A few housekeeping matters were tended to by the board members attending the Jan. 15 open business meeting of the South East Cornerstone Public School Division.
The members accepted the annual report as approved by the Ministry of Education in December, with financial manager Shelley Toth and superintendent of schools Aaron Hiske sharing some of the report highlights with the board.
“It’s now a public document and posted on our webpage,” said Toth.
The report indicated there were 8,162 students enrolled in kindergarten to Grade 12 courses in the southeast region, an increase of 42 over the previous year.
Toth also reported there were 475.99 full-time equivalent teaching positions filled along with 31 principals and vice-principals and 287 other educational support personnel such as educational psychologists, assistants, co-ordinators, resource centre and technology staffers.
There were close to 17 administrative staff members, 86 people involved in plant operations and maintenance, 125 bus drivers, and six educational administrators, directors and superintendents. The total staffing numbers indicated there were 1,027.30 full-time equivalent positions being filled in the Cornerstone Public School Division.
On the financial side, 94 per cent of the division’s $111.825 million budget was achieved through provincial grants and the instruction side of the graph ate up 65 per cent of the budget on the expense side.
Hiske pointed out some interesting facts on reading levels while speaking about program overviews. Reading, writing and math levels were generally above the provincial average with the exception of Grade 4 readers, and where there had been a slow down in a general trend toward overall success, he said, “We’re closing the gap.”
In terms of attendance in Cornerstone schools, Hiske said, “we are way above average and credit attainment is steady with a small trend upward.”
Early years evaluation and comparisons from fall to spring are also showing an upward trend that Hiske said he was anxious to monitor.
“I’m curious to see where we end up by next year,” he said.
Extended time and on time graduation rates were also above the provincial average he noted during the review.
In other division news, the members approved an annual motion to dispose of certain out of date records and correspondences, some of them dating as far back as 1978.
The board is planning a special open public meeting in Estevan on Jan. 27 at 7 p.m. at the Estevan Comprehensive School to discuss the future of that particular facility. They will convene for their next regular business session on Feb. 12 at 1 p.m. at the division’s head office in Weyburn.