912, 2016

Hillcrest Winter Band Concert December 8, 2016

9, Dec, 2016|Comments Off on Hillcrest Winter Band Concert December 8, 2016

I had the pleasure of being hosted by Principal Fonseca and Hillcrest School this evening.  In addition to fine music from the Grade 7, 8, 9, and Jazz Bands, there was also performances by massed bands.  Mr. Mallett, Hillcrest’s music  teacher, added insight to the entertainment by explaining the difficulty of the pieces, and student teacher Ms. Straight ably conducted as well.  The crowd favorite was “Rock Around the Clock” in which Mr. Doucet substituted for ailing drummer Luke.

The next opportunity to hear the band perform is at the Oil Kings game in January at Rogers Place!

Kudos to Brian and Dorothy for organizing the Band fundraiser (those chocolate covered almonds did not last long once I was home)!

It was also very nice to visit with Lori E., former Aldergrove School Council Chair whose children are both now at Hillcrest.

612, 2016

AB Government Strengthens Mathematics and Numeracy Education

6, Dec, 2016|Comments Off on AB Government Strengthens Mathematics and Numeracy Education

I applaud the AB Government for their plan to reintroduce in 2018/2019 a written response portion to Mathematics 30-1 and 30-2 diploma exams, introducing a non-calculator section to the Grade 9 Provincial Achievement Tests in Mathematics, and making available bursaries up to $2,000 per teacher to help cover tuition costs for post-secondary courses designed to strengthen their knowledge, skill and confidence in teaching mathematics.


Strengthening mathematics proficiency opens more career choices to our students, in engineering, sciences, and business.

Edmonton Public has a strong focus on numeracy. introducing the Math Intervention/Programming Instrument or MIPI (http://epsb.ca/news/schools/mathinterventionprogramminginstrument.html) , qualifications targets for staff (https://www.epsb.ca/ourdistrict/policy/f/fca-ar/) and significant professional development in numeracy and mathematics.

I hope Advanced Education takes up recommendation 6 from the Math Curriculum Review Working Group, namely:

“6. That Advanced Education undertakes a focused research initiative to inform a long-term study on how to monitor readiness and success in post-secondary mathematics programs.”

The ultimate test for how well the K-12 system teaches numeracy and mathematics is how well we prepare students for post-secondary and workplace mathematics.


612, 2016

Ormsby School Council December 5, 2016

6, Dec, 2016|Comments Off on Ormsby School Council December 5, 2016

Thanks to Chair Veronica, the rest of Council, and Principal Marshall for letting me join the meeting and graciously accepting my apologies for my late arrival.  I was fortunate to have already heard Principal Marshall’s report on School Goals at Results Review in late November. I enjoyed seeing the school produced video on the benefits for students for accessing the Apple Fitness Store stationary bicycles.  Students ride the bike for brief periods of time to get energized and focused on learning with remarkable results.

I was able to share some good news from the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 approvals for the use of the Districts Operating Reserve, approved at the November 29th Board meeting.  The Reserve, built up by prudent spending by our schools and District, is being reinvested in classrooms and schools across the District.  Additional funds are being invested in programs to assist English Language Learner and severe special needs students.  Schools will also no longer be spending as much from their allocations for technology and for minor building maintenance, freeing up more dollars to support students.

I was also asked to find out more about how the new provincial curriculum will be explained to parents. Once I have that information, I will share through this blog.


2506, 2016

S Bruce Smith Grade 9 Farewell Celebration, June 24, 2017

25, Jun, 2016|Comments Off on S Bruce Smith Grade 9 Farewell Celebration, June 24, 2017

Thanks so much to the SBS community for inviting me to join the celebrations.  We were treated to amazing artistic performances from a number of the graduating students, heard inspiring words from Principal Watson and students, and shared in a a funny trip down memory lane of their educational journey of the past three years.

