School District 85 gets good news budget from Ministry of Education

PORT HARDY – Secretary Treasurer John Martin said at the S.D. 85 board meeting Mar. 14 he had received "really good news" from the Ministry of Education regarding next year's school district operating grant. Martin said he had forewarned trustees that the budget for 2011-12 would shrink by $1.2 million over three or four years with the removal a ministry funding protection scheme. However, the ministry indicated funding protection will remain in place for at least one more year.

  • Mar. 24, 2011 7:00 a.m.

PORT HARDY –  Secretary Treasurer John Martin said at the S.D. 85 board meeting Mar. 14 he had received “really good news” from the Ministry of Education regarding next year’s school district operating grant. Martin said he had forewarned trustees that the budget for 2011-12 would shrink by $1.2 million over three or four years with the removal a ministry funding protection scheme. However, the ministry indicated funding protection will remain in place for at least one more year.

Martin reminded the board that it has been holding a surplus of about $500,000 to soften the expected financial blow.

The continuation of funding protection next year and the surplus to protect against the removal of funding protection moved to the following year, coupled with projected stable student enrollment numbers, provide confidence that “for the next two years we are not looking for major staffing and program cuts,” said Martin.

Martin went on to say that he and Director of Instruction Katherine McIntosh have worked through the enrollment projections and staffing projections for the 2011-12 school year and will be accepting board, public and staff input on plans for next year with a view to bringing the board a report on those items in the near future.

Electronic exams

The Ministry of Education is moving increasingly towards having most provincial exams written on computers, said McIntosh.

Trustee Carol Prescott asked McIntosh if students get to try out the electronic interface before writing their exams. McIntosh said they do not, but the electronic interface does not present problems for today’s student.

Trustee Werner Manke asked if what happens if the computer breaks down. McIntosh said the computers are checked ahead of time by administrators to assure they are in working order. She also pointed out that special needs students are better served by the computer because the questions can be read aloud by the computer rather than having a scribe on hand to do that task.

Trustee Manke asked if the students might be able to Google answers during an exam. McIntosh said that was not possible.

Heating contract

Martin said the district has tendered heating and air conditioning upgrades for Fort Rupert Elementary School and he has reviewed the bids. He said the bids were all pretty close, with the lowest from Nelson Sheet Metal and Roofing with a bid of $135,738. Martin recommended to the board that it award the contract to Nelson Sheet Metal and Roofing.

Trustee Ann Hory asked if the Nelson company was a North Island firm. Martin answered that it is a Vancouver Island company that has done lots of work for this school district previously.

“They did good work for us,” said Martin.

The board unanimously approved the awarding of the contract.

Earth month

Superintendent Kathy Bedard reported that April will be recognized as Earth Month in the district. The district has asked students to put forward projects with that theme. She also said the district will host a youth forum on environmental topics involving about 120 student participants in Port Alice on May 5.

 

 

Just Posted

Inside the music

Big Read: step behind the curtain at the venerable Vancouver Island Music Festival

Frost backs Town of Port McNeill’s temporary legal cannabis sales ban

“I spoke with all the councillors and was kept up to date with what was going on.”

Seal attacks kayakers in the Broughton Archipelago

“It has to be one chance in a million of this happening.”

BC Ferries delays launch of Northern Sea Wolf route

For the second time, BC Ferries delays direct service from Port Hardy to Bella Coola

Historic Hornsby Crawler housing at hand

Construction for Hornsby Crawler structure approved by RDMW

Here’s what you need to know about Day 2 at the BC Games

From equestrian to volleyball to swimming, all 18 events in full swing here in the Cowichan Valley

Race walker breaks 18-year-old BC Games record

Zone 6 athlete Olivia Lundman crossed finish line with ease, to loud cheers in Cowichan

PHOTO GALLERY: BC Games Day 2

A brief look at action from the 2018 BC Summer Games in the Cowichan Valley

BC Wildfire update on 14 major Okanagan blazes

Watch the media briefing on the current fire situation in the Okanagan.

UPDATED: Kinder Morgan pipeline protesters defy eviction order

Demonstrators at Camp Cloud in Burnaby say they won’t leave, but will meet with city officials

B.C. tent city camper arrested for taking coins from fountain

The man, who built a shelter at a Saanich park, says homeless people are unfairly targeted

Ex-Raptor DeMar DeRozan says goodbye to Toronto on Instagram

The guard was traded to the San Antonio Spurs earlier this week for Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green

Okanagan wildfires have potential to become firestorms, says UBC expert

David Andison said to let smaller fires go, to create pockets in the landscape for new forests

2017 wildfires give B.C. mom chance to say thank you to officer who saved her son

An unlikely encounter in the rural community of Likely, near Williams Lake

Most Read