Thanks to Principal Godfrey, Chair Derek and the rest of Council for letting me join the meeting. Fantastic academic results!
Great performances of Callingwood students with Trickster Theatre bringing character education to life. Thoughtful messages embedded in hilarious skits. Well done!
Thanks to Principal Marshall and the Council for switching the order of the Fundraising and Council meetings so that I could attend (sorry for mixing up the start time). It was wonderful to hear how welcoming the school has been to students from Glastonbury and Granville neighborhoods. It was interesting to hear about the progress of the Leader in Me program, and I was excited by our discussion of the fit with the district’s Career Pathways. Principal Marshall shared that the Results Review process and reporting is more meaningful for the staff and much better aligned with district priorities – good to hear!
Thanks to Principal McKeown and the School Council for the opportunity to attend. What a motivated Council, over 14 attendees and Chair Marianne helping with the transition even though all her children have graduated. Nice to hear that enrollment has grown beyond expectations!
Thanks to Lori, the rest of Council, and Principal Patterson for the opportunity to attend. The presentation on the Math Intervention Programming Instrument (MIPI) was interesting. MIPI is a tool for students in Grades 2-9. In mid-September, students completed a short assessment on math concepts they learned last school year. So, for example, a student in Grade 6 will answer a series of questions based on what they learned in Grade 5. Or, they will answer questions at the level they were working at during the Grade 5 year. The results will not count toward students’ grades. There’s no need to study ahead of time. This tool is simply a way to help teachers know where each student is in their math knowledge and skills and if students need more help in math. This is all about strengthening the District’s work to improve math programming and support for students.
Thanks to Michel and the rest of Council for the invitation to attend this evening. Enrolment, achievement results, and Council finances all in great shape. Kudos to the school staff and Council for the great job!
At today’s Board meeting:
- the Board approved sale of the closed Wellington School to the City of Edmonton for $4,755,000. The closed school site has been used by the City for a number of years. The nearly $4.8 million will be added to the District capital reserves, where it can be used for such purposes as purchasing additional modular and portable classrooms (as in the case of Bessie Nichols this past year).
- the Board approved a motion to advocate with the Provincial Government to restore transportation funding. A change in the funding formula reduced Provincial funding to the District of approximately $1.3 million dollars per year. The motion further calls for dialogue with the Province, as the current formula does not reflect the challenges of providing optimal service for Edmonton communities. Funding shortfalls impose a financial burden on parents, and especially where new schools are not yet built, can contribute to very long ride times for students.
- The Board approved closure of 3 schools in the Lawton area to make way for a modern replacement school. This decision has been strongly supported by the community and may offer a positive model to provide great learning spaces and reduce building operating and maintenance costs. Currently, the District is forced to use instructional funds to make up shortfalls to keep aging facilities operating safely and comfortably.
Congratulations to Board Chairman Hoffman and Vice Chair Janz upon their reappointments.
Chair Hoffman noted EPSB advocacy of the 3 Progressive Conservative candidates regarding need for more schools and for full day kindergarten.
The Board approved Vice Chair Janz’s motion laying out an advocacy plan to work with other levels of government to strengthen their understanding of the urgent priority for new schools and school modernizations, and to create greater certainty so that families can plan where their children will be attending school. Read the motion here.
The Board approved consideration of a replacement school for the greater Lawton (Beverly) neighborhood. See report here. The consultation process was very favorable with strong community support for the replacement school. The District will learn from this process and engage in dialogue with other communities. I am personally very pleased as I campaigned on this type of approach.
The Board also approved the 2014-2015 budget (see report here). The budget does not increase per pupil funding amounts, but the budget incorporates funds for the anticipated increase in enrolment. Staff unit costs are also unchanged from last year. The District will draw down operating reserves by $11 million and transportation reserves by nearly $3 million for this budget. This limits the future ability of the District to invest in improvements for students and to cushion changes in costs.