1802, 2015

Highlights of February 17, 2015 Board Meeting

18, Feb, 2015|Comments Off

The Board approved a recommendation to provide feedback to our representatives to the Alberta School Boards Association to end membership in the Canadian and National (US) School Board Associations.  EPSB representatives have been applying the values of transparency, accountability, and integrity that we operate our own District and have sought to confirm value for money in ASBA holding these memberships.  EPSB and other Boards can participate in the professional development sessions without ASBA holding membership.  We strive to maximize the use of public funds in the classroom at all times. Current tight fiscal circumstances provide even greater urgency to doing so.

An additional item dealt with trying to provide greater clarity when to use the Board’s in camera (confidential meeting) powers, known as Caucus Committee. When dealing with personnel, legal, or real estate transactions, there is a need for confidentiality.  Currently all Board decisions are made a t Public Board meetings.  There are times when the District needs to move ahead on a more timely basis, so the Board is trying to amend our process to respect transparency and yet meet the needs to move forward.  The Board decided today to refer the matter to our legal counsel for further clarity.

Trustee Chubb brought forward a motion that EPSB advocate with Alberta Education to ensure the teaching of consent as part of the program of studies in Human Sexuality.  Currently, it appears that this outcome is not formally included, even though the attached report indicates the clear definition in the Criminal Code of Canada.  The current Provincial redesign of curriculum provides an opportunity to add this important learning outcome.

1602, 2015

Family Day with Lessard Community League

16, Feb, 2015|Comments Off

Thanks to Aubrey, Rob and Michelle, and the rest of the League for the kind invite.  Enjoyed sharing stories with fellow fathers Aubrey and David Xiao, our PC MLA for McClung Constituency, and catching up with Rob about the growth at Edmonton International airport.

1602, 2015

Family Day with Westridge Wolf Willow Community League

16, Feb, 2015|Comments Off

Lots of folks out for skating at the WWWCCCL rink.  Enjoyed the pancakes and the conversation with Amanda Nielsen, vying to be the PC candidate for the McClung constituency.  We discussed Edmonton Public’s infrastructure strategy to provide modern learning facilities for all students.

402, 2015

Elmwood School Council February 3, 2015

4, Feb, 2015|Comments Off

Thanks to Chair Karen, the rest of Council, and Principal Keats Whelan for the opportunity to participate in tonight’s meeting.  It was interesting to hear the benefits and challenges of one school community comprised of the Science Alternative, ISP, and early education programs.  Parents with children in one or more of each of these three programs serve on Council, and all rave about the quality and success of their school. Inspiring!

2101, 2015

Highlights of the January 20, 2015 Board Meeting

21, Jan, 2015|Comments Off

With Sarah Hoffman declaring her intention to seek the nomination for a provincial seat as a Member of the Legislature, the Board elected Michael Janz as Chair and Michelle Draper as Vice Chair.  Sarah brought many excellent qualities as Chair and I wish her well in her pursuit to serve Edmontonions from the Legislature. I look forward to supporting our new leadership team.

The Board received an information report on lessons learned from the introduction of the Grade 3 Student Learning Assessments (SLAs) – pages 18-21 of the package. The SLAs replaced the Grade 3 Provincial Achievement Tests (PATs). While teachers reported value of an assessment early in the school year, and in the various means by which students could respond to demonstrate their learning, numerous issues and challenges including a lack of clarity around exemptions and accommodations, technical glitches, and misalignment of exemplars of student performance with the scoring rubric were also reported.  The District observations will be shared with Alberta Education.

The Board also received a report on what recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Panel on Inclusive Education in Alberta Schools we should consider adopting, and the associated costs – pages 22-24 of the package. The Alberta Teachers Association released the Blue Ribbon report last September.  While administration noted all 38 recommendations have merit, 3 were singled out:

Recommendation 7: Provide a safe environment for teachers and administrators to express their experience as inclusion is implemented.

Recommendation 23: Ensure there is adequate funding for students requiring behaviour support.

Recommendation 28: Provide ongoing professional development during the school day to learn and share strategies to support inclusive practices.

The cost for Edmonton Public is estimated at $30 million per year, not including staff time to explore and implement new strategies.  Our administration spoke to the success achieved to date, but that building more capacity is an ongoing task. This information will help the Board in its advocacy and budget decisions.

Trustee Hoffman has been seeking detailed information to ensure good stewardship of the funds provided by the Edmonton Public School Board to the Alberta School Boards Association.

The Board package can be accessed here.

2001, 2015

LaPerle School Council, January 19, 2015

20, Jan, 2015|Comments Off

Thanks to Chair Todd, the rest of Council, and Principal Bayko for the opportunity to participate.  I was interested to learn how the school is managing increased enrolment, and that the City plowing has improved pedestrian safety.  As at Lymburn Council earlier this same evening, I was interested to hear the need to support inclusive education with other professionals and supports beyond what teachers can provide.

2001, 2015

Lymburn School Council, January 19, 2015

20, Jan, 2015|Comments Off

Thanks to Chair Michelle, the rest of Council, and Principal Collier for the opportunity to participate.  I appreciated Michelle’s overview of the Council, and the opportunity to respond to questions and comments, including the importance of resources adequate to support inclusive education.

2001, 2015

Meeting with City Council, January 16, 2015

20, Jan, 2015|Comments Off

As part of the School Board’s ongoing advocacy, the Board met with the Mayor and a number of Councillors.  The Board briefed them on our planned school modernizations and new school construction, as well as changing demographics of the students population.  The Board and Council discussed opportunities to share information to improve planning to better serve students and their families.

2001, 2015

Centennial School Council, January 12, 2015

20, Jan, 2015|Comments Off

Thanks to Chair Joleen and the rest of Council, as well as Curriculum Coordinator Sangelle Rakowski, for the opportunity to participate.  Sangelle put on a very interesting presentation on how students are utilizing Google Docs as a learning tool.

2001, 2015

Hillcrest School Council January 8, 2015

20, Jan, 2015|Comments Off

Thanks to Chair Jeff and rest of Council, as well as Principal Sas-Evans for the opportunity to participate in the Council meeting. Council discussed the importance of student and staff health and wellness and the need to focus limited resources on existing priorities.  Staff provided an excellent report on supporting student transitions from feeder elementary schools to Hillcrest as well as support for Hillcrest grads to high school.