Contract to conduct independent review of Palliser school board rejected

LETHBRIDGE – Frustrated parents and former staff members of the Palliser school board attended yet another board meeting Tuesday, hoping for answers related to an independent review of Palliser Regional Schools.

Back in January, the superintendent requested an independent review of the board to put social media rumors and accusations of bullying to rest.

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    The board chair, Colleen Deitz, shared news that the three people who were offered contracts to conduct a review of Palliser Regional Schools’ operations have declined to sign them.

    “It means we have no contracts,” she said. “We have no review proceeding at the moment. What we have done is to make a motion to get in touch with the committee members.”

    Deitz said one of the potential reviewers emailed her to advise the board that all three parties had independently arrived at their decision to decline the contracts. She said the email did not give a reason, so she called and left a message. Deitz said has not received a reply.

    “Until you know the reason, speculation can be anything, but it would be nice to know why,” Deitz said.

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    After an in-camera session to consult with Palliser legal counsel about possible next steps, the board voted to have vice-chair Robert Strauss make contact with the three potential reviewers to find out why they no longer wanted to conduct the review.

    Back in January, Education Minister David Eggen told the Palliser board he wanted this process to be done quickly and efficiently. Deitz said the minister will be notified immediately.

    The board has scheduled a special meeting for 11 a.m. May 17, at which time Strauss may be able to provide an update. Trustees already had a committee meeting planned that day.