Prince Albert Daily Herald file photo.

By Michael Oleksyn, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Published Sep 30, 2021

The Ministry of Education has denied an emergent funding request from the Prince Albert Catholic School Division to replace telephone and surge protection systems at St. Michael School.

In an update to trustees on the file during the division’s regular meeting, CFO Greg McEwen said the request did not match the criteria needed for acceptance.

“Unfortunately it didn’t hit the criteria, as per the Ministry’s use of emergency funding, and that’s unfortunate,” education director Lorel Trumier said. “But, we definitely will act on that it is just that it has to come from PMR.”

The division received correspondence from the Ministry of Education on Sept. 16 that denied the request for Emergent Funding. The application was made in June.

“The school had experienced an electrical surge which caused some damage or a temporary outage of the telephone system,” McEwen told the meeting. “In response, we determined that the telephone system needed to be replaced and further protected with a surge protection system.

The letter from the Ministry stated that their analysis found that some capital reserves had not been used for 10 years. The Ministry’s letter advised the division to transfer the remaining balance of $253,421 shown in the audited financial statements from August 31, 2020 to the PMR maintenance reserve.

Because of the necessity to address these issues, administration has gone ahead with the projects. They will fund them under an existing Preventative Maintenance and Renewal (PMR) project, according to McEwen.

The board also learned that the division has been funded for an additional 12 spaces in the Early Learning Intensive Support (ELIS) Pilot project for the 2021-2022 school year.

This funding is for 3 and 4-year old children in pre-kindergarten who require intensive supports to meet individualized needs.

“We are very pleased about the renewal of that pilot again this year and, as our superintendent reported, we have got families who would actually like to participate in the program,” Trumier explained. “It is an early learning intervention, so that’s that ability to really support those children at an early age, to begin school in a way that is really going to benefit them, and give them the support they need to get there.”

The ELIS provides funding for supports for students registered through the ELIS Pilot. This includes a half full time equivalent Educational Assistant shred between two students. This totals three full time equivalent EA positions. The pilot also provides specialized supports such as Occupational Therapists or Earl Learning Intensive Support Specialists.

ELIS spaces in the division are located at St. Catherine Catholic School, St. John Community School, St. Michael Community School and Ecole St. Anne School. ELIS sites are determined according to need.

This item is reprinted with permission from Prince Albert Daily Herald. See article HERE.

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