat Public’s high schools.
Trustees also voted to allow a name change for Theatre Production classes at Hat High to Musical Theatre 15, Musical Theatre 25 and Musical Theatre 35 so students could be properly credited for the work with Alberta Education, which insisted on the name change.
Trustees will vote in March on new locally created classes for the 2018/2019 school year.