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Division 'positive' about Many Faces

The Reminder is making its archives back to 2003 available on our website. Please note that, due to technical limitations, archive articles are presented without the usual formatting.

The Reminder is making its archives back to 2003 available on our website. Please note that, due to technical limitations, archive articles are presented without the usual formatting.

Many Faces Education Centre is a valued institution that the Flin Flon School Division would be "very reluctant" to ever contemplate shutting down, Superintendent Blaine Veitch said at Tuesday's school board meeting. Veitch was responding to a Letter to the Editor in The Reminder this week in which former school trustee Brent Lethbridge suggested that Many Faces might be closed if a high school program is established in Creighton. "We haven't looked to see the full impact of a Creighton high school," said the superintendent. "I know that personally, and I believe the discussions we've had around this table about Many Faces is, we're very positive about the school. We'd be very reluctant to ever consider closure of Many Faces." Board Chair Jim Wilson said any course of action the board might take if a Creighton high school is established is "still up in the air." "We still have to wait and see what Creighton ultimately decides," he said. A parent at the meeting asked the trustees how they feel about the school division potentially losing its Saskatchewan high school students, to which Chair Wilson replied, "We're concerned." "Certainly we value all the students we have," he said, "and if we lose a number of students from our system, we lose a number of valuable members of the system, and it impacts the number of teachers we can employ, it impacts the programs we can offer. There will be an impact, and I guess we feel that it will result in a negative impact for students in the area." Superintendent Veitch said that division representatives plan to meet with representatives from Creighton prior to a decision being made on the high school issue. See 'Topics' P.# Con't from P.# Lethbridge wrote in his Letter to the Editor that a Creighton high school "could mean the closure of Many Faces," asking the question: "Will there be room for three high schools in the area?" Many Faces, an non-traditional high school with an emphasis on individual student needs, currently has an enrollment of about 170 students. A task force assembled by the Creighton School Division recently released a report concluding that it is feasible to add grades 10, 11 and 12 to Creighton Community School. The Creighton division currently pays a fee to the Flin Flon division for Saskatchewan students who attend those grades at Many Faces and Hapnot Collegiate. Should the Creighton division decide to add the grades, the Flin Flon high schools would stand to lose some 130 students and hundreds of thousands of dollars in funding. About 40 Saskatchewan students attend Many Faces and about 90 go to Hapnot. In another matter at the board meeting, it was noted that the Safe Kids Committee, a group initiated by the board three years ago to help minimize bullying in the community, has disbanded. One of the committee's more notable achievements was the co-sponsorship of a public speech in Flin Flon last year by Rev. Dale Lang, whose teenage son was fatally wounded in the infamous 1999 high school shooting in Tabor, Alta. During its run, the committee had representation from a number of local organizations, including the RCMP, the NOR-MAN Regional Health Authority and teachers and principals from the schools. On another topic, Superintendent Veitch noted that some Flin Flon elementary school teachers will receive specialized math training in Cranberry Portage in November and February. They will attend workshops on diagnosing early numeracy problems in young children, and in classroom-based programming strategies to help address student needs. The superintendent said he expects the staff members involved to train other elementary school staff within the division. The training workshops will be sponsored by the Frontier School Division. Also, the superintendent noted that schools across the division will hold Remembrance Day services on Friday, November 7. He commented that schools have been inviting veterans to speak to the students and that this has had a "big impact" on helping children understand the sacrifices the soldiers made. A recap of other matters from the meeting: Superintendent Veitch congratulated Hapnot Collegiate teacher Tom Guthrie on being selected for the Provincial Senior 2 Geography Team, which is responsible for helping to revise a new curriculum. He congratulated the grade 10 math class at Many Faces Education Centre for being named the top class at the high school for the first school quarter. Lizzie Kennedy and Kathy Scully teach the class. A motion passed to rename the standing committees to "board committees" and the ad hoc committees to "joint committees." Superintendent Veitch mentioned that Hapnot has been celebrating Saskatchewan Library Week with a variety of contests and activities.