Publications mail agreement #40934510 Saskatchewan Association of School Business Officials | Fall 2015 In this issue: School boards celebrate strong foundation and bold future In living colour: Feng shui in the classroom The ABCs of P3s: 18 new schools planned for Saskatchewan

Educational Business Administrator Fall 2015

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The Educational Business Administrator magazine is the official publication of the Saskatchewan Association of School Business Officials (SASBO). This issue features an update on Saskatchewan P3s, food in cafeterias, the SSBA 100th anniversary, and so much more.

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Page 1: Educational Business Administrator Fall 2015





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Saskatchewan Association of School Business Officials | Fall 2015

In this issue:School boards celebrate strong foundation and bold future

In living colour: Feng shui in the classroom

Technical Submission


Joint Use Mutual Partnership Appendix N: Scored Elements


The ABCs of P3s: 18 new schools planned for Saskatchewan

Page 2: Educational Business Administrator Fall 2015

2015 Association for Learning Environments (formerly CEFPI)

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Page 3: Educational Business Administrator Fall 2015

Index to advertIsers

Educational Business Administrator | Fall 2015 3

Published By:DEL Communications Inc.

Suite 300, 6 Roslyn RoadWinnipeg, Manitoba R3L 0G5www.delcommunications.com

PresidentDavid Langstaff

PublisherJason Stefanik

Managing EditorShayna Wiwierski

[email protected]

Contributing WritersConnie BaileyMarvin Dereef

Melanie FrannerSamantha Graziano

Amanda LefleyMarc Legace

Tammy SchusterJordyn Wegner

Sales ManagerDayna Oulion

Toll Free: 1.866.424.6398

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Advertising ArtDana JensenSheri Kidd

©Copyright 2015. Saskatchewan Association of School Business Officials. All rights reserved. The contents of this publication may not be reproduced by any means, in whole or in part, without the prior written consent of the publisher.

While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained herein and the reliability of the source, the publisher in no way guarantees nor warrants the information and is not responsible for errors, omissions or statements made by advertisers. Opinions and recommendations made by contributors or advertisers are not necessarily those of the publisher, its directors, officers or employees.

Publications mail agreement #40934510Return undeliverable

Canadian addresses to:DEL Communications Inc.

Suite 300, 6 Roslyn Road, Winnipeg, MB R3L 0G5Email: [email protected]


table of contents

Message from the Minister of Education, – The Honourable Don Morgan, Q.C. .....................................................4

Message from the executive director of SASBO – Phil Benson ..............................................................................................5

Message from the president of SASBO, Garry Benning ........................6

SASBO executive member profile on Andy Dobson .............................7

SASBO executive member profile on Jerrold Pidborochynski .............8

School boards celebrate strong foundation and bold future: SSBA ............................................................9

Documenting employee discipline: HRPA ...........................................11

How the P3 model is making 18 new elementary schools in Saskatchewan a reality ...........................................................12

A is for aboriginal: Commitment continues .........................................16

Therapy dogs: Helping students in the classroom ...............................18

Passing the baton: Succession planning for a smooth transition .......20

Creating focus: Feng shui in the classroom ..........................................22

Food for thought: Serving up more than good food at Prince Albert high school cafeteria ................................24

SASBO 71st annual convention, AGM, and Trade Show preview ....26

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Page 4: Educational Business Administrator Fall 2015

Saskatchewan Association of School Business Officials | www.sasbo.com4

Message froM the MInIster of educatIon

The Honourable Don Morgan, Q.C.

As we approach the holiday season, I’m sure this school year has already presented you with many opportunities.

The Government of Saskatchewan is grateful for the continuing dedication of the Saskatchewan Association of School Business Officials’ members. On a daily basis, SASBO members work hard to address issues on behalf of the thousands of students throughout our province. As Minister of Education, I personally value the expertise and insight that you bring to your jobs every day.

Although we’re still early in the 2015-16 school year, I’m al-ready encouraged by the many great things happening in Sas-katchewan schools. In early September I had the opportunity to visit many schools and see the great work being done by ad-ministrators, teachers and students. I’ve seen innovative teaching methods, programs to improve reading, and most importantly, I’ve seen eager, engaged students.

As a sector, our work through the Education Sector Strategic Plan (ESSP) and our Student First philosophy is evident in our schools. We are making progress towards improving our read-ing and grad rates, as well as making our schools welcoming and inclusive for all students.

Our government’s vision is for Saskatchewan to be the best place in Canada to get an education. As leaders in our education sector, I can’t thank you enough for helping us achieve this vision. By working together, we can offer every Saskatchewan student the opportunity to succeed in school and beyond.

Don Morgan, Q.C.Minister of Education

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Page 5: Educational Business Administrator Fall 2015

Educational Business Administrator | Fall 2015 5

Message froM the executIve dIrector of sasbo

Philip Benson

T he association recently signed a new publishing agreement with DEL Communications to continue to publish our bi-annual SASBO magazine. In a re-cent meeting with DEL officials, I am pleased to re-

port that some exciting new concepts were brought forward that will give the magazine a refresh, and in doing so, provide our members, vendors and general public with articles and information that is current and in tune with the educational climate today.

In order to ensure the magazine is timely and conveys the changes taking place in education, not only across our provin-cial school divisions, but internationally as well, we will need to rely on our members and vendors to provide articles that dem-

onstrate the innovation, best practices, and successful changes being experienced.

It will be our intention to profile executive members, successful school divisions’ LEAN projects, and have regular reports that are specific to each of the existing functional groups in our associa-tion. In addition, we will invite vendors to present articles that keep our readership up-to-date on happenings and new initia-tives in the educational field that can make our jobs at home at lot easier.

I am excited to be a part of this opportunity to revitalize our SASBO magazine and look forward to working with DEL Com-munications and all of you to make the publication the best that it can be.

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Page 6: Educational Business Administrator Fall 2015

Saskatchewan Association of School Business Officials | www.sasbo.com6

Message froM the presIdent of sasbo

Garry Benning

G reetings, I hope everyone is having a good school year. It is hard to believe how quickly the time goes by. It has been a very eventful fall.

