REGINA – Ten schools in Saskatchewan will each receive a $10,000 grant to support student nutrition after being selected to win this year’s Mosaic School Nutrition Challenge.
“We can’t wait to see what this year’s winning schools create with their funding for the next school year,” said Sarah Fedorchuk, The Mosaic Company’s Vice President, Government and Public Affairs, North America. “From gardens to cooking classes to breakfast programs, these 10 schools are providing healthier school environments that are sure to have a lasting impact on students and their schools, building on the program’s legacy that’s helped deliver better access to nutritious food in 70 Saskatchewan schools.”
The grants will support winning projects that have goals including supporting reconciliation projects, enhancing kitchen and garden facilities, increasing educational opportunities for students and families and expanding nutrition programs. Schools from across the province submitted their projects to compete for the total of $100,000 in prizes, provided by Mosaic. Schools receiving grants this year are part of Christ the Teacher, Good Spirit, Northern Lights, Prairie South, Regina Public, Saskatchewan Rivers, Saskatoon Public and South East Cornerstone school divisions.
To encourage grassroots initiatives to help improve student nutrition, this program, formerly known as the Mosaic Extreme School Makeover Challenge, began in 2006.
“The 27 school boards in Saskatchewan are so grateful for Mosaic’s ongoing generosity and continued commitment to this program,” said Dr. Shawn Davidson, president of the SSBA. “We are so excited to see innovative ideas continue to come forward in this, the 15th year.”
Backgrounder: Mosaic School Nutrition Challenge 2021 Recipients
REGINA – The Saskatchewan School Boards Association (SSBA) is recognizing the critical funding provided to the education system during the COVID-19 response, while also emphasizing the need for predictability and sustainability as the pandemic continues to cause uncertainty and challenges for school divisions going forward.
“The operating increase announced today in the province’s 2021-22 budget will ensure the collective bargaining agreement with teachers is fully funded next year,” said Dr. Shawn Davidson, president of the SSBA. “It’s important to note though that other inflationary costs are not covered in the increase and therefore school divisions may have difficult decisions to make.”
School boards are appreciative of the federal and provincial dollars that have been allocated over the past year to address urgent and emergent matters related to the pandemic, Davidson said. The focus on health and safety of students, staff and communities continues to be at the forefront during these challenging times and will be ongoing as the effects of the pandemic on school systems continue to be realized, he said.
“As we start to plan for what future years are going to look like, the overall message that we hear from school boards is around the importance of predictable and sustainable funding,” Davidson added. “As we move forward, post-pandemic, we really need to have a deeper conversation about how education is funded.”
As school divisions learn about today’s budget announcement in their local contexts, more will be understood about the anticipated effects, which might vary among regions, he noted.
The SSBA also recognizes the increase to mental-health spending announced in today’s budget that includes youth-focused initiatives. Mental health has been identified as a significant factor affecting student success and well-being. School boards applaud inter-ministerial collaboration on this important issue.
SSBA Statement on Manitoba School Boards:
The Saskatchewan School Boards Association believes the Government of Manitoba’s decision to eliminate elected school boards and centralize decision-making will negatively affect the education system by removing local voice and accountability, particularly in rural and remote communities.
In Saskatchewan, local school boards have proven to work collaboratively in the sector to effectively serve students, staff, families and communities. Across Canada, school boards represent diverse voices that are important to be heard; in Saskatchewan, approximately 58% of board members identify as female and 14% identify as being of Indigenous ancestry.
The SSBA joins with our national and provincial counterparts in calling for the Manitoba government to reconsider the changes proposed. We believe education belongs to community and maintaining local voice through elected boards is key to future improvement and ensuring every student has the opportunity to succeed regardless of their locale or circumstances.
Dr. Shawn Davidson
PDF version: SSBA Statement on Manitoba School Boards
REGINA – Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools and Central Urban Métis Federation Inc., in collaboration with Métis Nation – Saskatchewan, Saskatchewan Urban Native Teacher Education Program and Gabriel Dumont Institute, have received the 2020 Premier’s Board of Education Award for Innovation and Excellence in Education for the submission of “Marrsî ôma kici kâmiyin – The St. Michael Métis School of Excellence”.
The Saskatchewan School Boards Association (SSBA) co-ordinates the Premier’s Award each year. The award was presented on behalf of Premier Scott Moe during the SSBA’s virtual Annual General Assembly on Thursday.
