By Cole Parkinson
The Horizon School Division has plenty of irons in the fire as the first month of 2019 comes to an end.
During the Horizon board of trustee’s regular meeting on Jan. 23, they got a few highlights of the going on’s in Horizon from the superintendent’s report for the month of January.
One of the main highlights from the report was around a newly formed council that is hoping to provide learning opportunities in the area.
The Lethbridge College — Taber Community Advisory Council was just recently brought together and Horizon superintendent Wilco Tymensen has one of the seats on the council.
“The Lethbridge College has recently struck up a Taber Community Advisory Council and I am sitting on that council. Basically, they are trying to bring back the concept of community-based learning opportunities in Taber. They are looking at doing that across southern Alberta, I’m not necessarily sure of the list of communities but we have had one meeting so far. Certainly, the idea of outreach, they recognize the value of that throughout our rural communities so they are exploring ways to reach out across southern Alberta,” he explained.
While the committee has only just got its start, the wheels have been turning as far as what they want to accomplish in the first few months as a council.
One of the first things they are looking to do is find out what exactly the Taber area’s needs are and then work from there.
“Right now what we are looking at doing in Taber is, they are putting together a needs-based survey to see what kind of needs are in the community and move from there. Just recently we met with Alberta Ed field staff, they meet every year after we submit our three year plan, and we have had an in-depth conversation with Anita (Richardson, associate superintendent of programs and human services), Phil (Johansen, superintendent of finance and operations), Amber (Darroch, associate superintendent of learner services) and myself,” added Tymensen.
Another piece Tymensen wanted to inform the board on was around the dissolution of the Taber Players group.
With the drama production company going on hiatus for the time being, their supplies and equipment were offered to the division for use.
“They didn’t want to dispose of all of their supplies and equipment so we have gone into a partnership with them for the next five years. Their stuff will all be stored in some sea cans and maintenance shop. Our schools will be able to access all of their materials for free,” said Tymensen.
With the opportunity to utilize the Taber Players equipment and supplies for school productions throughout the division, the board was happy with the arrangement.
“It’s a win for us and it’s a win for them,” said Bruce Francis, vice-chair of the Horizon board.
While the entire contents of the Taber Players collection will be available to the Horizon schools for free, other groups and schools will also be able to access the equipment.
The only difference will be interested parties from the community outside of Horizon will have to make contact with the Taber Players to gain access.
“What we have said is, we will manage it in terms of our schools and if any other community group wants to tap into it they still have to run through Taber Players. We wouldn’t be managing if St. Mary’s or a church group wanted to use it. Somebody from their dormant society would look after that piece,” explained Tymensen to the board.
Upon expiry of the contract, there will be a few different options for the two parties to take.
“After five years, we can either renew it for a further five years, they can take everything back if they want and if they don’t establish themselves or want to renegotiate, it is ours.”
The superintendent’s report for January was accepted by the board.