I would like to thank Karen Henderson and Pa-tricia Kovacs from the Ministry of Education for facilitating feed-back from the SASBO membership on two of our strategic plans: the SASBO Functional Group engagement, and promote and strengthen SASBO’s reputation amongst educational partners and membership. The feedback sessions had good participation from the membership. Thanks to all the members that took the time to provide feedback.

The SASBO executive met with the Minister of Education, Don Morgan, at the legislative building. There was a good discussion on the value and expertise that SASBO brings to the table. This is demonstrated by the number of provincial committees that SASBO members are requested to be on. The functional group leaders at the meeting also discussed with Minister Morgan the highlights and/or issues from their respective portfolios. The SASBO executive would like to thank Minister Morgan for the meeting and the guided tour he gave of the legislative building.

With respect to new initiatives, Phil Benson and I are planning to visit four school divisions this spring. The intent is to increase awareness and promote the services and value that SASBO pro-vides in an educational environment. This would entail a presen-tation to the boards.

I would like to acknowledge and thank the strong and capable members of the SASBO executive. They do an excellent job of representing their functional groups and working collabora-tively together. Thank you to Lynel Martinuk (vice-president), Naomi Mellor (chief financial officer), Roxan Foursha (commu-nications), Andy Dodson (facilities), Jerrold Pidborochynski (fi-nance), Dean Biesenthal (human resources/payroll), Barry Stew-art (information technology), and Ryan Bruce (transportation).

The SASBO executive has had two meetings this fall. I would like to thank the North East School Division and South East Cor-nerstone School Division for hosting our meetings and making us feel very welcomed.

Finally, I would like to thank Phil Benson, our executive direc-tor, for his hard work and dedication to SASBO. Have a great year and I hope to see you at the SASBO convention in the spring.

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Educational Business Administrator | Fall 2015 7

sasbo executIve MeMber profIles

When Andy Dobson was hired to be the manager of facilities for the South East Cornerstone School

Division No. 209 in 2007, he admits he faced some challenging times in the be-ginning.

“With respect to the facilities depart-ment, I was sort of a one-man show when I first started,” says Dobson.

The school division had just come into existence in 2006, as part of a provincial plan to restructure the way education was administered in Saskatchewan. It amal-gamated eight rural school divisions into one, supporting 42 schools spread over 31,000 square kilometres of the southeast corner of the province.

“From the northeast corner to the southwest corner of the division, it’s about a four-hour drive. Weyburn is not situ-ated right in the middle, so there’s lots of travel.”

Dobson says he prefers a team-focused management approach for working with his team of roughly 90 caretakers and

maintenance staff, and tries to carefully listen to everyone’s point of view before coming to a decision.

“People need to feel part of the team and acknowledge that their opinion is not only heard, but imperative to the final outcome,” he says. “It’s all about buy-in.”

But after a couple of years of feeling dogged down by having to deal with mi-nor caretaker issues, Dobson recognized a change was needed and proposed cre-ating two supervisorial positions to look after the maintenance and caretaking op-erations.

“Thankfully my chief financial officer at the time and the board were receptive to that plan, and we’re certainly recogniz-ing the improvements it has made with everybody’s time.”

The move freed up time for Dobson to work more closely with senior leadership and allowed him to focus on some capi-tal projects, most notably the Weyburn Comprehensive School. Built in 1967, the building was in need of major upgrades and renovations. As well, the City of Weyburn saw the project as a prime op-portunity to expand the new auditorium to make it a performing arts space, and pitched in $6.5 million into the project.

Spanning six years and with a budget of $60 million, it’s the largest project Dob-son has managed in his 27-year career, which included seven years as facilities manager for the city.

“We have several partnerships, which is great, but there’s a lot of challenges with them too,” says Dobson. “Now we’re deal-ing with joint-use agreements and how we operate this facility moving forward.”

Dobson says his previous experience working with the city may have helped the partnership from the get-go.

“For whatever reason, municipali-ties and school divisions don’t typically get along, But, when I came over to the school division, I had a great working re-lationship with the mayor, city manager and several councillors. I knew the main players at city hall and recognized that a long-term partnership was certainly a possibility.”

Dobson joined SASBO in 2008 and is currently serving as director on the Facil-ity Functional Group Committee. He says SASBO provides an important forum to interact with colleagues to problem solve, share best practices and brainstorm new ideas for issues that Dobson says are all too common amongst his peers.

“There’s not very many times that you’re going to have a member bring up a unique issue that nobody has ever heard of or experienced, so somebody will al-ways step up and share their solution.”

Dobson adds that everyone is more than willing to share.

“Why attempt to reinvent the wheel when somebody has already gone through it and has developed a policy? They’ll forward it to you and it’s a matter of some formatting to correspond with your school division and move forward.”

Dobson has been married for 20 years to his wife Arlene, who also works in the school division as principal at Haig El-ementary School in Weyburn. The couple tries to spend as much of their free time at their cabin at Kenosee Lake with their two miniature schnauzers.

Building success through teamwork

By Marc Lagace

SASBO member profile on Andy Dobson

Page 8: Educational Business Administrator Fall 2015

Saskatchewan Association of School Business Officials | www.sasbo.com8

By Marc Lagace

J errold Pidborochynski always had career aspirations of becom-ing a chartered accountant.

As a boy growing up in Prince Albert, Sask., he was inspired by his neighbour who worked in the profession. That later led him to pursue a career in business during university. He attained his bachelor of commerce at the Univer-

sity of Saskatchewan with a major in ac-counting, and then returned to get a mas-ter of professional accounting degree.

After finishing his education to become a chartered professional accountant, Pid-borochynski worked at Deloitte & Touche LLP for 13 years as a senior manager.

“I worked with small businesses, pro-viding tax and business advice,” said Pid-borochynski. “I had a lot of audit clients – Saskatchewan Rivers School Division being one of them.”

He was involved with the school divi-sion audits for 12 years, gaining an insight into the operations and building relation-ships with senior management. Eventu-ally, the day came where they approached him and asked if he was interested in joining the team. It was a decision that Pidborochynski did not take lightly, given his 13 years of loyalty to his firm. But ulti-mately, it made a lot of sense for both his career and his young family.

