SD51 board already at the table

The trustees met last Tuesday at the school board office in Grand Forks and discussed several issues.

Sheila Dobie

School District 51’s board of education didn’t take long to meet once school was back in session. The trustees met on Tuesday night at the school board office in Grand Forks and discussed several issues.

Financial statements

The board heard a presentation from Josh Widman from the accounting firm of Grant Thornton from Kelowna. The firm audited the financial statements of SD51, which comprise the statement of operations, statement of change in net financial assets (debt) and statement of cash flows for the year that ended (2014-15). Widman summed up the results of that audit.

“It’s a yearly process that we go through,” said Teresa Rezansoff, SD51 board chair. “They come in and look and make sure everything we have done is accurate. We had a clean audit. We’ve never not had a clean audit, I’m proud to say.”

Rezansoff praised the work of Jeanette Hanlon, secretary-treasurer for SD51, and district staff.

In the statement of operations (year ended June 30), SD51 has an actual total revenue of $17,044,184. Most of that comes from provincial grants from the Ministry of Education, $15,670,621. The total expenses for SD51 are $17,193,609 of which instruction is the biggest at $12,186,109. In the schedule of operating operations, SD51 had an actual operating surplus of $1,727,291 at the end of the year.

The accumulated surplus from operations at the beginning of the year was $10,569,119. At the end of the year, the accumulated surplus was $10,419,694.

The statement of financial position (as of June 30) for SD51 stated that the total financial assets were $4,059,872. The total liabilities were $14,313,719. The net financial assets (debt) is ($10,253,847). The total non-financial assets is $20,673,541.The accumulated surplus is $10,419,694.

Community Literacy Plan

Sheila Dobie, community literacy coordinator of Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy (CBAL), gave an enthusiastic presentation about the Community Literacy Plan for the Boundary.

She talked about highlights from the previous year and talked about the plan for the coming year. Dobie also talked about the upcoming Reach a Reader program, which goes this year on Oct. 7.

Reach a Reader is a program where local volunteers man tables outside Overwaitea and Buy-Low Foods handing out the Gazette, asking for donations towards literacy programs, and handing out information regarding literacy.

Superintendent report

Kevin Argue, SD51 superintendent, gave his month-end report at the board meeting. Argue said there were 46 teacher positions posted. There are 12 new teachers to SD51 with four positions still to be filled.

Argue said the four goals for the achievement contract for SD51 for 2014-15 were:

1. To embed the inquiry process into teaching and learning throughout the district;

2. To improve student achievement in reading;

3. To increase students access and use of technology to deepen learning and authentically communicate their knowledge; and,

4. To improve the positive, social emotional connectedness of our students to their school experience through school initiatives supported by our health promoting schools coordinator.

Secretary Treasurer report

Jeanette Hanlon, secretary-treasurer for SD51, gave a report which included maintenance projects completed over the summer months.

These include boiler upgrade, hoist inspections, renovated bathroom in boys change room and new paint on lockers and hallways at Grand Forks Secondary.

Other highlights included: Perley Elementary received new carpet in music portable and relocated Aboriginal Education room to Perley Playstation and expanded the Special Education room; Hutton Elementary removed the old music and storage portables and relocated the newer portable replaced in the technology fire in 2011 and carpeted and set up the interior of the moved portable for the music room; and at Christina Lake, workers renovated the nutrition room and created a health room and replaced flooring in the change rooms.

Support for those affected by the Rock Creek fire

Norm Sabourin, Boundary District Teachers’ Association (BDTA) president, suggested during comment period that the board discuss helping out those affected by the Rock Creek fire, and, in particular, those with students.

In all there were seven students affected from five different families. Sabourin also said there was a retired school teacher and a current CUPE member who lost their homes to the fire.

Sabourin said they were able to “pass the hat” for fire relief and raise $2,400 at the BCTF summer conference.

“That money will be sent to the CIBC account for the Kettle River Lion’s Club,” he said. “We’re putting the word out to anyone to help.”

Sabourin said there is also an account set up through the RDKB at the Heritage Credit Union in Greenwood for donations.

“We’re (BDTA) still looking at other options for how we can help,” he said. “We want the money distributed where it needs to be distributed.”

Rezansoff said the board is waiting for the assessment by the Rock Creek/Westbridge Fire Needs Committee before further determining what can be done.

“There are a lot of finer details being looked at,” she said.

Rezansoff said they were very impressed by the job everyone in the community from caring and supporting each other, the communications and everything else.

“It was an amazing example of what our community can do,” she said.