PWPSD Board News - November 1, 2021

NOVEMBER 1, 2021
Inspiring all learners to become confident, collaborative and ethical citizens motivated with a passion to achieve a sustainable future.
PWPSD pleased to welcome new Board of Trustees for the 2021-2025 term.

New PWPSD Board takes office during organizational meeting

The Peace Wapiti Public School Division (PWPSD) officially welcomed its new Board of Trustees as they were sworn in at its Organizational Meeting on Thursday, October 28, 2021.

Trustees for the 2021-2025 term elected this year’s Board Chair and Vice-Chair, established committee membership, and reviewed policies relating to trusteeship.

Election of the Board Chair and Vice-Chair is an annual event at PWPSD. According to PWPSD policy, a Trustee may serve in the role of Board Chair for a maximum of five consecutive years. The role of Vice-Chair is limited to two consecutive years of service. 

Trustee McIntosh of Ward 9 (right) will hold the title of Chair for the 2021-2022 year, and Trustee Grant of Ward 3 will continue to act as Vice-Chair.

The 2021-2025 Board of Trustees is made up of four newcomers and five incumbents.

The Board meeting calendar and agendas for the 2021-2022 school year are available on our website.


Meet the Trustees

Martine Piebiak - Ward 1 (Eaglesham, Woking, Rycroft)
As Ward 1's newly elected Trustee, Ms. Martine Piebiak is excited to learn about all PWPSD schools, while focusing on the difficulties rural schools face. She has been involved with the Eaglesham School Council and Playschool Club, acting as Chair and President respectively. She looks forward to being an active Trustee and becoming the voice for the students and families in her ward.
Blaine Riding - Ward 2 (Bonanza, Savanna, Spirit River)
Mr. Blaine Riding, a former graduate of Ridgevalley School, attended GPRC and later the University of Alberta for a degree in education. In 1988, he obtained a teaching position at Spirit River Secondary School where he worked until his retirement in June of 2020. Mr. Riding is heavily involved in his community, and is excited to be able to continue to share the knowledge he has gained throughout his career as he transitions from PWPSD employee to Trustee.
Lori Grant - Ward 3 (Beaverlodge, Elmworth)
Ms. Lori Grant has begun her second term of trusteeship as the incumbent of Ward 3. During her first term she sat on many committees, some of which included Student Matters, Political Action, and Transportation Appeal. She acted as Vice-Chair during 2020-2021 and will continue in the role for 2021-2022. She enjoyed a varied 36-year career, including working for the County of Grande Prairie, where she retired from this past spring.
Dwayne Speager - Ward 4 (Hythe, La Glace)
Mr. Dwayne Speager is a recent PWPSD retiree who worked as both a teacher and an administrator with the Division for 34 years. He is married with two children, both of whom attended and graduated from PWPSD schools. He has always enjoyed working with parents, teachers, and especially students, and looks forward to continuing to work towards enhancing their education through his new role as Trustee.
Wendy Kelm - Ward 5 (Grande Prairie West, Wembley)
Ms. Wendy Kelm has been Trustee of Ward 5 since 2008 and has served on several PWPSD committees ever since. During 2017-2018 she received Long Service Awards for her time with the ASBA and PSBA. As a rural community member, she understands the challenges that lie ahead as tighter budgets and population shifts threaten the number of resources available. She is dedicated to lobbying for adequate transportation funding and working to secure replacement schools outside the city of Grande Prairie.
Dale Crane - Ward 6 (Sexsmith, Teepee Creek)
Mr. Dale Crane has been a PWPSD Trustee since he was first elected in 2013. His vision is to ensure all schools are socially inclusive, open, and progressive with teaching methods; to ensure all students feel safe and secure in the school setting. He has volunteered his time to several community organizations including the Clairmont Community School Council, the Lanny MacDonald Help Line, and the Winter Games.
Stefanie Clarke - Ward 7 (Grande Prairie East, Grovedale)
Ms. Stefanie Clarke and her family are residents of Grovedale with deep roots in the area. She is passionate about the community, volunteering with the Grovedale Figure Skating Club for the past 12 years, and throughout the community when she can. She is excited to begin her third term as the voice for Ward 7 students and families and will continue to advocate for the enhancement of all aspects of the student experience across the division. She is looking forward to tackling some big hurdles like the Peace Wapiti Academy (PWA) replacement school and the Draft curriculum. She believes open transparent communication is the key to success.
Millie Turner - Ward 8 (Ridgevalley)
Ms. Millie Turner is excited to start her new role as Ward 8's Trustee. She is looking forward to representing Ridgevalley students, staff, and families and their education and transportation needs.
Dana McIntosh - Ward 9 (Clairmont, Bezanson)
Ms. Dana McIntosh is excited to begin her 17th year as PWPSD Trustee. Throughout her years of service, she has sat on more than 20 PWPSD committees, and five other committees, including acting as the rural schools representative for Crime Prevention, and as member of the Teaching and Lifelong Learning committee. She has received many awards for her dedication and hard work both as an employee and as a volunteer. Ms. McIntosh says, "It is important to recognize that our division is both geographically and demographically diverse. As Trustees, we must keep the needs of all students in mind whenever we consider any matter before us."