“My oldest child was turning four and about to start school, so I had an interest in becoming more involved in the educa-tional sector.”

He joined Saskatchewan Rivers School Division as the manager of financial ser-vices in August 2011. The division in-cludes 31 schools and supports the edu-cation of approximately 9,000 students. With an operating and capital budget of $100 million, Pidborochynski says it’s one of the larger school divisions in the prov-ince.

Pidborochynski joined SASBO in 2011 after talking with the Saskatchewan River School Division chief financial officer.

“I really wanted to get involved and learn more about the education sector,” he said. “It’s a great place to share infor-mation, meet people that are in the same position, dealing with the same issues and developing best practices to become as ef-ficient and effective as we can be.”

He became the SASBO deputy director of the Finance Functional Group in 2013 and director of finance in 2015. Pidboro-chynski says there are plenty of benefits being a part of SASBO.

“SASBO and its members represent all school divisions. Our members have a breadth of knowledge and experience, and serve on various working groups to improve and shape the future of school divisions. I can’t say enough about SAS-BO. It’s incredibly important to have that voice and represent the business side of school divisions.”

As Pidborochynski admits, he couldn’t have made it to this point in his career without the love and support from his family, most notably his wife, Tara.

Moving on up SASBO member profile on Jerrold Pidborochynski

sasbo executIve MeMber profIles

Page 9: Educational Business Administrator Fall 2015

Educational Business Administrator | Fall 2015 9

saskatchewan school boards assocIatIon

School boards celebrate strong foundation and

bold future

T he Saskatchewan School Boards Association (SSBA) is continu-ing to recognize and highlight our 100th anniversary in 2015,

which has been proclaimed “The Year of the School Trustee” in the province to ac-knowledge and honour our long and im-portant history.

The theme we have chosen for the up-coming school year is “Strong Foundation – Bold Future”. This centennial year truly represents a significant and remarkable milestone in our association’s history. All of the work that we as school board trust-ees have done – along with that accom-plished by our predecessors over the past century – has indeed set a strong founda-tion for our efforts going forward.

Locally elected school boards have a vital role in serving Saskatchewan’s pub-licly funded education system. The longest lasting and most fundamental responsi-

bility of schools boards has been to bring the voice of the public to publicly funded education. Local autonomy and gover-nance have been foundations of education since – and even before – Saskatchewan officially became a province. Local people came together to build a school, form a school board and hire a teacher to educate the children in the community.

More than 100 years later, local au-tonomy and governance of education continue to underpin the roles and re-sponsibilities of Saskatchewan’s 28 locally elected boards of education. The work of the SSBA and its member boards remains deeply rooted in the belief that every child in Saskatchewan, regardless of where they live or their personal circumstances, must have the resources and supports they need to achieve and succeed.

We are continuing to encourage every-one in the province to join us in celebrat-

ing the contributions made by locally rep-resentative school boards. Throughout the year, our celebrations have been designed to both champion our history of work-ing together with our partners, as well as encourage continued collaboration going forward.

We recognized the centennial at our spring general assembly, and along with our 100th anniversary celebrations, we hosted our counterparts from across the country in Saskatoon this summer for the Canadian School Boards Association’s Annual Congress and the National Trust-ee Gathering on Aboriginal Education.

By Connie Bailey, Pro. Dir., SSBA president

Saskatchewan school board trustees gathered at the SSBA 100th anniversary spring general assembly in April.

Page 10: Educational Business Administrator Fall 2015

Saskatchewan Association of School Business Officials | www.sasbo.com10

This fall, we held our 100th anniversary fall general assembly in Saskatoon.

As I remarked at the 70th annual con-vention and AGM of the Saskatchewan

Association of School Business Officials earlier this year, school trustees and busi-ness officials in Saskatchewan have a long history of working together toward the

shared goal of ensuring success for the students of our province.

Boards of education are proud of the partnerships and collaboration in the education sector – all of us striving for the best possible educational opportuni-ties and outcomes for all students in our province. Collectively, the women and men who serve on Saskatchewan’s boards of education are committed to serving children, youth, parents and communi-ties – and we know the members of your organization also share such a commit-ment.

You have our sincere thanks for your efforts to support the achievement of stu-dents, and boards of education will keep working with you in the service of stu-dents. Everything that you do contributes to the achievement and success of our students.

The SSBA is proud to work closely with SASBO – as well as all of our partners in education – in continuing toward achiev-ing our vision: that by 2025, Saskatch-ewan has a globally recognized educa-tion system that others wish to emulate. With you, we look forward to continuing celebrating our strong foundation in this centennial year, as well as working to-ward our bold future.

Connie Bailey has been a locally elected school board trustee for more than 15 years. She has been an active member of the provincial executive of the SSBA for a total of more than 10 years, serving in the roles of constituency representative, vice-president, and now president of the association. She is a trustee for the Sun West School Division.

Bailey’s professional background includes work as a registered laboratory technologist and certified combined technologist, with many years of employment at both the Saskatchewan Research Centre in Saskatoon, and a small rural hospital in her home community of Milden,

Saskatchewan. Bailey and her husband, Roy, have been married 35 years and have farmed for many years at Milden. They have two children, Rylan and Brenna.

Bailey has an honest and forthright leadership style. She believes that effective leadership requires a co-operative approach and that it is important to collaborate with all partners in order to improve educational opportunities for all children and youth. Trust throughout the sector is essential to enable forward progress and she is committed to working together in that spirit to build a better province for all Saskatchewan students.

Members of the SSBA provincial executive with Education Minister Don Morgan at the spring general assembly.

Page 11: Educational Business Administrator Fall 2015

Educational Business Administrator | Fall 2015 11

huMan resources professIonals assocIatIon

employee disciplineBy Samantha Graziano, CHRL

W hen disciplining or terminating an employee, you decrease your legal risk if you can show that you previously warned or counseled the employee, making clear what the employee was

doing wrong and what was required to meet the organization’s expectations.

