Michele E. , parent with children at Bessie Nichols School, addressed the Board on behalf of the community. Michele spoke respectfully and passionately on behalf of parents of the urgent need for the Board to place as its highest capital priority construction of a new school to house the growing numbers of young children in the neighborhoods west of the Henday.
One issue that arose from the reviews is the urgent need to address the unique challenges that arise from First Nations students moving frequently between First Nations schools and Edmonton Public Schools. Transitions can impede student learning and growth, and this challenge is compounded if student records do not easily follow. Further, much of this student registration occurs after the September 30th cutoff so that there are insufficient funds to provide programming for these students. As a consequence, I provided notice of a motion to begin to address this situation.
Later in the Board meeting, the Board received a presentation from the District about infrastructure, which included criteria for selecting neighborhoods for new schools. These proposed schools are submitted annually in the District’s capital plan for funding approval by the Provincial Government. As demonstrated in the 2013 plan, District requests far exceed Provincial approvals.
Following Board comments from the November 26, 2013 Board meeting, the Administration revised the Annual Education Results Report and Education Plan. The Board approved the revised document. Trustees review schools and central decision units as part of the Results Review process. Here are my observations about the schools I reviewed and my recommendations shared with the Board to strengthen the reports.
That evening following Board, I was honoured to participate in our district recognition ceremony. This annual celebration recognizes amazing contributions by staff, students, parents and community members. Congratulations to all the 2013 recipients.