Congratulations to the 3 finalists for this year’s District nominees for the Edwin Parr Teacher Award.  This award, sponsored by the Alberta School Boards Association recognizes exemplary performance of first year teachers. Erik Lundeen is this year’s nominee. Erik is a teacher at Belmead School with a Grade 4-6 Interactions class.  In his acceptance remarks, Erik emphasized this was a team achievement, and he thanked his supportive colleagues and mentor teachers.

A campaign priority for me was to find innovative ways to improve efficiencies. I’m pleased that at today’s meeting, Edmonton Public agreed to a partnership with Edmonton Catholic to explore the feasibility of a shared student transportation service.  Preliminary analysis suggests significant cost savings which can be reinvested to enhance service and / or limit future cost increases.  Hoping to build upon this success, I have requested our District administration identify areas beyond transportation where we might partner with other school districts to realize similar benefits.

The Board approved the 2014-2018 Vision, Mission, Values, and Priorities.  As Chair of the District Priorities Committee, I am pleased we have brought this work to a successful conclusion.  Thanks to the many parents that provided valuable input that was considered in developing the final statements. Next, the District will develop a strategic plan with more specific goals and strategies to realize the Priorities.

The Board also approved a revised School Calendar for 2014-2015 and for 2015-2016.  This 2 year pilot recognizes a change in moving to maximum hours of instruction rather than minutes of instruction.  In so doing the change facilitates opportunities for District wide professional development opportunities for our staff.  Another consequence will be to add a couple of days off near Remembrance Day.

Finally, I’m really pleased the District is moving forward on another of my campaign priorities, that of considering consolidating old worn out schools with a modern, mulitpurpose replacement school in a mature neighborhood. I am hopeful we can create a win for students and for the communities.