Alan Riddell, employment lawyer and partner at Ottawa law firm Soloway Wright, says that proper documentation is an im-portant employment practice because if an employer doesn’t properly “paper the file” there could be dispute as to what the facts were.

“If it turns out to be a straight contest of he-says versus she-says between the employer and the employee, and there is no docu-mentation confirming the employer’s version of what happened, then most courts and arbitrators will often give the benefit of the doubt to the employee.”

The goal of documentation is two-fold: inform the employee of unacceptable behaviour or performance, and establish an official written record. This could be through an email or letter to the employee. If litigation occurs, courts expect employment deci-sions to be well-documented.

Documentation can also help avoid disputes in the first place. An employee is less likely to challenge a decision if they know that it is supported by written proof of misconduct or poor per-formance. And you can be sure that a lawyer will review the documentation that a potential client received before deciding to represent them.

If the employee does pursue litigation, a well-documented de-cision will be more difficult to counter. Documentation provides the framework for explaining an employment decision to the court.

The best documentation records a decision-making process that demonstrates the organization made a well-thought-out and fair decision.

“The main focus should be on the employer looking reason-able in its conduct because that is ultimately what the court is going to expect,” says Riddell. “If the employer is terminating the employee or administering some type of lesser discipline, it is es-

sential that the employer appear to have acted reasonably in all circumstances.”

Riddell says the biggest mistake employers make when it comes to documentation is not documenting the same day.

“There will be a presumption of complete accuracy to an email or memo written the same day as the meeting, but that wears out very fast once you move beyond 24 hours, because a judge or arbitrator is going to say that even from 24 to 36 hours memory starts to fade.”

Here are some other key points to keep in mind when docu-menting your next employee discipline meeting:• Identify the violated rule or policy and state the legitimate

reason why it’s fair• Demonstratehowtheruleiscommunicatedtoemployees• Describeanypreviousstepsyouhave taken in thediscipline

process, such as counselling• Explaintheeffectontheorganizationoftheemployee’sfailure

to meet the standard• Clearlystateyourfutureexpectations• Invitetheemployeetoaskanyquestions,leavingnoroomfor

misunderstanding• Stateplainlyandspecificallytheconsequencesofanadditional

violation• State your willingness to assist and your sincere hope for

improvement• Includeadateandyoursignature• Notethatitis“confidential”andhandleassuch• Useplainlanguagethatcanbeeasilyunderstood• Ensure that the employee has a meaningful opportunity to

improveIf, in documenting a decision, you cannot honestly say that you

followed these steps, delay your decision until all steps have been taken. This will ensure you are in a strong position to defend your decision if necessary.

Samantha Graziano, CHRL is a member of the Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA) – the regulator of the HR profession in Ontario.


Page 12: Educational Business Administrator Fall 2015

Saskatchewan Association of School Business Officials | www.sasbo.com12

publIc – prIvate partnershIps (p3s)

How the P3 model

By Amanda Lefley

is making 18 new elementary schools in Saskatchewan a reality

O ne fundamental institu-tion that fosters a growing neighbourhood and sup-ports growth within their

community is a school, which is why school infrastructure projects are so im-portant. In keeping up with an unprec-edented population growth, the Province of Saskatchewan has recognized the need for more adequate institutions to meet in-

creasing enrolment. So much so that 18 new elementary schools are in the process of being built in the areas of Martensville, Regina, Saskatoon, and Warman. These new state-of-the-art facilities are antici-pated to accommodate up to 11,100 stu-dents from pre-kindergarten to Grade 8.

“These schools are also being designed with the community in mind, provid-ing after-school access to the community

resource centre, gymnasium, and other multi-purpose rooms,” said the Ministry of Education.

“All 18 schools are vital in order to keep up with infrastructure demands facing those growing communities, and they will give our citizens great value as we continue to grow… The locations of the schools were determined through pro-jected enrolments and population growth

Technical Submission


Joint Use Mutual Partnership Appendix N: Scored Elements


Page 13: Educational Business Administrator Fall 2015

Educational Business Administrator | Fall 2015 13

in key areas of the province. The capacity of neighbouring schools to accommodate growing enrolments was also considered through discussions with impacted school divisions.”

Since 2008, the Government of Sas-katchewan has approved 65 capital proj-ects, including new school builds, renova-tions and restorations. Despite the amount of school infrastructure activity in recent years, the 18-school project is the larg-est schools build the province has ever seen. Construction began in September of 2015, with the institutions being ready for the 2017 academic year. The project is very intricate, with many partners com-ing to the table in order to make this a reality. Those partners include SaskBuilds, the Ministry of Education, the provin-cial government, and five school division partners. The group is using a P3 model for the builds, which is being estimated to save more than $30 million on the cost of construction.

“The Saskatchewan School Boards As-sociation and its members believe that all students should have safe, healthy, and vibrant learning environments to support their success at school,” said Connie Bai-ley, president of the SSBA, in a prepared statement. “Boards are also committed to ensuring value for money in all deci-sions, and will continue to work with the

provincial government in finding the best options to meet the needs for facilities in our province.”

“A P3 is a long-term, performance-based agreement between government and business to deliver public infrastruc-ture such as roads, bridges, schools, and healthcare facilities. The public sector owns the asset in full,” the Ministry of Education explained.

The government will invest $635 mil-lion over the life of the contract. These

monies will cover construction-related costs, in addition to the cost of mainte-nance over 30 years and the cost of reha-bilitation to keep the schools in like-new conditions. According to a press release from the Government of Saskatchewan, using a traditional approach to build and maintain these same schools would cost $735 million. SaskBuilds’ independent financial experts determined that is a sav-ings of 13 per cent.

“These schools will stay in better condi-

Technical Submission


Joint Use Mutual Partnership Appendix N: Scored Elements


Technical Submission


Joint Use Mutual Partnership Appendix N: Scored Elements



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Page 14: Educational Business Administrator Fall 2015

Saskatchewan Association of School Business Officials | www.sasbo.com14

tion, be finished faster, and cost millions less than if the government did this proj-ect without a public-private partnership,” SaskBuilds Minister Gordon Wyant said in a press release.

