By Cole Parkinson
Horizon School Division has approved a policy and renewed a locally developed course as part of their early 2020 work.
Policy HIAE — Fees, which had first reading passed during the Horizon board of trustee’s meeting in November, was back for second and third reading.
The policy states ‘the board of trustees of the Horizon School Division believes that parents and independent students have shared responsibility for costs in respect to any matter provided for under the education act and regulations. The board authorizes schools to levy school fees and costs as per this policy.’
Coming back to the board, it was explained only minor changes had been made overall.
“The board has, through motion, talked about a review of transportation. Part of that would be school fees as it relates to transportation. This policy was updated and the first reading was passed (in November). It has (two) small changes. One of those changes is board policy allows the board to charge for transportation fees if the board chooses. School fees are set to a schedule and there is an ability for schools to charge for transportation if the board gives that directive. The second one is it removes the reference that all school fee schedules need to be approved by the minister. Legislation has changed and it is allowed to be approved by the board. There has been no comments or feedback since you passed first reading,” explained Wilco Tymensen, superintendent of schools at the board’s January meeting.
As far as the locally developed course goes, it was explained to the board that it is was one used at Taber Christian School. Bible Studies for Kindergarten through Grade 9 is a course revolving around ‘Biblical Studies for Kindergarten through Grade 9 (including) the study of the Holy Bible and the application of its messages to life today. It is a complementary course designed to expose students to concepts not a part of Alberta Education’s course offerings.’
“This is a course that whenever we have a locally developed course for high school, Grade 10 and up, it goes through Alberta Education,” said Amber Darroch, associate superintendent of learner services. “There is a lengthy process. Here, you have the authority to designate a locally developed course for Grade 9 and under. So this Bible Studies course is a renewal of the exact same program Taber Christian School has offered previously. The course is good for three years so you approved it in December 2016 and it’s ready for renewal. They do wish to change it in the future but at this time they are leaving it the same as it is.”
The board questioned if any other schools are using the course throughout the province.
“It is original to Horizon and only used here. A couple of schools have looked at it but it is predominantly designed for Taber Christian School,” answered Darroch.
The board unanimously approved to renew the course.