16 09, 2014

Highlights of September 16 2014 Board meeting

16, Sep, 2014|Comments Off|

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.

2 09, 2014

Highlights of the September 2 2014 Board meeting

2, Sep, 2014|Comments Off|

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.

24 06, 2014

Highlights of the June 24 2014 Board meeting

24, Jun, 2014|Comments Off|

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.

There were also a response from administration about the District experience with P3 schools and on optimal enrolment limits (here).

 

23 06, 2014

WWWCCCL Summer Kickoff Party / Soccer Windup June 22 2014

23, Jun, 2014|Comments Off|

Sue and I enjoyed manning the drinks and chips stand for part of the Westridge Wolf Willow Country Club Community League party.  Kudos to Courtney, Beatrice, and the rest of the other volunteers for their efforts.

21 06, 2014

International Family Festival and BBQ Rio Terrace School June 20 2014

21, Jun, 2014|Comments Off|

Thanks to Sonja, Michel, and the rest of Council, along with Principal Langenhahn for the opportunity to join the Festival. A warm night, visiting with old and new friends, and bratwurst smokies – fantastic!

20 06, 2014

Edmonton Public Staff Retirement Banquet June 19 2014

20, Jun, 2014|Comments Off|

The annual banquet is a favorite event because long time friends and colleagues come together, reminisce, and share exciting new plans.  Our dedicated staff cannot be thanked enough and it is so inspiring to recognize the decades of passion and dedication to Edmonton students and their families.  Many of the attendees this year had served well in excess of 20 years, with as much as 44 years! We had the pleasure of sitting with Joyce Eddy (Lee Ridge School) and her husband Bill, Craig Frizzell (Callingwood School) and his wife Mae (who taught our daughter in law Kim and son Andrew at Westminster Junior High), Lorraine Ringrose (Principal, Patricia Heights school) and her friend Bev Crossman (previous retiree and Principal of MAK), and Jennifer Wan (Ormsby School) and her daughter Janice.  The experiences and plans at our table alone were impressive and made me quite envious! Thanks again and bon voyage!

14 06, 2014

Patricia Heights School BBQ June 13 2014

14, Jun, 2014|Comments Off|

Thanks to Linda and the rest of Council for inviting Sue and I to join the celebration!

13 06, 2014

Aldergrove School BBQ June 12 2014

13, Jun, 2014|Comments Off|

Many thanks to Chair Lori and Principal Karen Patterson for the invitation to attend the Aldergrove School BBQ.  It was a pleasure visiting with students, parents, and staff!

23 05, 2014

Michael A. Kostek School BBQ May 22, 2014

23, May, 2014|Comments Off|

Thanks to Council Chair Melaine and to principal Kroeker for the invite to last night’s BBQ. The dozens of volunteers and the great weather put on a great event for the hundreds in attendance.  A special thanks to Melaine for introducing me to many of the volunteers who make MAK a great school every day!

20 05, 2014

Highlights of May 20 2014 Board Meeting

20, May, 2014|Comments Off|

A significant role of Trustees is to monitor the results achieved of our students.  Analyses of these results should guide Board  decisions concerning policy, allocation of budgets, and advocacy.

The District’s literacy results and the supports provided to strengthen literacy were discussed in detail at today’s meeting (access report here).  While time did not permit all my questions at the public Board meeting, I have submitted the attached questions for a response from the District administration.

The District also provided a comprehensive report on supports provided to students with special education needs (access report here).  This report highlights the work of the District in supporting students in whatever school setting they choose, and in the results in supporting these students.

There is a lot to think about in each of these studies and I plan to review them again.  I also welcome any questions or comments you may have on these reports or any other matter.