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Board Column: Wolf Creek Board grateful for meaningful engagement with students, staff, parents and MLA

Outreach, listening to concerns, generating new ideas and gathering insight from staff, students and parents is crucial in planning for the future in a school division. 

Wolf Creek Public Schools has been reaching out through feedback sessions in February. These were very candid and honest group conversations in-person for students and staff, and virtually for parents. 

As a Board, these sessions are incredibly valuable. We are able to sit in small breakout groups, and delve deeper into issues in a meaningful and thoughtful way. Sincerely, to all those involved in these sessions, thank you for your openness and willingness to share your experience and knowledge. Wolf Creek’s Education Services staff will be analyzing the information gathered to create a comprehensive report that will go before the Board in March, and will help shape our Education Plan, as well as programming and solutions going forward. 

We will also be able to review additional feedback from a Wolf Creek specific survey sent to all parents and guardians. 

Our Education Services department created a divisional survey, one in which schools have the ability to also include school-specific questions. This was done because, although important, we have seen a low response rate to the provincial parent survey. Low response impacts the quality of the data collected. A locally developed and administered survey has helped to create a better response rate, which means more parent and guardian voices are heard, giving us more useful and accurate data to work with.

Another important aspect of engagement is maintaining strong relationships with government officials. Recently, we had the opportunity to meet with Ponoka-Lacombe MLA Ron Orr to discuss a range of issues related to education, including mental health supports, sustainable education funding, and the importance of school resource officers.

During our meeting, we highlighted the critical role that mental health supports play in promoting student well-being and academic success. We discussed the challenges that many students face and the need for sustained and predictable funding to ensure that we can continue to grow and provide resources when and where they are needed. We emphasized the need for consistent and reliable funding that takes into account the unique needs of our diverse student populations.

Finally, we discussed the important role that school resource officers play in promoting a safe and inclusive school environment. We underscored the need for continued support for these positions, which provide critical support to students and staff in a range of areas, including safety, conflict resolution, education, and fostering positive relationships between students and law enforcement. 

Mr. Orr has served the Lacombe-Ponoka constituency well, and we as a Board wish to thank him for always being an open and interested representative, ready to hear our concerns for public education and bring those concerns to the government. 

Effective stakeholder outreach and government advocacy are crucial for promoting high-quality education and supporting the needs of our students and communities. By continuing to listen carefully to our stakeholders and engage in meaningful dialogue with government officials, we can work together to create a brighter future for all in Wolf Creek Public Schools.

Luci Henry, is the Board Chair for Wolf Creek Public Schools. Wolf Creek Public Schools Board is served by Trustees representing the communities and rural areas of Alix, Bentley, Blackfalds, Bluffton, Clive, Eckville, Lacombe, Ponoka, and Rimbey. Serving approximately 7,300 students, from Kindergarten to Grade 12, WCPS employs approximately 412 teachers and 350 support staff in 30 schools, including five colony schools, throughout the Division.

Photo of Luci Henry (Chair)

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