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Powell River Board of Education briefs

Approves applied mental health and wellness courses; Supports path plan between Townsite and Westview; Forecasts $34.7 million budget; Outlines capital projects

Approves courses

Powell River Board of Education has approved courses for applied mental health and wellness, hairdressing and peer tutoring.

At a meeting on April 20, superintendent of schools Dr. Jay Yule said two of the School District 47 courses are new. The district has operated peer tutoring courses in the past, he added.

Regarding applied mental health and wellness, Yule said for the grade 12 course, there is a teacher willing to teach it, which is something the district wants to address.

Board chairperson Dale Lawson said the course is timely when there is such a focus on mental health and well-being.

“It makes perfect sense,” added Lawson.

The hairdressing program has been revamped, said Yule, to give opportunities to students studying in grade 10 so they can get an elective to see if they like that career path, continuing onto courses in grade 11 and a full semester in Grade 12.

Supports grant

School District 47 has written a letter of support to City of Powell River for its application to Powell River Community Forest for $300,000 to construct a multi-use path linking Brooks Secondary School and Townsite with Powell River Recreation Complex and Westview.

Yule stated in the letter that promoting active transportation for students is something the school district strongly believes in.

“The proposed path will dramatically improve safe access to Brooks, eliminating the existing gap in the bicycle network,” stated Yule. “It will also serve the broader community by linking Townsite with Westview via a safe and accessible pathway.”

The city is applying for a federal infrastructure grant to construct the pathway, and the community forest contribution would represent the city’s 40 per cent contribution.

Estimates budget

The school district has an estimated full year operating grant total for the 2022 to 2023 school year. Secretary-treasurer Steve Hopkins said documentation shows a forecast of $34.7 million based on the demographics. He said at this time of year, the figure is based on conservative forecasts, and if the numbers surpass the forecast, the operating grant would go up.

“This gives a pretty good idea of what the budget is going to be,” added Hopkins.

Outlines projects

Capital projects for the school district have been announced. At Henderson Elementary School, there will be $115,000 allocated for roofing upgrades and $140,000 for electrical upgrades. At James Thomson Elementary School, there will be a $550,000 roofing upgrade. Electrical upgrades totalling $150,000 will be done at Westview Elementary School and Texada Elementary School will receive $100,000 of electrical upgrades.

“These are the projects you applied for last spring,” Hopkins told school trustees. “They are now being formally recognized. Plans are underway to get these going.”

Hopkins said in May and June the board of education will be receiving staff recommendations for capital upgrades for the 2023 to 2024 school year.

Approves buses

The school district has approved a request from Powell River Parks and Wilderness Society for use of two school buses to assist with the Marathon Shuffle event to be supported at no cost to the board.

Makes donation

The board of education endorsed a request from Pacific Region International Summer Music Association (PRISMA) for in-kind support of space and equipment. It will be supported in a manner similar to that of previous years.