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.
“Mosaic is proud to support the Mosaic School Nutrition Challenge, now in its 16th year, by funding 10 new, exciting projects,” said Sarah Fedorchuk, Vice President, Government & Public Affairs, North America. “The winning schools have identified innovative and inclusive ways to implement nutrition education and programming that will have a lasting impact on students and their schools.”
The grants will support winning projects that have goals including implementing or expanding nutrition programs, enhancing kitchen and garden facilities, increasing educational opportunities for students and families and supporting reconciliation and cultural projects.
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 the Good Spirit, Horizon, Living Sky, Northern Lights, Prairie Spirit, Prairie Valley, Regina Catholic, Saskatoon Public and South East Cornerstone school divisions and the Muskeg Lake Cree Nation.
To encourage grassroots initiatives to help improve student nutrition, this program, formerly known as the Mosaic Extreme School Makeover Challenge, began in 2006.
“We continue to see exciting ideas come forward in this 16th year of the Mosaic Challenge,” said Dr. Shawn Davidson, president of the SSBA. “Saskatchewan school boards are very grateful for Mosaic’s ongoing generosity and continued commitment to this program.”
Backgrounder: Mosaic School Nutrition Challenge 2022 Recipients
REGINA – The Saskatchewan School Boards Association (SSBA) is recognizing the small increase in funding for the school system in today’s provincial budget, while also emphasizing that the increase falls short of covering operating and inflationary costs.
“The operating increase announced in the 2022-23 budget does not cover operating expenses for school divisions,” said Dr. Shawn Davidson, president of the SSBA. “School boards may have difficult decisions to make, once again.”
Boards have worked very hard to find efficiencies with buildings, transportation and office procedures – but when the operational funding doesn’t cover inflationary costs, the dollars aren’t there to pay for any investment or additional services that students need.
“We have been advocating for adequate, sustainable and predictable operational funding for quite some time and we have noticed that the ability of boards to deliver services to students has been eroded over the last several years,” Davidson said.
As school divisions receive their operational budget details through the education funding distribution model, they will have a better sense of the local budget response and circumstances, which might vary among regions, he noted.
School boards recognize ongoing investment in capital projects. They also continue to advocate for strategic co-ordination with the Ministry of Health on mental health and wellness initiatives and are encouraged by some additional dollars for that.
REGINA – The Horizon School Division Board of Education has received the 2021 Premier’s Board of Education Award for Innovation and Excellence in Education for the submission of “the Horizon School Division George Gordon First Nation Mîkiwahp (Tipi) Project”.
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 Tuesday.
“It is so important that all students feel welcome and represented in their schools and communities,” Education Minister Dustin Duncan said. “Through projects like the Mîkiwahp (Tipi) Project, students can connect with culture through education. Everyone at George Gordon First Nation and Horizon School Division should be very pleased with this wonderful achievement.”
In its application for the award, Horizon said the George Gordon First Nation Mîkiwahp (Tipi) Project is intended to develop culturally appropriate curricula and an instructional model to continually inform schools, teachers and the division in the implementation of high-quality, responsive instruction for Indigenous students. The culmination of the project will be the creation of an outdoor classroom (Mîkiwahp structure) that will continue to serve as a space for ongoing land-based learning, ceremony and celebrations. The model of planning and instruction will be adopted as the exemplar for Indigenous education in this community and other similar communities in Horizon.
“On behalf of the Board of Education, we are humbled and honoured to receive the Premier’s Award for Innovation and Excellence in Education,” said Jim Hack, Horizon School Division Board Chair. “We recognize that other school divisions and Indigenous authorities are doing excellent work, and that Saskatchewan’s students are in great hands. We would like to thank our staff for their outstanding commitment to our Board’s renewed focus on educating through Truth to ensure a future of Reconciliation.”
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.
“At Xerox, we are always innovating to drive change,” said Steve Bandrowczak, Chief Operations Officer. “Change is faster today than it ever was, and slower than it ever will be. This mentality fuels us to always look ahead, to see what’s next. We are honoured to do our part in encouraging our youth in this award, focusing on Innovation and Excellence.”
To view a video about the award recipients, please visit: https://youtu.be/7VPPVx84Rgk
At its assembly, the SSBA also recognized former SSBA Executive members Martin Prince and Aleana Young with life memberships. The SSBA’s Degree Program Scholarship was also presented, to Queen Esther M. Lamanilao.
REGINA – Joining with communities across the country, schools throughout the province will again be officially recognizing “Orange Shirt Day” on Thursday, Sept. 30, as requested annually by the Saskatchewan School Boards Association (SSBA).
Sept. 30 has also been proclaimed federally as the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. In recognition of this National Day of remembrance for the victims of the residential school system, the SSBA is encouraging all schools in the province to observe a moment of silence.
“On behalf of our 27 member boards of education, the SSBA is encouraging school communities, and all residents of the province, to participate in Orange Shirt Day by wearing orange, taking the time to reflect on residential schools this Thursday and observing a moment of silence,” said Dr. Shawn Davidson, SSBA president. “Especially considering the heartbreaking confirmations of unmarked graves we’ve witnessed this year, this day represents an opportunity for each one of us to think about residential schools, expand our understanding of this history and commit to growing together through education toward reconciliation.”
Orange Shirt Day is part of a larger movement in the country to provide opportunity to unite in a spirit of reconciliation and hope for future generations. The movement is a legacy of the St. Joseph Mission residential school commemoration event held in B.C. in 2013, emerging out of the account of a young girl having her new orange shirt taken away on her first day of school.
The day was first proclaimed in Saskatchewan in 2016, in response to a resolution passed by the province’s trustees at the SSBA Spring General Assembly. The Government of Saskatchewan proclaims the day each year at the SSBA’s request.
“Orange Shirt Day provides an important opportunity for school communities to come together in the spirit of reconciliation,” Education Minister Dustin Duncan said. “It’s important to acknowledge the lasting impact of residential schools on our communities and commit to learning more about the history of residential schools in order to build stronger communities that are inclusive and safe for all.”
REGINA – As students begin returning to school, Wednesday (Sept. 1) has been officially proclaimed “Provincial Students’ Day” in Saskatchewan, as requested annually by the Saskatchewan School Boards Association (SSBA).
“As we welcome students, staff and families back to school, health and safety continue to be paramount for school divisions,” said Dr. Shawn Davidson, president of the SSBA. “We will be focusing on making this a great year of safe learning, connections and fun. We also think it’s important as-ever to issue a reminder about school-zone safety and we are encouraging all Saskatchewan communities to pay close attention as our roads, walkways and school zones get busier with returning students and staff.”
Provincial Students’ Day was first proclaimed in 2010, in response to a resolution passed by the province’s trustees at the SSBA 2009 Annual General Meeting. It is usually proclaimed on the first Tuesday of September. This year, it was moved to coincide with the change in school-year start.
The day has always been focused on helping ensure safety is the primary consideration for students, families and communities, and especially for motorists who will be driving in and around school zones. The Government of Saskatchewan proclaims the day each year at the SSBA’s request, with the intent of reinforcing the message of care and concern for students going to and from school.
“I would like to commend the Saskatchewan School Boards Association for taking the initiative each year to proclaim Provincial Students’ Day in Saskatchewan and we are pleased to welcome all students back to a more normal school year. It is especially meaningful this year as we all work to ensure schools are safe and welcoming,” Education Minister Dustin Duncan said. “The Government of Saskatchewan proclaims Provincial Students’ Day to help remind motorists the importance on this day, and every day, of using caution and slowing down in and around school zones to keep all students safe.”