BY KALISHA MENDONSA
St. Thomas Aquinas Roman (STAR) Catholic School Division board is seeking input from parents regarding the management of electoral boundaries in the region.
STAR board trustees are encouraging parents within the division to reach out to local representatives as the trustees move through a process of a Ward Boundary review, to be completed by February 2017.
Thalia Hibbs, Lacombe trustee, said the board simply wanted to get a feel from the community as the number of students within the school district has been steadily increasing.
As the population of students grows, the board has identified now as the time to address whether or not the electorates feel any changes are needed in terms of re-defining the electoral boundaries.
“We thought it was time for a review. There haven’t been any issues brought forward, and nothing is happening with the board. No issues were being brought from the electorate, we just felt it was good governance to see if what was set up 22 years ago is still working well for our electors,” Hibbs said.
“We’ve hired a consultant who has experience in these types of things and we decided we wanted a lot of consultation with the community, so we decided to hold a total of six town-hall type meetings throughout the district. We wanted to give lots of opportunity for our electorate to give us feedback in person, as well as online.”
The board currently has nine members serving the district’s 11 schools throughout Leduc, Beaumont, Drayton Valley, Wetaskiwin, Ponoka and Lacombe.
In the 2010-2011 school year, the number of students in the district was recorded at 2,679 – that number has climbed to 3,953 as of the 2016/2017 school year.
“Nobody from the board or from our communities has come to us suggesting what we’re doing now isn’t working – we simply wanted to be pro-active and exercise good governance. We want to remain very transparent in our decision making,” Hibbs said.
Parents and members of the school board can head to www.starcatholic.ab.ca for more information on the survey.