Pupils present proposals for school improvements

The board of the Flin Flon School Division took time last week to hear ideas from the students they work for.

Student council representatives from both École McIsaac School and Ruth Betts Community School presented school board trustees and division officials with reports on each group’s operations, including suggestions for improvements to school facilities.

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The Ruth Betts student council, represented by president Morgan Markham and vice president Kenneth Morris, made three suggestions for improvements to their school.

Markham and Morris asked if the school board would permit the building of a “farewell wall,” an area where students leaving Ruth Betts can write a message to future students at the school.

“That way, kids can leave a little piece behind at Ruth Betts,” said Morris.

The representatives also asked for a vending machine stocked with healthy snacks. Last year, student council representatives from École McIsaac School requested, and later received, a similar machine. The machine would include healthier alternatives to typical vending machine food, including granola bars, fruit and vegetables.

Another request was to add new lockers to the change rooms in the school’s gymnasium.

“During sports games and school activities, stuff tends to go missing from students’ backpacks,” said Morris.

Markham even suggested a potential location for lockers within the change rooms.

“On one wall, we have those air blowers for your hands, but nobody uses them and they’re old. Those could be taken out and replaced with lockers on that wall,” she said.

During discussion about the topic, it was noted that the division may have a spare set of lockers stored at a division facility that could be installed.

At a similar meeting two years ago, the Ruth Betts School’s student council requested an upgrade to the gym’s change room facilities, a project that was completed earlier this year.

Markham and Morris also shared their response to renovations of their school’s computer lab, something the student council requested in 2017. The lab was finished earlier this year, taking the old space and adding new equipment, including Chromebooks.

“With help from the school board, we were able to make that happen. The students and teachers are loving the new space,” said Markham.


École McIsaac School

A McIsaac School delegation discussed matters for their school, led by student council president Grace Dubinak and vice president Olivia Fernandes. Dubinak and Fernandes, along with McIsaac teacher Rachel Wright, suggested building benches at the school’s bus turnaround for students waiting for rides. The group did not ask for a full enclosure to be built. Wright suggested that a full enclosure could cause issues with students at recess.

“It could be used as a place to hide out. We were thinking more about benches, because having an enclosure at recess could pose some issues with kids hiding there,” she said.

The McIsaac delegation also requested netting for soccer goals located on the school’s playground. There are two soccer net structures on the schoolyard, but neither has netting. A ball kicked into the goal often goes sailing through. At best, someone has to run across the yard to chase the ball down. At worst, the ball could go through and hit nearby children.

“When a soccer ball does go through the goal, it can be a hazard to the children. We don’t want that,” said Dubinak.

In addition to a bus structure and soccer netting, the McIsaac delegation also asked for the board’s support in purchasing a school mascot costume similar to the kind used by Creighton Community School and Ruth Betts School. École McIsaac recently acquired a bulldog head with a similar theme to the school’s “Mad Dogs” nickname, but do not have a costume to portray the rest of the body.

Only having the head hasn’t stopped some students from having some fun with the costume. Wright said students were taking turns wearing the bulldog head while cheering on local teams at a recent volleyball tournament.

No firm commitments on funding were made at the meeting and are unlikely to be made before the school board determines its next budget, likely to be finished and presented this spring.

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