The Portage la Prairie School Division held a board meeting last night in which a variety of topics were covered, including:

  • Christmas concerts being held virtually this year due to COVID-19; different schools within the division will be using different platforms to showcase their concerts.
  • Winter break is coming up for students and staff, with the last day of classes scheduled for December 22. The break will run until January 6.
  • Vaccination clinics for COVID-19 taking place at schools within the division.
  • And a recent spike of COVID-19 cases among students. Superintendent for the division, Todd Cuddington, says that cases have reportedly settled down within the last week. He also adds that there will probably be an additional update on COVID-19 matters over the Christmas break.

There was also a video presentation at the meeting from grade six students at North Memorial School (NMS.) Where they exhibited their ELA inquiry project called: "NMS NewsNet Showcase."

In the 20-minute video to the board, the grade 6 class imitated a TV newscast where students acted as news reporters, visiting other parts of their school.

In the presentation, students reported on:

  • Preschool activities. 
  • Kindergarten math games. 
  • Grade 1 writing tools. 
  • Grade 2 reading projects. 
  • Grade 3 students learning about plants. 
  • Grade 4 students playing fraction bingo. 
  • Grade 5 math. 
  • And finally, themselves (grade 6 students) learning how to put together the presentation that was being showcased and other highlights from their day-to-day learning experience. 

The presentation went on to highlight:

  • What classes do in Physical Education.
  • The benefits of their Library. 
  • Guidance Counsellors and the learning tools they use. 
  • Educational Assistants and the roles they play. 
  • And lastly, Custodians and how much students appreciate the work they do.

The board was thoroughly impressed and gave the presentation a round applause after the video's conclusion. Even hinting that this News Reporters job might be up for grabs in a couple of years when these students are eligible for employment at Portage Online.

After the meeting concluded, Rod Brownlee, Chair of the Board for the Portage la Prairie School Division, spoke about the NMS NewsNet Showcase presentation.

"When you see kids grade six kids do the kind of presentation that you saw tonight, going through the school, and being able to do reporting jobs. It's great to see."

Brownlee notes that presentations like this used to be a regular occurrence at school board meetings, but they have been shuffled to the side due to the pandemic. He says that he hopes that more of these types of presentations will be seen in the future.

Lastly, The Chair of the Board shared a message on behalf of the divison.

"Merry Christmas to everybody, and Happy New Year; we're all looking forward to a break."

The next regularly scheduled board meeting is set to occur in the new year, on January 11.