Original Published 21:05 May 13, 2022

By Michael Oleksyn, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

The provincial government has directed Saskatchewan school divisions to focus on four pillars identified pre-COVID as the divisions prepares their own education delivery plan.

The four pillars are skills, mental health and well-being, relationships, and inclusive and safe schools. Sask. Rivers School Division trustees received an update on the directions from education director Robert Bratvold during their regular meeting on Monday.   

Bratvold said it will be up to the division to decide what targets and goals to set and how success will be measured.

 “It’s hard work to get from broad multi-faceted direction from the education council into a focused, clear, specific plan,” he explained. “(There is) lots of good wrestling with prioritizing and focusing and setting some clear goals, and we will have them in the coming months.”

The directions come as the province prepares a new 10-year plan that will set the course for education delivery in Saskatchewan until 2030.

 Bratvold said that some work was done in late April, with more work scheduled for next week. The hope is to have a manageable provincial plan in place by the end of next year.  

 The province is working under an interim plan for the next school year, which is still being finalized.

 “While we are implementing next year’s plan we are also going finalize a long-term plan to take us to the end of the decade,” Bratvold said.

The Provincial Education Council has provided areas of focus for the upcoming plan. The council is made up of educational partners who are not part of the education sector.

 Bratvold said the directions from the Education Council are fairly broad, so work has to be done to narrow the focus.

 “It addresses the four pillars that had been identified pre-COVID in terms of the area of focus,” he explained.  

 “It hits those areas and says, ‘here is what we want from those areas,’ and so now we have to figure out what those specific goals and actions and targets are.

 The new plan will work from a provincial level and then flow down to school division strategic plans and school level plans.

 Operational structure membership includes directors of education from the province, First Nation and Metis education authorities, two members of the Saskatchewan Teachers Federation (STF) and senior officials from the Ministry of Education.

 The Interim Provincial Plan was released in August, 2021. The one-year interim plan will be in place until the 10-year plan is completed.

 The provincial-level plan was originally expected to be released in June 2021.

This item reprinted with permission from Daily Herald, Prince Albert, Saskatchewan