2012, 2013

LaPerle School Christmas Concert December 19, 2013

20, Dec, 2013|Comments Off on LaPerle School Christmas Concert December 19, 2013

Thanks to Principal Bayko and LaPerle School for the invitation to attend their Christmas concert. Special hats off to Music teacher Don Myers for his fabulous compositions and arrangements, and to LaPerle students for their outstanding performances! Their gestures that accompanied their singing were hilarious. My favorites were Rudolph (“honk honk”) and Everyone (run turkeys run!). Fantastic show!

1912, 2013

Share the Warmth Assembly, S. Bruce Smith Junior High School, December 19, 2013

19, Dec, 2013|Comments Off on Share the Warmth Assembly, S. Bruce Smith Junior High School, December 19, 2013

Thanks to Principal Watson and the staff and students at S. Bruce Smith for the invitation to attend today’s assembly. The students displayed tremendous leadership in selecting Ronald McDonald House for their community citizenship initiative. Executive Director Martin Dugas spoke from the heart about how the donations of meals and toys make such a difference to families and caregivers at RMH. The photo of the latest donations on the stage is only a small portion of total donations for Share the Warmth! SBS is living proof of a caring community! I also had the pleasure of connecting with long-time friend Viki G. for the ceremony. Hope you and Gord get over those colds and enjoy the ski trip!

1912, 2013

Patricia Heights School Christmas Concert December 18, 2013

19, Dec, 2013|Comments Off on Patricia Heights School Christmas Concert December 18, 2013

Thanks to Principal Ringrose and Patricia Heights School for the invitation to attend “Stars That Twinkle and Shine”. The use of black lighting was spectacular and the performances truly “stellar”. The specially crafted cakes on raffle were amazing! Great fun!

1812, 2013

Lymburn School Christmas Concert December 18, 2013

18, Dec, 2013|Comments Off on Lymburn School Christmas Concert December 18, 2013

Thanks To Principal Jackson and Lymburn School for the invitation to attend their Christmas concert. Congratulations to students and staff for very successfully staging the fun musical “I Need a Little Christmas Vacation”. The performers clearly had as much fun as the audience. Bravo!

Here is a photo of the main set (I will avoid photos with children where the identity of the child can be discerned, for privacy and security reasons).

1812, 2013

December 17, 2013 meeting with Glastonbury Community League

18, Dec, 2013|Comments Off on December 17, 2013 meeting with Glastonbury Community League

Thanks to Jason R. and 7 other Glastonbury Community League Directors for the invitation to meet to discuss Edmonton Schools Growth and Accommodation consultation regarding Bessie Nichols School. I was able to share with the Community League Directors the material provided at the December 9, 2013 Bessie Nichols School Council meeting.

I reiterated that the 3 options contained in that document are intended to be a starting point for discussion and no decisions have been made. The Board does intend to decide by the end of February 2014 in advance of dates for pre-enrolment in March 2014.

The Directors shared the following with me:
-the anger and anxiety the pressures in accommodating all students has created for parents in the Glastonbury, Granville, and the Hamptons neighborhoods,
-the need for a new school to be the highest priority for the Board’s capital plan,
-the need for more information about possible elementary and junior high receiving schools for students that could be impacted,
-the need for options to incorporate consideration and potential solutions for issues related to student transportation and before and after school care, and
– the need for longer term solutions for junior high students if they are impacted.

I urge parents and community members to make their concerns and options are heard by completing the survey accessible at www.epsb.ca and attending the public meeting at Jasper Place High School January 7, 2014.

1812, 2013

Highlights of the December 17, 2013 Board Meeting

18, Dec, 2013|Comments Off on Highlights of the December 17, 2013 Board Meeting

I appreciate the Board supporting my motion to consider advocacy for additional federal and provincial funds to address the unique challenges that arise from First Nations students moving frequently between First Nations schools and Edmonton Public Schools. With approval of the motion, Board committees for priorities and advocacy will recommend how best to implement within the overall plan.

The Board approved the 2012-2013 audited financial statements. One benefit of the new Provincially mandated accounting reporting standard is that the District must disclose accumulated sick pay which presents a more complete picture of District liabilities. Oddly, the Province requires the District to disclose the liability related to the Teacher Retirement Fund, even though that liability is directly shared by the Province and teachers.

Discussion concerning the Fall update for the 2013-2014 Budget revealed that the District is teaching nearly 3400 more students with 50 less teachers as at September 30, 2013 compared to September 30, 2012.

Processes for confirming District Priorities for 2014-2018 and the 2013-2014 Policy Review Plan were approved. The District Priorities will drive District planning for the next 4 years. Policy review will align with District Priorities and with the changes expected with the new Education Act.

The Board approved amended recommendations for the Alberta School Boards Association priorities, to focus on governance and advocacy. The initial set of recommendations was considered too broad and potentially mixing the work of school district administrations with the work of boards of trustees.