Board supports Administration's plan to develop a Health and Safety procedure that will further protect its school communities from COVID-19

Following the motion made during the October 7 Board meeting, Administration brought additional information forward regarding the request to "... consider a policy regarding employees showing proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test...".

After conducting an employee survey and seeking legal guidance, the Peace Wapiti Public School Division Administration requested the Board support them in developing an administrative procedure to require proof of vaccination or a COVID-19 test that will align with the Board's Policy GBE - Health and Safety. The motion was carried unanimously.

The health and safety of staff, students and school communities, and the importance of supporting existing relationships are principles that will guide the development and implementation of a new procedure.

Administration is scheduled to develop the draft procedure and circulate it to its stakeholders in the coming month. No date of when the procedure would come into effect has been determined.


PWA in need of modular classrooms

PWAThe population of PWA continues to grow as the enrolment rate grew by five per cent over the last year. With a projected enrolment increase of 12 per cent for next September, the expected population would sit at 93 per cent of the building's instructional capacity.

PWA currently has two modular classrooms on site and with the current configuration, has space to add two more without having to make changes to the layout.

Administration requested the Board approve two new modular requests for 2021-2022 for submission to Alberta Education; the motion was carried.

Enrolment throughout PWPSD

As of September 29, 2021, PWPSD has 5889 students enrolled within its many programs. Both the Early Childhood Services and Colony school programs saw an increase of an accumulated 57 students, while the Outreach program saw a decline of two students.

The Remote Learning program, which had become essential in the last two years, experienced a drastic decrease of 318 students as they returned to traditional in-class learning.

All 33 students who attended Woking School in 2020-2021 have transitioned to other PWPSD schools.


Committee & Meeting Reports

  • Trustee Kelm reported on the PWPSD annual audit that is currently underway. The audit is anticipated to be finalized by the end of November.

The new PWPSD committee membership for 2021-2022 can be viewed on our website.


Upcoming Events

  • Alberta School Boards Association (ASBA) Zone 1 Meeting: Wednesday, November 3
  • Daylight Savings Ends (fall back one hour): Sunday, November 7
  • ASBA New Trustee Orientation: Tuesday, November 9
  • Remembrance Day: Thursday, November 11. All PWPSD offices and shops will be closed.
  • ASBA Fall General Meeting: Sunday-Tuesday, November 14-16
  • Committee of Whole Day: Wednesday, November 17
  • Public School Boards Association of Alberta (PSBAA) Fall Conference and AGM: Wednesday-Friday, November 17-19
  • Next Board Meeting: Thursday, November 25 at 10:30 a.m.
A report on news from Peace Wapiti Public School Division,
published following each Board Meeting.

Content and Design:

Kayla Klava, Communications Officer, [email protected] 
Peace Wapiti Public School Division,
Central Office, 8611A-108 Street, Grande Prairie, AB T8V 4C5