PWPSD Board News - December 8, 2022

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DECEMBER 8, 2022
Inspiring all learners to become confident, collaborative and ethical citizens motivated with a passion to achieve a sustainable future.

Merry Christmas from Peace Wapiti Public School Division

We would like to wish each and every one of our students, staff, families, and community members a very merry Christmas and all the best in the New Year!

A reminder that there will be no school between December 23 and January 6. All Peace Wapiti Public School Division (PWPSD) offices and shops will be closed to the public during the Christmas break.

International travel request approved

The Board has provided approval in principle to Savanna School for its request for international travel during the 2024 spring break. Approval for travel is pending compliance with Policy HGCG - Off-Site ActivitiesThe Division's current moratorium on international travel is set to expire September 1, 2023.

Information Technology Report

In his annual report to the Board, Information Technology (IT) Coordinator Darcy Bromling spoke about the need to increase the Division's wireless network capacity once again.

PWPSD's Network
Last year, the Division paid for 360 MB of internet, however for the 2022/2023 school year it has been increased to 450 MB. With thousands of devices connecting to the PWPSD network each day, Bromling says the IT department has seen an average annual increase in MB of 20%.

Students continue to use Chromebooks in class and have even been using apps such as Minecraft to bring excitement to their learning. Although increasing the need for more network capacity, the popular game offers a fun mix of gaming and education, which has been well received by both students and staff.

Cyber Security

The IT department continues to focus on cyber security, which includes training and an increased awareness among staff. Since implementing stronger password requirements, multi-factor authentication and an increase of security protocols on wireless systems, with the help of staff, the department has been able to catch potential threats before they've had the opportunity to cause any harm.

The IT department would like to thank everyone for the part they play in keeping the Division's network safe, and would like to share a reminder to always double check the source of suspicious emails. If you believe an email, including those sent from someone or an organization you know, could be spam, call the sender to confirm its legitimacy.

Transportation Report

Transportation Director Ted Gobin shared his annual report with the Board, focusing on drivers, buses and fleet vehicles, the MELT program, and onboard cameras.

PWPSD manages 100 bus routes throughout the Division. It currently employs three permanent spare drivers who cover large areas of the Division, and at times are required to drive over an hour to get to the start of the route. PWPSD experienced a loss of 12 drivers in June 2022: Grovedale (4), Hythe (2),
La Glace (2), Beaverlodge (1), Ridgevalley (1), Whispering Ridge Community School (1), Harry Balfour School (1). Most of these drivers retired, some have relocated and others have moved on from driving.

Click here for more information about becoming a spare school bus driver.

Buses & Fleet Vehicles
The cost of buses and other fleet vehicles continues to rise. The Division purchased eight buses last year at a cost of $1,040,000. Due to long wait times for parts, a tender for eight more buses, including a handicap bus, for September 2023 has already been submitted and awarded for the lowest price of $1,169,000. PWPSD maintains a fleet of 140 yellow school buses, 5 white multi-function buses, and 35 trucks and cars.

Parts, Tires and Fuel
Over the past year, PWPSD has increased its amount of transportation supplies. More buses are running with studded tires in an attempt to keep buses running on icy country roads, especially if the route has hills. The fuel budget has been increased to address the rising cost of fuel, and the Division has also received assistance from the Government of Alberta's Fuel Price Contingency Program.

The Transportation department continues to offer driver training, both Class 2S and the S Endorsement, a lot of which has been for external agencies. Trainers have traveled to Fox Creek for Northern Gateway and to Sturgeon Lake for S Endorsement training. The Grande Prairie shop provides training for the Grande Prairie and District Catholic Schools, Valhalla Community School, and Horse Lake First Nation.

Since January 2022, the team has trained 31 students, 16 of which have been internal PWPSD drivers.

Red light and interior cameras have been added to the Division's school buses. Red light cameras capture drivers who don't stop when the bus's stop sign is extended. Since June 2022, 10 red light infractions have been submitted to the County of Grande Prairie's Enforcement Services.

Committee & Meeting Reports

  • Trustee Clarke presented the PSBC Meeting Report

Upcoming Events

  • School Christmas Concerts: December 15, 19, 20 & 21
  • No School: Friday, December 23
  • Christmas Break: December 24 - January 6
  • Statutory Holidays - No school, all PWPSD offices and shops closed:
    • Friday, December 23 (in lieu of Christmas)
    • Monday, December 26 (Boxing Day)
    • Monday, January 2 (in lieu of New Year's Day)
  • Classes resume: Monday, January 9
  • Next Board Meeting: Thursday, January 19 at 10:30 a.m.
  • Organizational Day - No School: Monday, January 30
Media: Request an interview
A report on news from Peace Wapiti Public School Division,
published following each Board Meeting.

Content and Design:

Kayla Klava, Communications Officer, [email protected] 
Peace Wapiti Public School Division,
Central Office, 8611A-108 Street, Grande Prairie, AB T8V 4C5  

For more good news, see the News & Announcements section on our website at