School division meets online, confirms principal changes for schools next year

The Flin Flon School Division board of trustees started meeting again last month, holding their first remote meeting through Google Hangouts with trustees and staff connecting online.


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Principal swap

The division eliminated the director of student services position, as part of a required 15 per cent administrative budget cut required by the Manitoba government.

The position cut caused a principal shuffle.

Amber Zerbin will be principal of École McIsaac School next year, while Miranda Bowman will head up Ruth Betts Community School. The two administrators are already principals within the school division - they will be swapping schools next year.

“With the dissolution of that position up at the division office, we had to put Amber Zerbin back in so we decided to put her in McIssac,” said superintendent Tammy Ballantyne.

The division is also making changes to the school calendar for the 2020/21 year. A proposed ‘extra’ week off in February was approved in the schedule. The division rearranged professional development days for teachers, grouping them together in one week.

“Looking at all the data that we got back, it was an overwhelming response of people who wanted it,” Ballantyne said.

“It's still a draft because the deadline has been extended until June 1 for the province so it's been submitted but it hasn't been approved.”

It’s not known if the proposed changes related to COVID-19 will affect the division’s schedule.


Final stretch

The last day of classes for high school students is set for June 12.

“That's really a time [for teachers] to collect their work and mark for report cards,” Ballantyne said.

“Staff and students have been working incredibly hard from home.”

The division also announced their playgrounds and the skatepark at Many Faces Education Centre are now open. Schools are also offering nutritional help during the pandemic.

“We're happy to be supporting families with their additional nutritional needs during this difficult time,” Ballantyne said.

“If there are families that need support, please contact your school and we'll be sure to help you out when we deliver our next set of packages.”

Ballantyne said schools will be ready next year to help students catch up on any work lapses due to COVID-19. Manitoba students were expected to complete 60 per cent of their typical outcomes during the pandemic.

“There's definitely gonna have to be some recovery learning that happens over the next few years,” Ballantyne said.

“I would have to say some families are better equipped to handle the home learning than other families. It's different for each family.”

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