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Time of the essence for GPCSD officials as Education Act changes loom large

Officials with the Grande Prairie and District Catholic Schools say they have their work cut out for them as they continue to wait on details to proposed changes to the Alberta Education Act.

Bill 8 is slated to change some of the rules in the Education Act, including potentially not enforcing a strict time limit for principals to grant a students request for a Gay-Straight Alliance in a school. A possible change which has raised the ire of several groups in the area.

Grande Prairie and District Catholic Schools Superintendent Karl Germann says they, like everyone else, is waiting for the details on just how big the scope of the changes will be.

“Everything from natural person powers, to some change duties of boards, changes to the entry of access, school fees. and probably a host of other things.”

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Germann admits with a limited window ahead of them, the district will be up against it when comes to implementing swooping changes but remains optimistic about getting the job done on time.

“The information going to be in the details right away and once they pass those regulations we will have a better idea. We are going to be scrambling a little bit in August to put everything in place for September 1, but we will make it happen and let people know what they need to do to comply to regulation and legislation.”

He says the GSA issue is also one which remains top of mind and says they will continue to have pragmatic discussions with parents and guardians as more information becomes available.

“I know we a good and solid discussion about GSAs in schools and what it means for kids, parents, and teachers. For those pertinent issues, we like to have a conversation with parents so they can better understand what it is, and we can help them better understand what we require as well.”

The provincial government has yet to announce any timeline on a finalized Bill 8 which was introduced in June.

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