“Not only does this investment provide for 18 new state-of-the-art schools, it also ensures that these facilities are maintained in a like-new condition for the next 30 years,” said Education Minister Don Mor-gan in a press release.

A joint-use partnership was also se-lected as a part of this project in order to deliver the schools. The partnership func-tions as a consortium, and includes Con-cert Infrastructure Ltd., Bird Capital Lim-ited Partnerships, Bird Design-Build Con-struction Inc., GEC Architecture, Wright Construction Western Inc., Kindrachuck

Agrey Architecture, and Johnson Controls Canada LP. Joint-Use Mutual Partnership will contract with a number of businesses to deliver and maintain the facility.

“Concert is excited to be working with the Government of Saskatchewan to deliv-er these critically needed schools to their growing communities,” said David Pod-more, Concert Infrastructure Ltd.’s chair-man and CEO, in a press release.

The P3 model has been used in other school build projects within the country. In Alberta, the model was used in the construction of approximately 40 new schools. The Ministry of Education in Sas-katchewan explained they have learned from these projects.

“The five Saskatchewan school divi-sions, that will own and operate the

schools, will manage access as they do for any other school… As a later entrant to the P3 market, Saskatchewan has had the advantage of learning from the experi-ence of other jurisdictions, including Al-berta,” said the ministry.

The 18 new elementary schools will be constructed in nine locations throughout the province; in the Evergreen, Hamp-ton Village, Rosewood and Stonebridge neighbourhoods of Saskatoon, in addi-tion to Martensville, Warman, and three Regina neighbourhoods. Each location will have both a public and Catholic school.

“The focus of joint-use is to provide extra benefits to the students in schools where specific programming may not have otherwise been offered,” said the Ministry of Education when asked why the public and Catholic schools will be lo-cated on the same grounds. “Short-term and long-term maintenance costs could be shared resulting in less cost to each school board.”

The public and Catholic school will also share facilities in addition to their physical location.

“Joint-use schools consist of a pub-lic school and a Catholic school located within the same building, each with their own educational areas, along with shared

Technical Submission


Joint Use Mutual Partnership Appendix N: Scored Elements



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Page 15: Educational Business Administrator Fall 2015

Educational Business Administrator | Fall 2015 15

spaces, such as a community resource space, multi-purpose space, and childcare centres,” said the Ministry.

Each of the new facilities will also bring a 90-space childcare centre to their sur-

rounding communities, for a total of more than 800 new childcare spaces.

“Which will support the increasing number of young families in each com-munity,” added the ministry.

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Page 16: Educational Business Administrator Fall 2015

Saskatchewan Association of School Business Officials | www.sasbo.com16

aborIgInal educatIon In saskatchewan schools

A is for aboriginal By Melanie Franner

Commitment continues

A teacher and students facilitating the Help Me Tell My Story program.















T he Saskatchewan Ministry of Education continues to focus on incorporating aboriginal content into the province’s cur-

ricula. It was the first province – in 2007 – to implement mandatory treaty education for K-12 students, and it continues to be a leading force in incorporating innovative programs and initiatives across all grade levels.

According to the Ministry of Educa-tion, treaty education begins as early as Grade 1, where the subject is “infused”

into current subjects like English, history and social sciences. The subject covers: treaty relationships; the spirit and intent of treaties; the historical context of trea-ties; and treaty provisions.

The topic of residential schools is also addressed in the classroom – via exist-ing social sciences and social studies curricula. Additionally, there are specific resources developed for Grades 6 and 7 students that include sections that address the impact of residential schools and their lasting effects.

Tales from the pastThe ministry has also created a number

of initiatives designed to improve First Nations, Métis and Inuit student educa-tion outcomes and graduation rates. And, in fact, the numbers show that graduation rates among this section of the popula-tion are about seven to eight points higher than in the five years previous.

One of these programs is “Following Their Voices”, which was implemented in 17 schools across the province beginning in the fall of 2015 (following a six-school pilot program earlier in the year). Close to 50 per cent of the students involved in the pilot program were First Nations, Métis and Inuit.

The Ministry of Education describes the program as: This initiative uses a “train the trainer” model where in-school teacher facilitators are trained by a pro-vincial “Following Their Voices” facilita-tion team. The program is based on re-search done with a group of Saskatchewan First Nations and Métis students, parents, teachers, in-school administrators, and Elders.

“Help Me Tell My Story” is another new program. It was offered to all provincial and First Nation schools beginning in 2014-15. Approximately 300 classrooms in 117 schools from 17 school divisions (including 17 First Nation schools) took part in the program. To date, some 4,295 students have participated.

The ministry describes this initiative as “a new and innovative holistic assessment that helps improve our understanding of First Nations and Métis early learners in

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Educational Business Administrator | Fall 2015 17

Saskatchewan and to set them up for fu-ture success”. It uses an engaging turtle puppet and an innovative iPad app to provide for an interactive and compre-hensive approach rooted in First Nations and Métis learning perspectives to assess oral language development for pre-kin-dergarten and kindergarten children.

A third educational initiative, the In-vitational Shared Services Initiative, has been designed to help provide support to students on-reserve in an effort to improve their education and employ-ment outcomes. It was launched in 2013 to support 10 partnerships. This num-ber was expanded with an additional six partnerships in 2014. The program reaches K-12 students.

Proof is in the puddingAs of September 30, 2014, there were

187,200 students from kindergarten to Grade 12 enrolled within the province. These include enrollments in provincial school divisions, First Nations schools, historical high schools and independent schools. In addition, there was an addi-tional 6,200 pre-kindergarten students.

According to the Ministry of Educa-tion, approximately 22 per cent of these students identify themselves as First Na-tions, Métis or Inuit.

“On-time” graduation rates (for the 2013-14 school year) in the province were 75 per cent. The “extended time” rates were 81 per cent. In comparison, the First Nation and Métis “on-time” rate was 40 per cent and “extended time” rate was 54 per cent.

Although the newly introduced pro-grams aimed at this segment of the popu-lation are proving to be effective, the gov-ernment has committed to reaching even more students over the next few years.

