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September 2020 Minutes

Strathcona Christian Academy Secondary School Council 

Minutes Wednesday September 23 2020 7pm

(Virtual Meeting via. Google Meets)


In attendance: Krista Scott- Vice-chair, Jon Elzinga- Principal, Wes Merta- Asst. Principal, Matt Matheson- Asst. Principal, Trina Boymook- EIPS Trustee, Beverly Evans, Jen Oosterveld, Jeremy and Kimberly Teeuwsen, Jessica Moore, Melissa Wall, Nate Peters, Ryan and Devon Marshall, Kelli Littlefair, Roberta Friesen, Aileen Bozic, Andrea Timmermans, Alissa Ottahal and 1 parent



  • Welcome/ Call to Order: Krista Scott at 7:02pm
  • Opening Prayer: Jeremy Teeuwsen
  • Additions to/ Approval of Agenda: Jeremy asked if we could add a SCA Society update to each meeting. Agreed to add into section 8.c (New Business) tonight and receive a standing report at each meeting going forward.
  • Approval of minutes from May 20, 2020:  Devon Marshall motioned to accept with Jeremy Teeuwsen seconding. No objections. 


** Note - for virtual meetings we will use “Unanimous Consent”, the chair will call for a motion and a second and then will ask if anyone is opposed. If no one indicates opposition either in the chat or by speaking, the motion will pass by unanimous consent. **


  • Elections:


    1.  Chair- Aileen Bozic acclaimed
    2. Secretary: No volunteers or nominations. Jon Elzinga will look for candidate- perhaps a shared position or swap each month. There will be a call fro nominations/volunteer at the beginning of each meeting until the position is filled.

** Krista thanked Aaron Box for his 2 years serving on the Council and Karla Alton for her 3 years. **


  • Trustee Report: Trina Boymook- EIPS Board Chair


Want to welcome everyone back for another school year.  With this year being like no other, I encourage you to make it a priority to attend school council meetings. It will provide opportunities to learn to a greater degree of efforts being taken by the school and the Board to provide a safe and positive learning environment and to prevent any further disruption to learning as we experienced in the spring.

The guide for re entry is a living document on EIPS website.  We have created a log of the dates of revisions and what the revisions are for ease. Please always refer to the guide on EIPS to access the most current version.  We do expect practices will be modify throughout the school year to respond to new requirements by the Minister or any that has been determined by senior administration in our efforts to provide a safe, caring and positive learning environment. Also, on that dedicated section of the website there is a FAQ.  If you have questions, please consult this document to see if the answer to your question has be already captured. We encourage you to work with your school throughout the year.


Over the summer the Board met to approve the use of $395,000 from unallocated reserves to cover a number of COVID related costs to set us up for the first four months of the school year. This included purchase of a new learning platform to support out of school learning, access to Edmonton Public out of school resources, PPE, extra custodian costs and the cost of the re entry working group that functioned during the summer.

EIPS received $6.1M from the funds that have been provided by the Federal government.  The province has provided us four broad categories that the funds can be spent.  This funding will allow school authority to address

  • staffing,
  • adapting learning spaces and personal protective equipment, cleaning and safety considerations for schools and buses,
  • supports for special needs students,
  • online learning and teacher training.

The Board held a special meeting on September 16 to approve a Fall budget adjustment that also included allocating the $6.1M from the federal government. The Board approved allocating $8.1M to COVID related costs.  In addition, the Board has allocated $3M dollars to schools to be used in three areas, addressing achievement gap as result of closing schools in March, mental health and overextended classrooms.

At the August 27 Board meeting the Board approved the introduction of Policy 26 School Dispute Resolution.  This replaces the previous Administrative Procedure.  The Board also approved the suspension of rules that limit the number of meetings that can be attended electronically for the entire school year.  Trustees will choose either to attend in person or virtually via Zoom.  As result of reducing the number of visitors to our facilities the boardroom is closed to the public and all public meetings will be livestreamed through EIPS YouTube account.  We have also set protocols to hear delegations from the public.

Board will be conducting a survey in October to inform the establishment of a Division Junior High Honours Alternative Program.

Board Retreat was held on September 15 and 16 and have identified re entry, budget, value of public education and a resolution to Sherwood Heights.



  • Admin Report: Jon Elzinga- Principal


  1. School is going remarkably well. Great to see the kids again and they are truly having fun a. Information overload so we are going to try to drill down on a few of the things that we feel will help you navigate the new reality that we are currently living in. 


  1. Population a. 597 students - down from 617 in the spring b. Currently we have 32 students who have chosen online c. 565 students in the building 
  2. Scenario 2 & 3 a. Scenario 2 i. In-school classes resume for K-12 students on an alternating, Day-1 and Day-2, schedule to reduce class sizes. ii. Four-semester system for grades 7-12 and 10-12 schools. iii. School divisions must follow public-health measures. iv. Physically distancing required. v. Mandatory mask use for staff and students in kindergarten to 12. vi. Continue assessment of children and students. vii. Focus on cohorting students as often as possible b. Scenario 3 i. In-school classes suspended. • All school divisions offer out-of-school learning opportunities. ii. Grades 7-9: Focus on language arts, mathematics, science, social studies and wellness, with an emphasis on physical and mental health—averaging 12 to 16 hours of work per week. iii. Grades 10-12: Focus on course requirements for high school graduation—language arts, social studies, mathematics and science. Five-credit courses average 12 hours of work per week. Three-credit courses average six hours of work per week. Students on track to receive 100 or more credits are eligible to graduate and receive a high school diploma. The Principal can award up to 15 unassigned credits to Grade 12 students. iv. School divisions must follow public-health measures. v. Continue assessment of children and students. vi. Students must actively engage in learning and pursue their education.


