A candidate for Wetaskiwin Regional Public Schools division 3 trustee election is a former teacher who wants to look out for rural schools.
Jennifer day is a teacher by training with two bachelor degrees and is very busy as a stay at home mom of seven kids right now. But when the trustee seat for division 3 came open, she threw her hat in the ring.
She said, locally, she got very involved when the school board proposed closing the Pipestone School and Lakedell School. “I’ve been involved with the school board over the past few years when they were trying to close Pipestone School and Lakedell School,” she said at The Flyer office Oct. 15.
Day said parents had been told the schools didn’t seem viable as enrollment dropped. Since school funding is based on a “per student” basis a drop in attendance means a drop in funding for the school. “It’s a strain on their budget,” said Day.
The proposal included the idea to centralize students in Falun, but Day said she was concerned that would mean some students would have bus trips of up to an hour. As far as she was concerned, the individual schools each had attendance of 80 to 100 kids, which isn’t unusual for rural schools. The proposal was sunk, barely, by a 4-4 vote, noted Day.
Day said she has been and would continue to press the government to alter school funding based on “per capita,” and introduce a subsidy for smaller rural schools. “I want to continue to be involved in the process,” she said. “We don’t want to revisit this process five years, 10 years from now,” she added.
Her goals as a trustee would be focused very much on her recent experiences. “I want to make sure our rural schools are viable in the long term,” said Day. She said feels rural schools are undervalued despite having many advantages. The smaller population, for example, means more time with a teacher and smaller classes.
In a bigger school, she noted, “It’s easier for kids to fall through the cracks.”
What sets Day apart from other candidates? “I have seven children, six of which are in the school system right now,” she said.
“I think my teaching background sets me apart.
“I have a very calm personality. I base my decisions on research and information but I’m not afraid to look outside the box.”
A candidate’s forum will be held Oct. 27 at Pigeon Lake School. The forum starts at 7 p.m. All candidates have confirmed they are attending.
The trustee election for WRPS division 3, including Pipestone, Lakedell, Falun and Pigeon Lake areas, will be held Nov. 2.