“In the ‘Saskatchewan Plan for Growth’,

the Government of Saskatchewan has outlined key targets, including reduc-ing the Grade 12 graduation disparity between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal

students in the K-12 system by 50 per cent by 2020. And for Saskatchewan to lead the country in Grade 12 graduation rates by 2020.”

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The ministry has also created a number of initiatives designed to improve First Nations, Métis and Inuit student education outcomes and graduation rates. And, in fact, the numbers show that graduation rates among this section of the population are about seven to eight points higher than in the five years previous.

Page 18: Educational Business Administrator Fall 2015

Saskatchewan Association of School Business Officials | www.sasbo.com18

servIce dogs In schools

S tudents having a ‘ruff day?Therapy dog programs are

becoming increasingly popular. Whether in schools, nursing

homes, hospitals or offices, people are be-ginning to understand the many benefits these kind of programs have to offer.

According to the Canadian Service Dog Foundation, there are three types of

therapy dogs; therapeutic visitation ani-mals – the most common type of therapy dog, these animals visit facilities such as schools, nursing homes, hospitals, and de-tention centres. Animal-assisted therapy animals – trained to work alongside occu-pational therapists during physical reha-bilitation programs; and, facility therapy animals – dogs that live in the same facil-

ity they work in, such as palliative care, nursing homes, and psychiatric units. Of the three different types of therapy dogs, therapeutic visitation animals are the ones that can be found inside schools for vari-ous types of therapy programs.

It is becoming more common for schools to adopt this type of program-ming for students because of its many positive benefits. Therapy dogs have been known to provide assistance for children with autism; to those suffering from anxi-ety or stress; to others who have difficulty learning to read or perform certain tasks in a traditional classroom setting. Therapy dogs are sometimes what certain students may need to overcome those barriers.

Colleen Anne Dell, Ph.D. research chair in substance abuse, did her sabbatical re-search on pet therapy (animal-assisted interventions), and has seen firsthand its positive effects.

“There is research documenting the impacts of both animal-assisted therapy (which is goal-oriented) and animal-as-sisted activities (which is not goal-orient-ed, but can still be therapeutic). Much of it draws upon the influence of the animal/human bond,” explains Dell. “For example, the literature speaks to the innate ability of dogs to nurture (both offer and receive it). They can be comforting, bring a sense of happiness, and are non-judgmental. This seems to happen on an innate or intuitive level for them. We also know that physi-

Therapy dogs

By Jordyn Wegner

Helping students in the classroom

Many schools are using therapy dogs to help students cope with various problems.

Page 19: Educational Business Administrator Fall 2015

Educational Business Administrator | Fall 2015 19

ologically there are impacts as well, such as the release of feel-good hormones, like dopamine and oxytocin, for some people in the presence of a dog.”

These feel-good hormones produced during human/dog interactions allow for a more relaxed and accepting environ-ment. Humans tend to gravitate towards dogs because of their non-judgmental nature, which is why dog therapy has proven to be so effective, especially within

schools. Students feel comfortable around dogs because they know the dog will not react in a negative manner when it comes to them stepping outside their comfort zone. Schools are starting to integrate dog therapy for special-needs students over a broad spectrum, whether it be physical or educational.

Elementary schools in particular are using therapy dogs to assist children who have difficulties learning to read.

“Studies have shown that reading to a dog versus a teacher or another student can help children improve their reading comprehension. Children with special needs respond really well to the therapy dogs in a way that they calm down. They may talk to the dog or open up more if they are petting a dog,” explains Ashley Balysky, director of community services for St. John Ambulance. Educators are finding that students feel more comfort-able reading to a dog and this allows them to take certain risks that they might not have otherwise taken inside the tradition-al classroom setting.

Therapy dogs are not only beneficial within elementary schools; high school and university students are also benefit-ing from them when it comes to reducing stress and anxiety. The University of Sas-katchewan hosts a dog therapy program for its students. Several St. John Ambu-

lance therapy dogs and their handlers vis-it the school twice a month for approxi-mately two to three hours per session.

“We know students are overwhelm-ingly stressed at times and we wanted to know if therapy dogs would make a dif-ference,” explains Rita Hanoski, organizer of the dog therapy program for student health services at the University of Sas-katchewan. “Students (and staff) love connecting with the dogs and say that spending time with them is having a posi-tive effect on them. Students say that they de-stress and relax when they visit the dogs. Students (and staff) seem to leave happier after visiting the therapy dogs,” says Hanoski.

Dog therapy programs are showing up across Canada, from elementary, to high school, to university; educators and ad-ministrators are understanding the long list of positive benefits therapy dogs can provide for their students. These animals can aid students in a unique and progres-sive way, oftentimes helping them step outside their comfort zone in both edu-cational and social settings. Dog therapy is useful for schools in a wide variety of ways and these animals can oftentimes tap into a side of students that their hu-man counterparts cannot.

Page 20: Educational Business Administrator Fall 2015

Saskatchewan Association of School Business Officials | www.sasbo.com20

successIon plannIng for a sMooth transItIon

P reparing your successor to take over the position is vital to the success of the organiza-tion.

The four-by-100-metre relay race is one of the highlights of the Summer Olympic Games. The race is often won or lost in the exchange zone – the area where one runner hands the baton to a teammate who continues the race.

In a business or organization, the suc-cession plan is the exchange zone. How well the baton is passed from one lead-er to the next determines in large part whether the organization stays on track to success. The swearing-in ceremony for the president of the United States sym-bolizes a harmonious exchange of ad-ministrative leadership. And although a swearing-in ceremony for your successor will unlikely be held, you need to ensure that he or she comes to the position pre-

pared to take the hand-off, and to contin-ue to move the organization forward.

When you pass the baton to your suc-cessor, will he or she be in motion or standing still? Will he or she be a faster or slower runner? Will your successor have a grasp of the fundamental duties of the department and the long-term and short-term goals of the organization?

If you are growing your organization from within, how are you preparing the next generation of leaders? Here is a fable to help illustrate my point.

