Sask Rivers expands transportation to elementary schools

Kristen McEwen
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As August approaches, parents and students must think about preparing for the new school year.

Meanwhile, the Saskatchewan Rivers School Division has already made some new changes.   

The school division will now provide transportation for their students within the city of Prince Albert. Buses will be provided for pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students who are 200 metres or more from the school. Transportation will also be provided for Grade 1 to Grade 8 students who are 400 metres or more away from school.

“We’ve never done that before and we’re excited to provide that to kids and families,” Sask Rivers director Robert Bratvold said.

Transportation will continue to be provided for students attending the public high schools as well as the French Immersion program.

The new school year begins Sept. 2 for students. Pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students have alternate schedules. Parents should contact their school to confirm a start date for the younger classes.

Bratvold added that literacy in the basics of reading, writing and math will continue to be a focus in schools. Although the skills will be taken a step further and students will use them to “think, apply and communicate.”

“That’s what’s going to make kids successful,” he said.

Students are not the only ones experiencing change this year. The school division will be expanding their coaching project for teachers -- from 14 schools to 23.

The coaching project was first implemented in seven schools during the 2012-13 year.

In the schools, one teacher is designated to support other teachers in the classrooms with successful core strategies, Bratvold said.

Each school also has a “Sticky Team,” consisting of an administrator, the coach, and one to three additional teachers. The team promotes strategies to make them effective and “stick” in teachers’ minds.

“It’s been awesome the last couple of years,” Bratvold said. “One of our (elementary) schools went from 58 per cent or above to 93 per cent or above grade level in our math common assessment.”

The Sask Rivers school board has also renewed their strategic plan with three main priorities, student learning and achievement, community engagement and partnership as well as infrastructure and facilities.  

“I’m excited, our staff are excited, and some kids are excited to be back visiting their friends,” Bratvold said. “Back-to-school is a great time for teachers and staff.”

If parents have any questions, they can check the SRSD website at, contact Robert Bratvold. Staff will officially be back at school starting Aug. 27.

Organizations: Saskatchewan Rivers School Division, French Immersion, Rivers school board

Geographic location: Prince Albert

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