1212, 2013

Lessard Community League Grand Re-Opening December 11

12, Dec, 2013|Comments Off on Lessard Community League Grand Re-Opening December 11

Thanks to League President Aubrey R. for the invitation to attend and to Michelle and Rob, Heather, Julie, Rob, Christine, and Wai Tse for your warm welcome. Good luck to Draytin in trying welding and construction options at Jasper Place High School, to Kelsey, and to Jeff. The Hall looks great and the event was superb. Interesting idea from Rob to use Hall space to help alleviate District enrollment growth pressure.

1212, 2013

Centennial School Christmas Concert December 11

12, Dec, 2013|Comments Off on Centennial School Christmas Concert December 11

Thank you Principal Mike Beaudoin and the Centennial School community for allowing me to attend your Christmas concert. The student performers, supported by a team of staff led by Ms. Price and Ms. Price-Wagner, performed wonderfully and clearly enjoyed the show. My favorites were “Mister Frosty Winter” (why did Mr. Winter have to come around?), “Christmas Makes Me Sing” and “Animal Boogie” performed by Julia, Addy, Ella, and Nicole. Great job!

Here is a photo of one of the great sets (I will avoid photos with children where the identity of the child can be discerned, for privacy and security reasons).

1112, 2013

Traffic and Pedestrian Safety Meeting December 10 at Bessie Nichols School

11, Dec, 2013|Comments Off on Traffic and Pedestrian Safety Meeting December 10 at Bessie Nichols School

Thanks to Councillor Michael Oshry and Trustee Debbie Engel for the December 10th meeting with representatives of the Bessie Nichols and Sister Annata Brockman Schools, representatives of the Glastonbury and Hamptons’ Community Leagues and myself to discuss traffic and pedestrian safety issues.

My notes (which I am checking with other participants for errors and omissions) include:

Key concerns:
• student, staff, and pedestrian safety near SAB and BN due to congestion, limited visibility, and impatient drivers. AMA, City Transportation, Edmonton Police have all directed that adults are not to assist with managing traffic, leaving children to cross streets on their own
• peak hour congestion impacting entire neighborhood, including feeder roads and major traffic routes – Hemingway to 199 Street, Glastonbury Boulevard to 62nd Avenue to the Henday. Congestion is to the point where student bussing north of 62nd avenue is impacted
• excessive speed on Hemingway outside of peak hours

Potential options:
• add amber lights and replace white signage with yellow at cross-walks on Hemingway and on 62nd avenue
• school bus parking inlet in front of SAB
• move “blind” cross-walk from current location at SAB
• camera at stop sign to ticket violations (town of Beaumont)
• better marking / painted markings at cross-walks
• bike / walking path both schools similar to Walkable Edmonton program currently limited to core of city
• limit 215 Street as cut-through
• speed table and raised cross walk at end of BN field on 204
• add parking lot for BN
• timed lights at 204 street and Hemingway so that pedestrians cross in bunches rather than as a steady stream
• eliminate left hand turns on to Hemingway from BN drop off
• seasonal no parking signs with appropriate enforcement
• move electrical box on 199 street south of Hemingway

Several interim measures have been achieved over the past year: the 4 way stop at Hemingway and 204 Street, the 3 automated speed signs on Hemingway, the no-stopping zone at SAB, trimming of foliage on 204 Street that was obscuring vision, and staggered start times for the two schools.

Councillor Oshry advised that traffic safety is an issue for the new Council, and that he had put forward an inquiry to the City administration which should have a response early in 2014. The City has also authorized clearing of all snow windrows for all school zones by Friday December 13, and to raise clearing for school zones to the highest priority for future clearing.

Councillor Oshry committed to a follow-up meeting with the group for which he would invite City administration. This meeting to be scheduled after the responses received to current inquiries. Low cost solutions that do not require extensive consultation processes could be a starting point, with more substantive approaches requiring a consultation process.

1012, 2013

Bessie Nichols School Council Meeting on Accommodating Students – December 9

10, Dec, 2013|Comments Off on Bessie Nichols School Council Meeting on Accommodating Students – December 9

A big thanks to the over 100 parents and community members that attended the Council meeting tonight (December 9). The discussion was thoughtful and focused on what is best for students. Parents who weren’t able to attend will be able to access community questions and proposed options to accommodate growth in enrollment via Schoolzone. Great job by Council co-chairs Kirk and Rebecca, Principal Pat Martyn and her staff, and District Planning Staff. A very big thank you to Superintendent Darrel Robertson for his participation throughout and taking questions well after the formal meeting. I urge people to complete the online survey (accessible via epsb.ca) and attend the west end consultation at Jasper Place High School the evening of January 7. Decisions are anticipated by the end of February prior to pre-enrolment in early March.