Ralph was an Olympic track star who won more medals than anyone in the his-tory of the Olympics, with the exception of one other athlete. Throughout Ralph’s sports career, he had earned a reputation for being self-centered; only his goals mat-tered. When asked to help his younger teammates, he refused. In his mind, they were the competition, out to distract him

from fulfilling his destiny. He would say, “I didn’t get where I am by helping others beat me.”

In his final Olympic appearance, Ralph was focused on breaking the record and on becoming the winningest track star in Olympic history. To accomplish that goal, he would need to win three individual track events and the four-by-100-metre relay.

Ralph won his first two races by a de-cent margin; he knew the next two races would be his toughest. Before his final in-dividual race, his relay teammates asked him to practice the baton exchange with them, but he refused. He was focused on his final individual event – which he won. Now, it was time for the relay. Winning the relay would give him more medals than anyone in Olympic history.

The coach had Ralph run the second leg of the race to help the team get an early lead. The first leg started well. Ralph’s teammate was running hard and in the lead. When he handed the baton to Ralph, the baton bobbled a bit, but Ralph man-aged to catch it. Now he had to catch up. He showed his yearning to be in the re-cord books by running his fastest time ever.

However, as he attempted to hand the baton to his teammate for the third leg, the baton once again bobbled – but this time nobody caught it. The race was lost, and the coach was accused of not prepar-

Passing the baton

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Page 21: Educational Business Administrator Fall 2015

Educational Business Administrator | Fall 2015 21

ing his team. Ralph eventually admitted that his selfishness and unwillingness to help his teammates cost the team the win and cost him his legacy.

Preparing the teamWhat does your exchange zone look

like? Who stands waiting to move the or-ganization forward? Have they been given the knowledge and resources in prepara-tion of that next step? Consider the fol-lowing when thinking about ensuring the long-term success of your organization:

Develop a strategic plan that includes ways to nurture employees. Having tal-ented employees should not be an acci-dent; it should be a part of your goals and objectives. The goal must permeate the organization, transforming the culture.

Develop a performance management system that includes evaluating and developing employees. Fulton County Schools’ Human Resources/Talent Divi-sion, led by Ron Wade, developed Pro-fessional Keys (PKES), a performance management tool for all non-classroom teachers, non-administrative school staff, and central and operational staff. PKES has the following purposes:• To align employees’ professional re-

sponsibilities with Fulton County Schools’ mission and goals.

• Toclarifyemployees’rolesandtoestab-

lish clear expectations for performance.• Toencourage targeteddevelopmentof

employees’ skills and abilities.PKES includes SMART (specific, mea-

surable, attainable, relevant, and time-based) assessments to ensure that goals are met, and frequent feedback.

Develop leadership essentials. District officials identified four essential behav-iours that everyone should focus on to demonstrate leadership in Fulton County Schools. Those leadership essentials help drive the mission and values of the school system:• Createvalueforourcustomers.• Embracechangetodriveimprovement.• Leadbyexample.• Developourcapability.

Each leadership essential has a clear definition of what is expected of everyone in the organization in order to support the goal of putting students first. (See Figure 1.).

A framework was created to show the different competencies and behaviours that display those leadership essentials. All employees are assessed according to the competencies and behaviours of their respective roles in the organization.

Develop career paths. Some people move up the ladder because of the cir-cumstances of the organization; others are self-driven to climb. And others are stuck

because there is no ladder; to advance, they must go outside the organization. Without career paths in an organization, you risk losing talented employees with valuable knowledge and experience.

Establishing career paths isn’t easy; for smaller organizations, it requires creativ-ity. Even large districts must examine the value in the roles created and in the job descriptions. Organizational structure must be designed to ensure operational ef-ficiency and appropriate internal controls.

The exchange zoneTo be a successful organization, you

must have a plan to recruit, develop, and replace key personnel to ensure long-term achievement of your goals. In sports, it is the difference between winning one championship and winning four. School systems and government agencies owe it to the students and taxpayers to always put the best team on the field.

So as you prepare for retirement, think about your legacy. Who will continue your great work? Have you started men-toring a future leader to hand the baton to? I started at Fulton County Schools as executive director of budget services. Last year, after spending five years learning from CFO Robert Morales, I was appoint-ed deputy CFO. Research shows that great leadership takes years to develop, so don’t wait until the day before someone retires to start thinking about the exchange zone.

Marvin Dereef, SFO, is deputy chief financial officer for Fulton County Schools in Atlanta, Georgia, and chair of ASBO’s Accounting, Auditing, and Budgeting Committee. Email: [email protected].

This article originally appeared in the June 2014 issue of School Business Affairs magazine and is reprinted with permission of the Association of School Business Officials International (ASBO). The text herein does not necessarily represent the views or policies of ASBO International, and use of this imprint does not imply any endorsement or recognition by ASBO International and its officers or affiliates

 Figure 1. Putting students first in Fulton County Public Schools creates value for our customers

Page 22: Educational Business Administrator Fall 2015

Saskatchewan Association of School Business Officials | www.sasbo.com22

classrooM feng shuI

K eeping a child focused while in school can be an endeav-our. There are so many dis-tractions in their learning

environment – the weather (it’s snowing), a new kid, and recess – but there is help, and it can start from the very classroom they sit in.

“Children study in class, then they play, then they go back to studying,” says Bridg-et Saraka. “They move from each mind space very quickly, so it’s important to create an environment that supports that

aspect of growth and development.”Saraka, CEO of the International Feng

Shui Guild and owner of Feng Shui by Bridget in Saskatoon, has been practic-ing feng shui for nearly 20 years. She has applied feng shui principles to homes, of-fices, healthcare facilities, farmland, and classrooms.

Originating in rural China, feng shui is the ancient study of environment that dates back over 3,000 years. The complex practice relies on colour and placement of furniture and art to balance the energies

of a space to promote good health and good fortune.

“It is really about paying attention to each environment and how it can sup-port and enhance the quality of life,” says Saraka. She believes the ancient practice is important in today’s fast-paced, tech-nology-based society. “When we live in balance with nature and the natural flow of life, we are better supported in all as-pects in life.”

