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Garden Valley School Division (GVSD) trustees are wondering what the future holds for local school divisions following the Province's education review.

Education Minister Kelvin Goertzen launched the review of the Kindergarten to Grade 12 education system in Manitoba on Wednesday. The eight person commission tasked with the provincial education review will examine things like student outcomes, teaching, and long-term sustainability.

GVSD Board Chair Laurie Dyck says things like student outcomes, and teaching, are all good things to focus on, and she says reviews shouldn't be a scary thing. However, Dyck says the intent behind this review and what will result does have the board wondering what lies ahead.

With the government saying that there are no pre-determined outcomes attached to this review, Dyck says they are trusting in those words to be the actual case.

Dyck says with the education minister having already used words like amalgamation and less school board trustees, it gives them a reason to wonder if the public knows enough to answer questions about Manitoba education as a whole, when it comes to surveys and consultations related to the review.

The government says the review process will include extensive consultation across the province. Dyck says it is not clear how that consultation will happen, but public surveys will be a part of it. "That's not just parents, that's everyone that lives in the Garden Valley School Division that's paying the education tax to us," says Dyck" "She adds (ratepayers) should have a very vested interest in understanding before they complete surveys or engage in conversation."

Dyck adds the division is being proactive, with a plan in place focusing on educating their constituents. During a number of planned events, she says they will be sitting down with municipal officials, parent advisory councils, and they will continue to engage with the Garden Valley Teachers' Association.

When meeting with the municipal officials, the board plans to discuss the importance of them knowing how and why they operate the way they do. Discussions will also cover the benefits of keeping local funding decisions right here at home, and the funding going directly to those decisions right here.

"We are looking forward to connecting more with the general public, but at this point, we're starting with those people that have a stronger voice with the government."

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