“The Government of Saskatchewan is proud to recognize our province’s great leaders in education,” Minister of Education Dustin Duncan said on behalf of Premier Scott Moe. “This award is presented to the boards of education which exemplify education innovation and student achievement, and our boards have exceeded all expectations. Due to Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools’ ingenuity and collaborative work, they have earned this year’s distinction.”
In its application for the award, Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools said the Métis School of Excellence “represents the commitment of the Board to collaborate with Métis families and organizations to adapt the division to the needs and aspirations of the Métis community so that all students enjoy the richness of Métis history and culture, and so that Métis students achieve their full God-given potential.”
“The partnerships that make Métis programming at St. Michael Community School possible really breathe a vibrancy into the school,” said Diane Boyko, Board of Education Chair at Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools. “The school has become a hub of activity, not only for learning, but for a wide variety of cultural and community activities. There’s a sense of excitement around things like learning Michif, fiddling and jigging, that has translated into interest and enthusiasm in other areas of learning. We really think this model of community education has been, and will continue to be successful for students, staff and families. When we’re able, we look forward to celebrating with our partners and the entire community in true Métis style.”
The $3,000 award has been sponsored by Xerox Canada since its development in 1999. The award recipient is recommended by a panel of education sector partners. Xerox is pleased to continue the long-standing partnership with the Saskatchewan School Boards Association through the sponsorship of the Premier’s Award for Innovation and Excellence in Education.
“In a year unlike any other, innovation has been at the forefront in all we do. For our part, we strive to support the many virtual students and educators across Canada through the introduction of new tools designed to help individuals and groups effectively share and communicate information. We look forward to learning more about the innovation worthy of this prestigious award,” said Karl Boissonneault, VP Xerox Channel Unit.
To view a video about the award recipients, please visit: https://youtu.be/UkkGYw3E-tU.
A Message from Saskatchewan’s Education Partners
Education sector organizations in Saskatchewan have joined together to ask all communities to do their part in following the recommended health measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and help keep our schools safe. We have heard the calls to action from health officials, medical experts and doctors – we all must do our part.
School divisions in Saskatchewan started the school year, and have continued, with an abundance of caution – for good reason. Teachers, support staff, boards and administration, bus drivers, custodial and facilities staff, along with the support of students and families, have been working tirelessly to follow the public health guidelines, including: creating cohorts, reducing transitions, limiting extra-curricular activities, increasing cleaning measures and hand washing, and wearing masks. We do all of this because our priority is to provide a safe learning environment.
With increasing rates of community spread and rising cases throughout the province, we do not want our schools to have to close again. We all need to do our part to ensure we have safe and healthy communities that support and wrap around the staff and students in our schools.
Together we can reduce the spread – let’s all do our part to keep Saskatchewan schools safe!
Dr. Shawn Davidson, SSBA President
Domenic Scuglia, LEADS President
Sherry Todosichuk, SASBO President
Education sector partners:
Saskatchewan School Boards Association (SSBA) https://saskschoolboards.ca/
League of Educational Administrators, Directors & Superintendents (LEADS) https://saskleads.ca/
Saskatchewan Association of School Business Officials (SASBO) https://sasbo.com/
REGINA – The Saskatchewan School Boards Association (SSBA) congratulated the Saskatchewan Party and Premier Scott Moe on their re-election, welcomed Minister Dustin Duncan to the Education portfolio and thanked outgoing Minister of Education Gordon Wyant, following the recent provincial election and cabinet announcement.
“We thank Minister Wyant for his service in our sector,” said Dr. Shawn Davidson, SSBA President. “We wish him all the best in his new role as Minister of Justice and Attorney General.”
Davidson also congratulated and welcomed incoming Minister Duncan.
“We look forward to working with Minister Duncan to advance the important efforts happening to support our province’s students,” said Davidson. “The SSBA and its member boards believe all students should have the resources they need to succeed and achieve, regardless of where they live in the province or their personal circumstances.”
The SSBA is continuing to call for Innovation, Inclusion and Investment in the education system. Davidson also highlighted the important work happening in the pandemic context through the sector’s Response Planning Team and encouraged support for this ongoing, collaborative work.
Davidson said he also looks forward to continuing to work with Premier Moe.
One important connection between the SSBA and the premier’s office is the annual Premier’s Board of Education Award for Innovation and Excellence. Since 1999, premiers of Saskatchewan have given their support for the award, which recognizes educational innovations and improvements focused on student achievement that have been advanced or directed by boards of education.
Premier Moe and Minister Duncan have been invited to meet with school board members during the SSBA’s upcoming virtual Annual General Meeting. Davidson said he hopes they will take the opportunity to engage and establish relationships.