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Schools hold early registration day Aug. 29; first day of classes Sept. 3

Saskatoon Public Schools is welcoming new students and families back to school with an early registration day set for Thursday, Aug. 29, 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at all of our schools.

The morning allows students and families who are new to the school division, or who are transferring from another SPS school, to take a tour, ask questions and register. Families of students who were registered at their school during the previous school year do not need to attend early registration day.

Collegiate offices will be open during the summer. Interested families can call collegiates to book an appointment for a visit or can attend during Early Registration Day on Aug. 29.

The first day for elementary school students is Tuesday, Sept. 3. The morning welcome bell will ring at the usual time for each school. Students will attend school for the morning only and will be dismissed at each school's usual noon-hour dismissal time. The morning allows schools to register new students, welcome students and families and determine enrollment and classroom assignments.

The first full day of school for students in Grade 1-8 is Wednesday, Sept. 4. Kindergarten students will have a staggered start to allow them to become comfortable with the school and their classmates. Information on the kindergarten start schedule at individual schools is available from the school office.

Offices at all of the division's elementary schools are closed for the summer but will reopen during the last week of August.

School supply lists for the 2019-20 school year are posted on each school website, usually under the About Our School menu or on the Registration Information page.

High school students in Grade 9-12 will attend classes for the full day on Sept. 3. Offices at all Saskatoon Public Schools collegiates are open during the summer months. For information and summer office hours check with each collegiate.

A full list of the division's elementary and high schools, along with school contact information and website addresses, is available at saskatoonpublicschools.ca.

Download a copy of the 2019-20 School Year Calendar

School Calendar Key Dates

First day of School: Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2019

Winter Break: Last day of classes is Friday, Dec. 20, 2019; classes resume Monday, Jan. 6, 2020

February Break: Last day of classes is Friday, Feb. 14, 2020; classes resume Monday, Feb. 24, 2020

Spring Break: Last day of classes is Thursday, April 9, 2020; classes resume Monday, April 20, 2020

Last day of school: Thursday, June 25, 2020

Drabble, Rodney J. (Rod)7/15/2019 3:41 PM
Saskatoon Board of Education passes 2019-20 budget

The Saskatoon Board of Education passed its budget for the 2019-20 academic year at a meeting June 18. The budget includes expenses of $271.6 million, an increase of $3.97 million over last year.

The provincial government provided a funding increase of 1.5 per cent ($3.5 million or $60/student). This amount doesn't allow the school division to address projected enrolment growth of 448 students, maintain current staffing and program levels, and provide additional supports for the growing complexity and volume of student needs. In the spring, consultations were held with staff members and parents to gather input prior to finalizing the budget.

To address the shortfall, the budget includes the following operational changes:

  • Reduction of 18.8 FTE (full-time equivalent) teacher-librarian positions, impacted staff to be re-assigned;
  • Reduction of 15 FTE English as an Additional Language teachers, impacted staff to be re-assigned;
  • Elimination of Gr. 8 Home Economics/Industrial Arts program, impacted staff to be re-assigned;
  • Elimination of all Secretary 1 positions in elementary schools for a reduction of 8.9 FTEs resulting in nine employees laid off, all elementary schools will have a full-time administrative assistant only;
  • Reduction of five positions at Central Office, four of which are through attrition and one employee laid off; and,
  • All non-salary budgets across the division reduced by 6 per cent, including school budgets.

In addition, the board will draw approximately $1.5 million from operating reserves to address the remaining deficit. The upcoming budget will support the division's new strategic plan approved earlier this month. To address enrolment growth and the intensification of student needs, 15 FTE classroom teaching positions and 17.5 FTE educational assistant positions will be added. The 21.5 FTE educational assistant positions added in January will be retained.

Other additions in the budget include:

  • FTE special education consultant;
  • FTE resource room teachers;
  • FTE staff nurse for John Dolan School;
  • FTE special education program teachers;
  • FTE rotational library technician; and,
  • New French Immersion program at Silverspring School.

"We've had another year of significant reductions and, despite our best efforts, this will impact students in the classroom. We've been forced to reduce valuable positions that work directly with students," said Board Chair Ray Morrison.

"Since 2015, our operating funding per student has decreased by $779. We have heard government say that education is an investment in our future and it is time that government action matched these words." 

Drabble, Rodney J. (Rod)7/2/2019 11:57 AM
Students at the centre of school division's new strategic plan

SPS Strategic Plan.jpgAcademic excellence, character, engagement, and well-being of students are at the centre of a new strategic plan approved by trustees during the June 4 meeting of the Saskatoon Board of Education.

The plan highlights the vision of knowing, valuing, and believing in each student. It emphasizes Saskatoon Public Schools' commitment to creating learning experiences that inspire all students to reach their potential and the importance of relationships, equity and accountability.

The plan, which will guide the division's work during the next five years, was designed to be a clear, succinct vision that would resonate with students, staff, parents/caregivers, and the larger community.

