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Monday, 21 November 2016 08:00

‘Excellent’ results for Prairie Rose School Division; a few areas need some attention

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Brian Andjelic, superintendent for Prairie Rose School Division, highlights some of the results from the accountability pillar that was shared with board trustees at the Nov. 8 regular meeting. Brian Andjelic, superintendent for Prairie Rose School Division, highlights some of the results from the accountability pillar that was shared with board trustees at the Nov. 8 regular meeting. Southern Alberta Newspapers photo by Charles Lefebvre

Prairie Rose School Division (PRSD) board trustees were celebrating “excellent” results for their accountability pillar for the 2015-16 school year.

The two-page document summarizing the annual education plan results as well as the report about achievement testing and diploma exam results was shared with the board at the Nov. 8 regular meeting.
“Forty-three of 45 indicators suggest Prairie Rose is where we’re predicted to be or higher,” said Superintendent Brian Andjelic. “Our survey results are tremendous; the perception is positive. ... Parents and staff, for the most part, believe we’re going in the right direction.”
Prairie Rose received an excellent overall rating for safe and caring schools; student learning opportunities, preparation for life-long learning, world of work and citizenship, parental involvement and continuous improvement. Diploma exam participation rates were rated as good overall.
When it came to Provincial Achievement Tests the number of students achieving acceptable and excellence was rated as acceptable, as was the numbers of students achieving excellence on diploma exams.
The only area flagged as an issue, due to a decline from the previous year, was the number of students achieving acceptable on diploma exams. In the previous school year, 87.3 per cent achieved acceptable, but last year that dropped to 84.1 per cent. It should be noted, the provincial result was 85 per cent this year, and 85.2 per cent the previous year, so Prairie Rose students still performed well in comparison to the rest of the province.
“We have (two areas where we’re) below where we need to be,” pointed out Andjelic.  “We need to do something about that and we are.”
Deputy Superintendent Kal Koch spoke specifically about the Achievement test and Diploma exam results.
With diploma exams, the only one which posed trouble for PRSD where students were significantly below provincial expectations was in the number of students achieving excellence in Biology 30.
On all other exams, there was no significant difference between Prairie Rose students and the expectations of the government.
Koch reported strong results for Provincial Achievement Testing (PATs) too, which is now only done in Grade 6 and Grade 9. In seven out of nine areas, Prairie Rose students were at or above the provincial average. The only area of concern was Science 9 and Social 9 where Prairie Rose students scored below the provincial average in both acceptable and excellent standards.
Andjelic also summarized the financial position of the division for the board saying the 2016-17 budget is being finalized and will be presented at a special Nov. 29 meeting.
“We’re in fine financial shape,” he said. “Do we have concerns? Yes we do. We’re not holding our own in operations and maintenance and in transportation. I would expect our auditors will tell us at the end of the month that we can’t continue to do that (run a deficit).”
Capital priorities shown on the two-page report include completion of Schuler School construction and completion of the design stage and starting construction of the Eagle Butte High School modernization in Dunmore. It also mentions value-management studies of Burdett School, South Central High School in Oyen, Foremost School and a new Redcliff Middle School which could allow for modernization of Parkside School to be used as a new Redcliff Mennonite Alternative Program school.
When talking about Burdett School, Andjelic said the concern is from a utilization standpoint because the building is full.
“We’re trying to get an additional relocatable building there. The application was completed a week ago,” he pointed out.

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Rose Sanchez

Assistant Managing Editor