2404, 2015

Bessie Nichols School Council Meeting April 23, 2015

24, Apr, 2015|Comments Off

Thanks to Shelley, Rebecca, the rest of Council and Principal Martyn for the invite to participate. I was able to provide an update, as follows:

1. Construction update

The 7-9 Lewis Farms – construction scheduled to start May 1

Granville – thanks to advocacy, now a full build (900 students) rather than starter school.  Occupancy target Dec 31, 2016

Capital plan reflects community input – will investigate new designs with smaller footprint (eg. that could fit the Glastonbury site if required); will determine over the next year the need for a new west end high school

2. Traffic – Board seeking to influence City decisions for the funds raised through photo radar to be used for school traffic concerns

3. Budget – while final budget will be post election, Board committed to focusing resources to support kids in classrooms

4. Strategic plan – District focused on enhancing collection and analysis of data, including parent feedback, to improve practice to support student success

 

2204, 2015

Glastonbury Community League AGM, April 21, 2015

22, Apr, 2015|Comments Off

Thanks to President Jason and the rest of the League for the invitation to Edmonton Public Schools to present an update on the new Grange School approved for Granville neighborhood.

I want to commend the League Executive and Board for your successful advocacy to ensure the Grange school is fully built right away to accommodate 900 students, rather than as a 250 student “starter school” originally promised by the Provincial Government.  Together with MLA Matt Jeneroux, the Glastonbury Community League has been very effective at advocating for the schools so needed by the community.  Your neighbors are very fortunate to have you dedicated volunteers!

1703, 2015

Highlights of March 17, 2015 Board meeting

17, Mar, 2015|Comments Off

Congratulations to all Edwin Parr nominees! Each year, principals are invited to nominate first year teachers for the Edwin Parr Teacher Award which is sponsored by the Alberta School Boards Association (ASBA). One nominee is selected to represent the District at the zone level.

Nine first year teachers were nominated by their principals for the 2015 ASBA Edwin Parr
Teacher Award. A committee of district leadership staff met to review the nominations relative to the selection criteria established by ASBA. Results from the committee’s assessment, as well as points awarded based on scholastic achievement and student teaching evaluations were compiled. Based on the selection criteria, six semi-finalists were selected:

Nominee
Cassandra Backs, Eastglen School
Karly Hildebrandt, Michael Strembitsky School (District nominee)
Kristen Kicia, Sifton School
Alexandria Reeson, Windsor Park School
Kathleen Richey, Westglen School
Jason Wass, John D. Bracco School

Thanks to all constituents that provided comments on the Motion re Traffic Safety Initiatives Around Schools and School Zones.

The Board passed an amendment to the original motion: “That the Edmonton Public School Board write a letter to the Mayor and City Council advocating for a portion of the revenue collected from Photo Radar be directed to traffic safety initiatives around schools and school zones”

to:

“That the Edmonton Public School Board write a letter to the Mayor and City Council advocating for traffic safety initiatives around schools and school zones and for increased education and enforcement” because the majority of the Board felt that EPSB should focus on outcomes rather than specific measures.

Trustees also received a report on progress with numeracy and mathematics. Edmonton Public results for the Provincial Achievement Tests acceptable level exceed those for the Province as a whole.  The introduction of the MIPI (Math Intervention / Programming Instrument) is part of the District’s plan for assessment and improvement in student performance in numeracy and mathematics. Approximately 40% of students require interventions based on their MIPI results, providing strong impetus to further action and support.

In response to a report on partnering with Edmonton Public Library, I urged that EPSB seek volunteers for schools through the library network.

 

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.