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School Board Briefs
Students push wind energy

Christine Grimard
Northern News Services
Friday, March 16, 2007

YELLOWKNIFE - Sir John Franklin high school students want to install a wind-powered generator to supply part of the school's energy needs.

NNSL Photo/graphic

J. H. Sissons Grade 4 students Savannah Tran and Tisha Organ showed off their French language skills in a power point presentation on the Sahara desert to the Yk1 school board March 13. - Christine Grimard/NNSL photo

Student council president Garrett Hinchey and Jessica Hopkins presented the proposal to the public school board on March 13.

The students will be applying for an Energy Conservation Program grant from the GNWT. With their project costing an estimated $30,000, the students will need further funding as the grant will only cover half the project.

The students are looking to install the wind-powered generator on a hill near the school.

Hinchey said that the power generated should supply two per cent of the school's energy needs, saving $500 to $1,000 on energy costs and half a ton of carbon dioxide emissions annually.

While the students are working on raising money, they asked the board for a letter of support and for a financial contribution.

If all goes according to plan, the school should be generating wind energy by this September.

Schools to get teleconferencing

Sir John Franklin high school and Range Lake North school will be fitted for teleconferencing thanks to a federal project grant.

The public school board applied for funding in partnership with Aurora College.

The equipment will initially allow communication with southern schools and universities, allowing students to access distant classes.

The Yk1 board said the second phase might allow connection with schools in smaller Northern communities.

"I think it's a great chance for them to link with other schools working on the same projects," said assistant superintendent Mel Pardy, who applied for the grant.

Boards work together on French program

Yellowknife's three school boards have been working together to produce lesson plans to improve reading skills for French immersion students.

Yvonne Careen presented work the schools boards have been doing to the Catholic school board March 14, along with the Department of Education, Culture, and Employment, on a guided reading program.

"The cooperation has been wonderful between all three school districts," said Careen. "I think it's proof that we can all work together."

Careen has been working with staff from Yellowknife Education District No. 1, as well as the Commission Scolaire Francophone de Division, on a series of lesson plans to help guide students is small reading groups.

Careen said that at this point 70 per cent of the lesson plans have been corrected, and the remainder will be ready for full implementation at the beginning of the next school year.

Weledeh sells property

The Catholic school district has sold a small piece of land behind Weledeh Catholic school for $75,000.

The sale, made to a private buyer, was of a small piece of property not very useful to the school, according to trustee Debbi Ross.

The $75,000 was included in a budget adjustment passed at a school board meeting March 14.

Ross said the buyer will mostly likely use the land as a parking lot.

Trustees conference a success

Staff, parents, and students of Yellowknife Catholic Schools were thanked at the school board meeting for their contributions to the Alberta Catholic School Trustees' Association (ACSTA) conference that occurred in Yellowknife March 9 to March 11.

The conference, held at the Explorer Hotel, brought in delegates and companions from Alberta to Yellowknife.

Trustee Brian Nagel said that attendees enjoyed several Northern activities including ice fishing, helicopter rides, and a visit to the legislative assembly.

"No matter where our guests went in the city, they couldn't believe the reception they received," said Nagel.

Chair Shannon Gullberg said that attendees especially enjoyed a song written for the ACSTA performed by the Weledeh Catholic school choir, and a performance by the St. Patrick's high school jazz quintet.

Board to increase trustee pay

Catholic trustee Brian Nagel announced that he will be looking to pass a motion next week to increase the school board trustees' honoraria.

Nagel said he will ask to increase the honoraria for trustees to $7,500 from $5,000; $8,500 from $5,000 for the vice-chair; and $10,000 from $7,500 for the chair.