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Cornerstone school division trustees receive annual report

The South East Cornerstone Public School Division's trustees received the annual report at the Nov. 22 meeting.
Keith Keating South East Cornerstone director horizontal
Keith Keating

WEYBURN - Keith Keating, the South East Cornerstone Public School Division’s director of education, provided highlights from the extensive 2022-23 annual report when he addressed the board members during their Nov. 22 business session in Weyburn.

Keating spoke of relationships with all 35 school community councils that have forwarded a few dozen ideas to be considered for implementation in the future, as the opportunities for networking with parents and communities continue to expand.

Keating spoke about a slight tweak in the division’s boundaries assigned to the three superintendents, while addressing the ongoing efforts to develop community partnerships and working with the provincial ministries.

A new provincial education plan is underway now with some different metrics and data, Keating said. Those would involve mental health and wellbeing, learning and assessment, student transitions, and First Nations and Métis programming and land-based learning opportunities, among others.

Early learning opportunities were also emphasised by Keating, “especially with what is happening at the provincial level", he said.  He later made reference to a mental health information sharing pilot project that is in its second year at Weyburn Comprehensive School. The program addresses healthy communication needs, anxiety issues and first aid with a trained consultant in place.

There are 98 children involved in the Jordan’s Principle program that has become more open and successful over the past year, and literary challenges for celebration of families is also ongoing, as are English as another language programs and education liaison efforts with communities and First Nations bands.

Learning supports, addressed in an earlier presentation to the board, are also key ingredients to the success of Cornerstone students, he recalled.

Keating also referred to several measures being taken in tracking reading and comprehension levels. He noted that in Grade 3 level classes, there has been a near three per cent increase with the metrics trending upwards above the provincial average.

Tracking graduation rates, reading and math achievements can also be found in the report. He said the new education plan will continue to emphasize the need to focus on reading skill developments.

When it comes to elevated risk factors in young students, Keating noted there have been 392 students showing elevated risk levels out of the division’s approximately 8,300 student population.

Keating also pointed to Cornerstone’s better than average graduation rates at the three and four-year levels of high school with the three-year graduation rate being “pretty decent at 87 per cent in Cornerstone,” compared with the provincial average of 79 per cent.

Graduation rates for four and five-year students are also above the provincial norm.

So, with promising results from the early years education tracking and graphs to the Grade 12 graduation rates, Keating noted that, “they are entering and exiting at a better place.”

In unrelated matters later in the meeting, Keating and other administrators noted there were four procedure and response changes made to the overall operations that included response to suicidal ideation and self-injury issues, student transportation, charitable donations and attendance at schools out of attendance areas.

The next public meeting for the Cornerstone board will be held on Dec. 20, starting at 1 p.m. in the division’s head office conference room in Weyburn. The open business session is also live streamed for public consumption.