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WESTWIND SCHOOL DIVISION Q&A

If you can't find the answer to your question please contact inquiries@westwind.ab.ca or submit your question using the form below.

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Where can I find the Westwind School Division Policies?

All Westwind policies can be found HERE, or by navigating to the BOARD tab of the website and selecting "Policies" from the drop down menu.


Westwind Board Meetings are public meetings and anyone can attend.  Meetings are generally held on the first Tuesday of every month starting at 9:00 a.m. and a complete schedule of Board Meetings dates can be found HERE.

Am I able to attend Westwind Board Meetings? When are they held?


Does our school board have a plan for more transparency and accountability?

Responding to requests for increased transparency is a priority for the newly elected School Board and Trustees have spent time over the past several months discussing current practices and researching school board standards across Alberta. Based on this information the Board has taken several steps towards increased transparency.

  • The in-camera session of public board meetings has been moved to the end of meetings to better accommodate members of the public who wish to attend meetings.  

  • Board Meeting highlights are now being provided to the public immediately following Board meetings to keep the public informed.

Trustees will continue to look for ways to increase transparency and engage with the public.


Why does WWSD #74 have multiple Superintendents?

Westwind currently employs four Senior Administrators with “Superintendent” in their title;

Ken Sommerfeldt; Superintendent

John Waterhouse; Deputy Superintendent

Dr. Nolen Olsen; Assistant Superintendent

Dr. Rick Gilson; Assistant Superintendent

Superintendent is simply an administrative title and does not automatically result in increased remuneration. Salaries for senior administration is negotiated annually with the Board Management Committee – it is important to note that bonuses have never been requested nor awarded to Superintendents at Westwind.  Comparable jurisdictions in Southern Alberta (Zone 6) have as many as eight or nine similar positions in their central offices however, Westwind has elected to have fewer individuals employed at central office.

The responsibility for Human Resources is shared among all Superintendents, meaning, each of them have responsibilities related to the hiring, evaluation of Westwind employees, including teachers.


Is there an accountability process for expenses within Westwind?

All information about Westwind Board expenses can be found in WWSD #74 Policy 121.0. Remuneration for subsistence expenses to accomplish the administrative work of education is reviewed and pre-approved by the immediate supervisor of the respective employee. Under the current administration, the level of scrutiny for expenditures has increased insomuch that all expenses are scrutinized and approved for payment by the immediate supervisor of the employee claiming any reimbursement. In addition, a comprehensive external financial audit is conducted annually to review all transactions and to ensure that acceptable accounting practices and internal controls are being followed to safeguard financial assets of Westwind School Division.


Where can I find copies or records of Superintendent annual reviews?

According to WWSD#74 Policy #200.1, 202.1, 203.1 and 205.1, evaluations of Superintendents are presented at a closed meeting of the Board and are not intended for public release.  These evaluations are placed in confidential personnel files and, like all human resource issues, are not available for public scrutiny under FOIPP Section 17. The Board is committed to reviewing and following all board policies and provincial legislation, including the policies listed above.  


How do WWSD Board and Administrative Expenses compare to other divisions?

It is difficult to compare the expenses of Westwind Administration to other School Divisions, as Westwind is the only jurisdiction in Zone 6 that makes Administrative Expenses available to the public. In an effort to assure our public, Westwind has elected to post these expenses to demonstrate openness and transparency. It is important to note, this practice is not required of school authorities in Alberta.


Available positions within Westwind are posted on our website HERE.  In certain cases, Westwind also employs other forms of advertisement including professional association websites and print media. Westwind remains committed to recruit and hire the best possible candidate for each available position. (WWSD#74 Policy #245.0).

How are available employment positions in WWSD #74 advertised?


The top priority in Westwind is to hire the best candidate for every job position, regardless of gender. WWSD#74 Policy #245.0 outlines hiring practices at Westwind.

Does Westwind School Division reflect a balanced male/female ratio?


Westwind stands firmly behind WWSD#74 Policy #141.  If a member of the public has a concern about a Westwind School Division employee we encourage them to use the information in WWSD#74Policy #141 to follow proper channels of accountability to resolve the issue.

What should a member of the public do if they have a concern about a Westwind School Division employee?


Westwind School Division operates under the School Act, and as such, has significant legislative and regulatory obligations to report, monitor, and ensure that all relevant legislation is followed including an annual audit of the financial position and operations of the school division.  You can find links to all Westwind financial records and audits by clicking HERE.

Who holds Westwind School Division accountable?


WWSD#74Policy #415.0 refers to Special Education.  The Policy Committee is currently reviewing a draft of the new Inclusive Education policy as we anticipate Alberta Education releasing the Inclusive Education Framework and Standards document before the end of the 2017-2018 school year.

Why is Westwind School Division Policy #415.0 (Special Education) under review?


The Board is committed to ensuring that Trustees are not placed in duties that place them in conflict of interest.  Every year every trustee is required to completed a form that indicates any conflict with them or any other family members and Westwind School Division to eliminate the possibility of Nepotism, as per WWSD#74 Policy #244.

How are conflicts of interest minimized while selecting Trustees to serve on committees?