The rising costs of the carbon tax, keeping up with technology and getting a balance between student safety and learning on inclement weather days were some of the topics brought up at the January 11th, Chinook's Edge School Division board meeting.

Here are the highlights:

Chinook’s Edge ensures technology needs for staff and students are met

Jason Drent, Associate Superintendent of Learning Services, shared a report on technology. The report included information about how Chinook’s Edge (CESD) staff are supported in their use of technology, as well as updating CESD technology, infrastructure, and the budget to support that. Also Drent gave an overview of partnerships, successes and challenges. The Board heard CESD continues to address cyber security risks by building staff awareness and by CESD systems such as firewalls. CESD plans to spend $600,000 to renew technology in schools in 2023-24. The division is also focused on ensuring students gain necessary technology skills to support learning in a wide variety of fields.

Inclement Weather Procedure will be reviewed

The Superintendent reported that administration is considering a few minor changes to CESD’s inclement weather policy, specifically regarding cold weather days. CESD will continue to work at finding a balance between the safety needs of staff and students while also protecting classroom learning opportunities.

The Board discusses enhancements to the Superintendent evaluation process

The Board discussed its process for evaluating the Superintendent. It reviewed how it will engage with stakeholders to gather feedback. The Board considers Superintendent evaluation to be a top priority.

Board raises concerns about cost of carbon tax

Total expenditure on CESD facilities in the 2022-23 school year was $10.7 million, including spending of $568,000 in reserves. The Board is concerned about the rising cost of the carbon tax. In 2022 the GJ price was $2.63. It has increased to $3.26 per GJ in 2023 and is anticipated to rise to $6.33 per GJ in 2027. This would represent an extra $450,000 for CESD.

Schools are planning out-of-province trips

The Board was informed of a number of out-of-province school trips that are being planned. Ecole Fox Run is going to Quebec in April 2024, Didsbury High has trips planned to Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan (May 2023) and to P.E.I and Nova Scotia (April 2023), Delburne School is sending students to Quebec in April 2023, and H.J. Cody is sending students to Quebec in February 2023.