Rocky View Schools approves three-year plan, budget priorities
In preparation for an April budget, Rocky View Schools (RVS) trustees approved its three-year plan and budget priorities, March 7.
The board approved four goals created with the help of feedback from school administrators on their budget and educational priorities.
“This is just re-informing the direction we set,” said Trustee Bruce Pettigrew. “To the best of our abilities, with the resources we have, we will continue to move forward.”
RVS’ first goal is that learners have their individual needs met, with the plan to invest strategically to improve services for students with complex and social emotional needs.
The RVS report stated there are increasing numbers of students with exceptional needs, placing heavy demands on teachers, in the division.
According to the RVS report, many school administrators said they need increased access to services such as child development advisors, counsellors and psychologists to meet students’ needs.
RVS’ second goal is that learners are self-directed, innovative, ecologically intelligent and entrepreneurial. RVS will continue to stress the importance of 21st learning and balanced, student-involved assessment practices to promote its second goal.
Goal three is that instructional design challenges and engages each learner. The board of trustees hopes to meet this goal by redefining the role of learning-support and school-based coaches.
Goal four is that learning environments enable the acquisition of 21st Century competencies. RVS hopes to meet this final goal by optimizing its student information system and continuing to support one-to-one learning. The last goal was arrived at after hearing feedback on the importance of technology in the classroom from administrators.
After Superintendent Greg Bass presented the report on budget priorities and the three-year plan, Trustee Sylvia Eggerer suggested tabling a decision until after the Alberta 2013 Budget announcement, made later in the day on March 7.
“This is premature,” she said. “Every time you say there is (increased services), 50 per cent of the time it means more money or redirecting funding. This is a concern for me.”
Bass reassured the board he will work within the budget he is given.
“I don’t see costs, I see shifts in practice,” he said.
Eggerer argued administrators may have identified different priorities if they were faced with the possibility of decreased funding.
“Maybe their choices would be a lot different if they were going to have 35 children in their Grade 4 classroom as opposed to some of these other things,” she said. RVS’ budget will be tabled in April.