Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Podunk Below the Masthead, Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The School District seeks out project applications, the Healthy Heart problem wants to help ease you into better health and the dancers got some motivation over the weekend, the highlights of the Tuesday edition of the Daily News.

SCHOOL DISTRICT ENCOURAGES APPLICATIONS FOR PROJECT FUNDING-- Despite uncertain futures, budgetary constraints and a large volume of possible projects, individual schools were being encouraged by the School District to think big and offer up their causes for consideration. With declining enrollment and uncertain futures for a few of the local schools, the process of application will provide a list of potential projects for the School District to examine at its next Annual Budget Committee meeting.

In particular submissions from Port Edward School which is on the bubble as far as enrollment goes and a lack of submissions from Prince Rupert Secondary School the status of which has yet to be announced by the District, provide for some discussion points as to the future for the school board budget for 2009-10. The project funding requests were the front page, headline item in the Tuesday paper (you can find the full article below)

Among the other items in the Tuesday edition, a review of the Healthy Heart program and the assistance it provides for those seeking to improve their heart health through exercise, diet and consultation.

And the recent BC Annual Dance competition also provided for some mentoring of the dancers, as one of the judges, Australian Grand Davies provided a motivational seminar for a number of the week's participants.

The Sports pages featured a review of the weekend's Panhandle Games where local and out of town high school track and field athletes competed at the Charles Hays field. The paper also provided some background on the recent trip to Kitimat for some of the members of the Prince Rupert Karate Club.

Total pages in the Tuesday edition (12)

Front page headline story,

By George T. Baker
The Daily News
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Page one

Individual schools are advised not to be daunted by number of submissions nor by the uncertain future of some.

As the school board decides how it will allocate its dollars for the next school year, a curious application appeared on the roll out sheet included in the second phase of the Annual Budget Committee meeting.

Port Edward elementary school has applied for $30,000 worth of funding to purchase laptop computers for student use, which the school and school board thinks is needed.

However, the elementary school is one of the schools facing closure as the district deals with declining enrollment numbers, which begged the question, what happens to the computers if the school is closed?

The district's secretary treasurer, Kim Morris, said that there is a plan in place 'should the decision to close the school be made.

"The computers get redeployed to the areas of the district that most need them," said Morris.

She said the same thing happened when the district made the decision to close Kanata and Seal Cove two years ago and so the tenuous future of the Port Edward School would be unlikely be the deciding factor.

Noticeably absent from the project funding applications was Prince Rupert Secondary School, which is also facing an unsure future.

There were 31 projects listed on the sheet and Port Edward made three separate project applications totaling $51,597. It is not a guarantee that all of the projects applied for by district schools and the superintendent's office will see the light of day. One of the lead reasons a project will or won't proceed will be how the school board balances the school's need versus the district's capacity to pay for it.

Morris said that she would expect the number of school projects seeking funding to grow before the next ABC round, and was also curious -as to how many would apply.

"With $1.5 million in the budget and more projects to be accepted, it may seem daunting - but I would encourage the schools to continue with the project applications," said Morris.

This is.the first time the school board has had a list of projects presented to the school board during its ABC process. For school board chair Tina Last, she said having a preliminary list had been a positive step for the school board and ABC meetings.

The next ABC meeting is scheduled for May 25 at Charles Hayes.

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