Its development was informed by widespread internal and external consultation that included surveys, data analysis, and multiple opportunities to refine the plan. Feedback was gathered in a variety of ways including: parent, staff and community surveys, sessions with trustees, senior administration, and school-based administrators; student academic achievement data; and consultation with external stakeholders and community organizations.

Drabble, Rodney J. (Rod)7/2/2019 8:56 AM
Saskatoon Public Schools, Saskatoon Tribal Council sign agreement

A new agreement to deliver "reconciliation in education" will focus on the development of programs, services and opportunities to revitalize the presence of First Nations culture and language in Saskatoon Public Schools classrooms.

The five-year agreement between Saskatoon Public Schools and Saskatoon Tribal Council (STC) was signed June 28 and will take effect September 1, 2019. It expands upon a long-standing relationship that established a foundation for addressing the culture, language and needs of First Nations students. A joint leadership group for co-governance of urban Indigenous education will be established as a result of the new partnership.

"For more than 13 years, Saskatoon Public Schools and the Saskatoon Tribal Council have been working together with the common goal of improving educational outcomes for Indigenous students," said Ray Morrison, board chair for Saskatoon Public Schools.

"Today's signing marks the evolution of this partnership as we recognize the important role First Nations' governments play in education. This partnership will help us build deeper language and cultural learning opportunities for students, as well as enhanced support for families moving between our communities. Public education must be accessible to all and meet the needs of the community. Through our partnership with the Saskatoon Tribal Council, we can realize this goal."

The working group will initially target program delivery at Mount Royal Collegiate and Confederation Park Community School, as well as special projects at the University of Saskatchewan and City Centre.

Confederation Park is home to the Nêhiyâwiwin Cree Language and Culture Program for prekindergarten to Grade 8 students. Guidance from STC supports learners in the division's collegiates, particularly at Mount Royal where students have transitioned from the elementary Cree program. This has allowed students to continue their studies of Cree language and culture, expand opportunities for exploration, and affirm their identity

"There is mounting evidence every single day the significant, crucial impact education has had on Indigenous peoples in Canada," said STC Tribal Chief Mark Arcand.

"We view education as a tool of empowerment. Making space for First Nations voices in education is a necessary step and this agreement will be another tool for reconciliation through education. Transformations of systems happen when there are positive, mutually beneficial relationships that are rooted in respect and recognition."

The agreement will build connections between the school division and each of the seven STC First Nations. As students and families move between communities, it will allow for open communication and the ability to provide support to ensure smooth transitions. Over time, work will be done to develop innovative programming and facilities grounded in land-based education to best support culture and language lessons.

The partnership will help guide the school division's work to realize goals set out in its response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Calls to Action.

"Our partnership with STC will help us realize these commitments by building our capacity for language, culture, and land-based learning, as well as affirming the identity of Indigenous students," Morrison said. "We are committed to building strong relationships between First Nations families and our schools."

Baker, Veronica7/2/2019 8:56 AM
Late French Immersion allows students to study beginning in Grade 6

LateFrench_schools.jpgWhen it comes to learning French, late is great for Saskatoon Public Schools.

Late French Immersion classrooms located at École Alvin Buckwold School, École Forest Grove School, and École Henry Kelsey offer a unique learning opportunity by allowing students to begin immersive second language study in Grade 6 and graduate with a bilingual diploma upon completion of Grade 12.

Registration for the Late French Immersion program beginning in September 2019 is open to current Grade 5 students. 

Upon entering the program in Grade 6, students are fully immersed and learn the foundations of the French language using their established thinking skills. Often, they are initially learning language equivalents to begin to express themselves in French. Later in Grade 6, students no longer think in equivalents but begin to think in French once they have acquired a sufficient language base.

In Grade 7, students continue to explore the language, build vocabulary, communicate orally with purpose, and write to explain their thoughts and learning. The ability to speak, read, and write in French is applied in all subject areas and enables students to continue to learn the French language in multiple subjects. All subject areas are taught in French, except for English Language Arts.

In Grade 8, the elementary and Late French Immersion students join to form one cohesive class. At the end of Grade 8, all students are prepared to move forward with their French language studies at the collegiate level.

Families interested in the Late French Immersion program are invited to contact the Late French Immersion school which serves their neighbourhood.

  • École Forest Grove School (Arbor Creek, Aspen Ridge, Brighton, College Park, East College Park, Erindale, Evergreen, Silverspring, Sutherland, University Heights, Willowgrove)

  • École Henry Kelsey (all neighbourhoods located west of the river)

  • École Alvin Buckwold School (Adelaide/Churchill, Avalon, Brevoort Park, Briarwood, Buena Vista, Exhibition, Greystone Heights, Grosvenor Park, Haultain, Holliston, Lakeridge, Lakeview, Lakewood, Nutana, Nutana Park, Queen Elizabeth, Rosewood, Stonebridge, The Willows, Varsity View, Wildwood) 

Drabble, Rodney J. (Rod)6/18/2019 8:33 AM