Schools seek more FCSS resources from Town
A delegation of four people from Crossfield’s two schools attended the April 17 meeting looking for assistance with family and community support services.
Rocky View Schools’ trustee Norma Lang, Crossfield Elementary Principal Tammy Dikeman, W.G. Murdoch Principal Greg Roberts and W.G. Murdoch teacher Shelley Cunningham spoke about the need for resources for students and families at the school.
Both principals have noticed a need for more counselling for students due to stresses at school or at home.
Roberts said out of the 350 students in W.G. Murdoch, 30 demonstrate emergent needs that have to be addressed.
“We need to work collaboratively with the Town of Crossfield to make some noise and get ourselves on the radar screen as a community with Alberta Child and Family Services (ACFS) and all the agencies they operate that are located in Calgary that service Airdrie and area,” said Lang.
Crossfield Mayor Nathan Anderson said the schools are looking for a way that the Town can assist AFCS.
“They are looking for a way where we can do things together, so when we do things, we do it right,” said Anderson.
“The reality is the kids in our schools are representative of themselves and their families. I was aware there are real challenges in the school, but for some it was a real wake up call. It’s important to be aware these things are happening.”
With the town expected to grow in the next few years, Lang says the needs of the community and schools are growing at the same rate.
“With the increased demand for these services in Calgary and Airdrie, we are getting nothing in Crossfield. (Calgary and Airdrie FCSS) are stretching their own resources to cover the City of Calgary and Airdrie,” said Lang.
“We need to get noticed by these agencies so they can know that our needs are greater, and that we have a need for more services to be available in our community. The proportion of families and students at risk is growing in proportion to the rest of the school population. We know we are not getting the supports we need for these families, and that we need help from these agencies.”
Excel program to expand
The delegation also announced that due to the low interest in the NSD Hockey School program of choice, the school will be including a year-long dance and drama curriculum to help offset the cost of running the hockey program.
“It will more be the hockey subsidizing the arts portion of the program (because arts will be more popular than hockey),” said Mayor Nathan Anderson.
“We have realized the price is too high, but we have to bring the cost down to meet the community.”
Anderson has been getting sponsorship for the hockey portion of the program to bring the cost down to $149 a month for nine months, with a $500 deposit.
“Our excel program was around $2,600 for the year. We have done everything we can to slash it and bring it as low as we can go,” said Anderson.
The dance and drama portion, which consists of one semester of dance, and one of drama, will cost $110.