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.