  1. Navigating through symptoms and who has to stay home and for how long a. If you have what AHS calls a primary symptom (fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, runny nose or sore throat) you must stay home for 10 calendar days. The only exception to this is if you get a negative COVID test result and your symptoms go away. When you meet both of those criteria you may return to school. If you choose not to get a COVID test, then you are required to stay home for 10 days. b. If you have a secondary symptom (chills, painful swallowing, stuffy nose, headache to name a few) you can return to school as soon as your symptoms go away. c. As always, if you have any specific questions, please contact the office, but thank you for doing your part in helping everyone stay safe.


  1. Transitioning to out of school learning while in isolation? a. Teachers will be posting resources, assignments, course work etc online - for quarter 1 either Brightspace or Google Classroom. Some teachers have chosen to use Google classroom for quarter 1 as we learn brightspace. We were afraid that too much class time was passing by as we learned BrightSpace. Quarter 2 - it will be only BrightSpace b. Entire Class self Isolate? i. In instances where an entire class has been asked to self-isolate for 14 days, the class will be transferred to out-of-school learning and the classroom teacher, if able to perform their duties from home, will take over the instruction and assessment of their students using the Brightspace platform. ii. What about the afternoon class that might not necessarily be having to isolate? 1. The students self isolating at home would follow along online, similar to if they had to isolate themselves for symptomatic reasons. iii. If an individual student is required to self-isolate, the school can choose to either switch the student over to out-of-school learning or continue to support their student, by sending work home, as typically done when a child goes off sick. c. Had a first the other day today - had a teacher sent home due to sore throat. That teacher then taught remotely via Google Meet for the afternoon while the sub was in the classroom i. We have our own sub list at SCS as we vet our subs to ensure they are supportive of our Christian mission and vision. We realize that we will be needing lots of subs this year and we feel we have an extensive list and are continually bolstering the sub list. We also have numerous part time teachers on staff who are looking to pick up sub jobs. If it works with their timetable, we can get them into another classroom very quickly if we have to send a teacher home due to symptoms. 


  1. Athletics - currently on hold. Will be re-evaluated October 1 by High School Principals and the superintendent. a. I’m an athletics guy. I want to see sports start up again because of the incredible value that they have in students' lives. However, the decision to not have them go right now, is because we wanted to make sure that we had a safe start and were successful with our core purposes, teaching and learning. 



  • New Business:


    1. Return to School- Wes Merta- Asst. Principal

Accelerated learning patterns mean early exams for grades 10-12 however it will not affect November break. Junior highs will have mid-terms within class time. Students looking for diploma prep can easily google for options as some previously offered organizations such as Continuing Ed are not necessarily offering this service as of now.

Parent/Teacher Interviews will occur half way through the quarter which is in October for Senior High. A quick poll as to telephone or virtual meetings resulted in no real preference either way so Admin will decide shortly.


    1. Brightspace- Matt Matheson- Asst. Principal

A specific link on the EIPS home page was added for parents to easily locate. You can find the quick links at the bottom of the page. Call the school for a Powerschool log-in if you don’t already have one as it is needed to access Brightspace. A new guide for parents in Out of School Learning has a new “notifications” tab which is really useful. Tailor it to your preference with texts or emails etc. If errors are found when using Brightspace, Matt Matheson is the contact person for SCS.


    1. SCA Society Update- Jeremy Teeuwsen

Five areas of focus for the coming year:


  • Finance subcommittee: including next steps with fees
  • Communications: 
  • engagement of parent councils (standing update for school council meetings)
  • regular communications to parents and other stakeholders
  • Succession planning for principals
  • Monitoring plan: checking in on the health of the Christian component
  • Ministry plan: tie in of SCAS ministry and financial plan into SPAC's planning process


Expect feedback for capital projects in October.



  • Old Business:


    1. Working Group Update- Krista Scott

June 9, 2020 the group made a presentation to EIPS Board of Trustees. June 26, 2020 Aaron Box, Krista Scott and Steven Pepper met with Jon Elzinga and Jeremy Teeuwsen to discuss next steps. Since then, Aaron and Steven have stepped down. Question from Krista as to the dissolving of or recruiting into this working group? Decision made to dissolve but thanks for all the hard work put into this for our school. Working Group will return if required.


  • COSC Report: Krista Scott



COSC is the Committee of School Councils. It is made up of School Councils from EIPS. Superintendent, Trustees and ATA Local President are often present. Many meetings have a presentation from Central Office or specific topic about provincial or district education initiatives.

As you likely know, COSC starts back up in October. The first meeting takes place on October 7 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.—see below for meeting detail.

Because of COVID-19 restrictions, we’re again hosting the meeting virtually, using the platform ZOOM. 

In the past, I have attended COSC as did Aaron. There is a real benefit to attending COSC and having higher level conversations around education in our district and in our province. If you would like to attend, please send me your email so that I can forward it to communications and they will send you a zoom link.



  • Closing Prayer and Adjournment: Nate Peters prayed. Meeting was adjourned at 8:36 pm.



  • Next Meeting Date: Wednesday, October 21, 2020.



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