From a feng shui perspective, Saraka says placement plays a big role in creat-

Creating focus By Tammy Schuster

Feng shui in the classroom

Page 23: Educational Business Administrator Fall 2015

Educational Business Administrator | Fall 2015 23

ing balance, and that includes inside the classroom.

Simple things such as placing desks in a circle rather than the standard row seating promote equality and visibility. “The flow creates open dialogue and gives children the feeling of safety,” she says.

Having the teacher at the front of class and facing the door – known as the com-mand position – gives him or her empow-erment and energy that encourages open-ness.

The Saskatchewan Rivers Publish School Division is currently undergoing a 21st Century Learning Classroom pilot. The 21st Century Learning principles sup-port a more tailored style of teaching in a flexible and open environment. These principles are parallel to that of feng shui.

Colour is key in the classroom as it can evoke many emotions. Primary colours can create issues with focus, while muted tones, like beige or grey, cause energy lev-els to drop, making children lethargic.

Saraka recommends light blues and

greens for the classroom that reflect na-ture and eases the transition from out-door to indoor. “It promotes a fresh, calm feeling, and slows energy down enough to hold children’s attention without making them sluggish.”

She also recommends natural daylight or LED lighting over fluorescent bulbs, which are hard on the eyes, and bounces off of paper and hard surfaces.

Plants in the classroom are also benefi-cial. She says popular house plants, such as the peace lily, mother-in-law’s tongue, and boston fern suit a classroom setting because they respond well to interior light and are low maintenance. They also ab-sorb EMF (electro magnetic frequencies), which are emitted from interior lighting and computers.

Even the tools used to teach can affect focus. Many toys, games, and teaching devices in the classroom are primary co-lours and are made of hard plastic. These are considered masculine energy and can over-stimulate young minds.

In a presentation made to students of the Early Childhood Education Program at Saskatoon Polytechnic, Saraka advised classrooms be decorated in a more cyclical way. “Classroom walls filled with different teaching material creates too much stimu-lus for children and can be very distract-ing.”

She suggests classroom walls be devoted to one subject for a period of time before switching to something else. For example, the classroom could be adorned with math-ematic equations for one month, the next month countries of the world, and the fol-lowing month languages and the alphabet.

She also suggests storing resources that are not in use in wicker or wooden baskets, bringing more natural elements into the space.

While there will always be the first day of snow, and recess is here to stay, a few simple changes in the classroom can help create balance and keep kids focused on their work. Even if it’s only for a few min-utes longer.

Feng shui in the classroom


Page 24: Educational Business Administrator Fall 2015

Saskatchewan Association of School Business Officials | www.sasbo.com24

cafeterIa food: what should we be servIng our students

S tuffed pork tenderloin served with roast potatoes and fresh vegetables; apple, cranberry, and walnut salad topped with

chicken breast; cinnamon French toast with a side of fresh fruit. These are not menu items from a trendy local bistro; these meals are a few of the daily features offered at the Carlton Comprehensive Public High School cafeteria. And they are all under $5.25.

Since taking over operation of the school cafeteria from a private company two years ago, CCPHS now provides a va-riety of delicious meals to students every day.

“We realised that we could operate

the cafeteria in a leaner way, while creat-ing opportunities for students and giving them better, healthier options,” says David Lokinger, vice-principal at CCPHS.

Lokinger is referring to the commercial cooking program offered to students in Grades 10, 11, and 12. The program teach-es practical culinary skills to senior stu-dents while providing fresh food for the cafeteria. This allows the school to offset costs and offer healthy, interesting break-fasts and lunches at affordable prices.

Polling students of the Grade 9-12 school about what they wanted from their school cafeteria was part of the take-over process.

“The cool thing was they gave us the

straight goods,” says Bryan Schille, practi-cal and applied arts commercial cooking teacher. “They told us there wasn’t any fruit or vegetables, and – in Grade 9 words – said everything was kinda gross.”

Schille, who has taught at CCPHS for seven years, spent 10 years as a night sous chef at Earls in Saskatoon, and three years with the University of Saskatchewan Cu-linary Services. He was part of the team that helped create the culinary program and overhaul the cafeteria menu.

“I adhered to our school division nu-trition policy when reconstructing the menu, and we work fairly closely with our school nutritionist.”

Working alongside cafeteria staff, stu-dents make sandwiches, salads, and cold food products, plus they help prepare the daily lunch specials. They also make baked goods for sale in the cafeteria, and get experience with merchandising, mar-keting, and working on the front line.

The Grade 12 students spent an entire afternoon in the cafeteria each week earn-ing credits toward commercial cooking and work experience.

“We’re giving students who are inter-ested in pursuing careers in the culinary arts opportunities to earn work experi-ence credits,” says Lokinger. “Another unexpected benefit we are finding is some disenfranchised students have been able

Food for thought

By Tammy Schuster

Serving up more than good food at Prince Albert high school cafeteria

Page 25: Educational Business Administrator Fall 2015

Educational Business Administrator | Fall 2015 25

to find connections by working in the caf-eteria.”

Schille says he has noticed another trend with students when they get their driver’s licenses. “It’s almost a right of pas-sage to get the gang together, get in the car and leave the school grounds for lunch,” he says. He knows going out for cheap and unhealthy fast food is unavoidable, but they are trying to give kids better options that are also affordable.

Allergies are also a concern these days

and Schille says because they are such a large school, it’s hard to accommo-date all allergies. He says they do have signage whenever a meal contains nuts and they do make gluten- and dairy-free options.

By making everything on-site, they have control over and know what goes into each meal. “We give them informa-tion so they can make informed choic-es,” he says. “For example, if a student is allergic to onions, caramel flavoring or

red dye #6, I can tell them exactly what in-gredients have gone into the soup.”

He admits changing the perception current students have of cafeteria food is a slow process, but sales are up and he sees more people in the cafeteria each week.

“With anything, change takes time. We are making a new normal for the students.

But when the place is full of kids – both preparing and eating food – that youthful energy is fun to be around.”

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Page 26: Educational Business Administrator Fall 2015

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Page 27: Educational Business Administrator Fall 2015


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