A special thanks to Principal Donna Watson, who has served for nearly 40 years with compassion and wisdom, the last seven years at SBS.  I will truly miss Donna’s counsel and vision.  I hope that Donna will continue to make our community a much better place by offering her considerable skills to some other form of community service as part of her well deserved retirement.


1106, 2016

Rio Terrace School Family Festival, June 10, 2016

11, Jun, 2016|Comments Off on Rio Terrace School Family Festival, June 10, 2016

Thanks for the invite! Good entertainment, good food, good fun! Many thanks to outgoing Council Chair Michel.

606, 2016

Lion King Jr. at Rio Terrace School, May 31, 2016

6, Jun, 2016|Comments Off on Lion King Jr. at Rio Terrace School, May 31, 2016

Many thanks to the Council and School for the invite to attend.  Student performances were fantastic, and the sets and costumes amazing (over 200 costume changes all provided by parent volunteers). 3 sold out performances plus a matinee for the understudies – wow!  Thanks to Principal Polowy for the FOIP cleared photos.lion king Thursdaylion king Thursday 4lion king Thursday 3lion king Thursday 6

1005, 2016

Laperle School Council May 9, 2016

10, May, 2016|Comments Off on Laperle School Council May 9, 2016

Tonight’s council meeting was the last for Principal Wilma Bayko and Council Chair Todd O. Many thanks and best wishes to Principal Bayko for her outstanding service in fostering excellence in thousands of students and supporting the families of Laperle.  Enjoy Hawaii and other future adventures in retirement.

Thanks to Todd for seven years leadership on the Council, and best wishes for new schools for both you and your daughter!

2604, 2016

School Board Meeting April 26, 2016

26, Apr, 2016|Comments Off on School Board Meeting April 26, 2016

Today, the Board approved the distribution of funds.  The distribution of funds sets the stage for allocation of the funds received from the Provincial Education Budget to schools and central decision units.

I supported the Distribution because it puts our funds to support District priorities and values through a number of approaches:

  • the vast majority of the funds are allocated to classrooms, supporting students first
  • the prudent investment of reserves to supplement the stand-pat dollars provided by the Province
  • the allocations to the Central units also directly support students, with allocations for initiatives in support of literacy, numeracy, intercultural / English Language Learners, early years literacy, and mental health
  • other allocations are to build staff capacity through professional development, summer institutes, and principal readiness
  • continued support for the Equity Fund to address emerging needs in individual schools that could not be foreseen at the time individual schools develop their budgets
  • additional investments are made to support staff in better performing their jobs through evidence-based decision making, including the dashboard indicators project and student assessment
  • initiatives that support the Districts broader aims in providing efficient, functional high quality classrooms in schools throughout the City, and
  • initiatives to strengthen our partnerships with the broader community.


2604, 2016

Lynnwood School Council, April 25, 2016

26, Apr, 2016|Comments Off on Lynnwood School Council, April 25, 2016

Thanks to Chair Phil, the rest of Council, and Principal Shen for welcoming me to the Council meeting. I was interested in learning about the school’s focus on project based learning, and the success of the Minecraft presentation on 1800s era Alberta April 19th.

I was also pleased to learn from Principal Shen how well the District Equity Fund (a pool of funds allocated to assist schools with emerging, unique needs that are unanticipated at budget time) has helped Lynnwood School.  This is important information to share with fellow Trustees as we plan next year’s District budget allocations.

2604, 2016

Bessie Nichols School Council Meeting April 25, 2016

26, Apr, 2016|Comments Off on Bessie Nichols School Council Meeting April 25, 2016

Thanks to Chair Selby, the rest of Council, and Principal Allen for welcoming me to the Council meeting.  I was impressed with the school’s plans to continue to provide great programming next year for nearly 1100 students on essentially a stand-pat budget.

I was proud to have participated in the inaugural career day on April 12th and look forward to building the partnership between the construction industry and the construction lab.

A big congratulations to Michele and the rest of the community for raising the funds to complete the playground.  Michelle is inviting the community to the school library May 17th for the playground reveal!