There are many important issues on our horizon:
- How should the district move forward with low-enrollment schools or programs and aging infrastructure?
- How is your school engaging with the new career pathways initiative?
- After three consecutive tough provincial budgets, how can our district be an effective financial steward?
- How can we ensure that all students in our district have equitable access to amazing learning opportunities?
- What partnerships should be explored at the school or district level to help all students be successful and transition to the world of work?
Welcome Minister School Trustees look forward to working with you!
At 1:00 PM this afternoon Premier Jim Prentice announced his new cabinet. I would like to offer a warm welcome to Minister Gordon Dirks, our new Minister of Education.
As school trustees our relationship with the Minister of Education is crucial. Countless hours of advocacy work is invested in developing relationships and communicating school board priorities. The Minister is our advocate in cabinet and at Treasury Board for the needs our our students. Whatever we can do to help the Minister make the case for properly resourcing education, the better.
As a former elected school trustee and Board Chair for the Calgary Board of Education he is someone familiar with local education issues in our growing province. Minister Dirks would be well-positioned to assist us.
Other key relationships to develop are the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Infrastructure. We are excited to begin to build relationships with Manmeet Bhullar as Minister of Infrastructure and Robin Campbell as Minister of Finance.
As a system, we need predictable, sustainable funding for public education and have enormous infrastructure challenges we must work together as elected officials to address. Locally-elected school boards will continue to champion the voice of parents and the community in education decision-making.
Thanks to Minister Johnson
I also want to offer a BIG THANKS Minister Jeff Johnson for his service as our minister. He had many difficult challenges to stickhandle and while I didn’t always agree with him, I always found he was willing to engage in dialogue and listen to school trustees — individually, through boards, or through our provincial organization, the Alberta School Boards Association. I’m sure we will continue to work together as he serves in his new role, Minister of Seniors.
Contact or Biographical Information:
Minister of Education Gordon Dirks:
Minister of Infrastructure Manmeet Bhullar
Minister of Finance – Robin Campbell
Minister of Seniors – Jeff Johnson:
Here are the questions the ASBA asked the leadership candidates and their responses:
That the Edmonton Public School Board:
a) Share a copy of the 2015-2018 Three-Year Capital Plan with each Edmonton memberof the Legislative Assembly, the three Progressive Conservative Party leadership candidates and Edmonton City Council.
b) Request to meet in person with them to develop a strategy to support them in their advocacy for Edmonton’s urgent school space and transportation needs for Edmonton children.
c) Urge them to provide a timeline for construction and immediately prioritize the construction of new schools for Edmonton in accordance with the District’s Three- Year Capital Plan Year One priorities:
- K-6 Windermere Estates
- K-9 The Grange (Glastonbury or Granville)
- K-9 Heritage Valley (Allard or Chappelle)
- K-9 Ellerslie/The Orchards
- Mature Neighbourhood Replacement school as determined by the Infrastructure Strategy
- K-6 Meadows (Laurel)
- K-9 South East (Walker)
- K-9 Lewis Farms (Secord)
- K-9 Heritage Valley (Allard or Chappelle)
- Mill Creek School Replacement/Modernization
d) Provide an update to them on the announced 2016 modernization and construction projects and urge their support in expediting this work.
e) Urge the Government to work with school boards to create a clear and transparent process for the awarding of capital projects and new schools.
On May 2, 2013, the Government of Alberta announced funding for two new district schools through theBuilding Alberta’s School Construction Program. On February 10, 2014, funding for three additional school projects was announced, including two new schools and an expansion to Lillian Osborne School.
All five projects were submitted as new construction priorities in the Three-Year Capital Plan 2014-2017.
The new schools are:
- Heritage Valley (Blackmud Creek) K-6
- Terwillegar Heights K-9
- Windermere (Ambleside) K-9
- Lewis Farms 7-9
On January 21, 2014, the Government of Alberta announced funding for four school modernization projects and a replacement school for Edmonton Public Schools. These projects were submitted as modernization priorities in the Three-Year Capital Plan 2014-2017.
The modernization projects will be for the following schools:
On June 24, the Board of Trustees unanimously approved Superintendent Robertson’s recommendation to build a new replacement school in the Greater Lawton area on the Rundle site. Read more about the replacement school project, including features of the replacement school.
It is always awkward for elected officials to discuss their compensation. I did not vote for any additional compensation for myself, but rather in favor of adjustments for the 2013-2017 Board of Trustees. The new compensation framework will be posted and available to future trustee candidates.
The compensation adjustment is aligned with that given to the exempt management staff. I believe in fair and competitive compensation, aligned with that being paid to other trustees of comparable size and responsibility, that is reflective of the duties and expectations of the community.
Most of the package was status quo and there were no major changes, merely slight adjustments reflective of changing practices.
The 7.69% figure and the 2.25% figure came from agreements that were achieved with the exempt management staff.
I voted in favor of the professional development allocations as I believe that it is crucial for our elected leaders to model lifelong learning. It is important for trustees to remain on the cutting edge of education issues provincially and nationally and working with other education leaders can help ensure those setting policy for the district are making the most informed decisions possible.
To see the full recommendation click here:
I also voted in favor of the trustee policy review plan and timelines detailed here:
I also voted in favor of the Alberta School Boards Association Strategic Plan for 2013-2016. It would see the ASBA focusing on building partnerships, advocacy for school boards, and other worthwhile initiatives.
The Student Advisory Council Recommendation looks sound, and I look forward to it being enacted. I think this will really improve the efficacy of students and their future democratic participation. Research shows that engagement activities such as this are valuable for students and promote lifelong engagement.
January 9, 2013
Board approves remuneration for next term
Yesterday, the Edmonton Public Schools Board of Trustees approved a recommendation to increase Trustee remuneration effective October 22, 2013. The increase will not apply to the current Board of Trustees, as it comes into effect after the next school board election in October 2013.
Part of the increased cost will be offset by a decision to eliminate the position of Caucus Committee Chair. The duties previously carried out by this position will be assumed by the Board Vice-Chair.
“The Board wanted to provide the next group of Trustees with fair compensation that reflects the level of work and commitment required of this demanding position,” says Board Chair Sarah Hoffman “The increase in remuneration is based on the most recent settlements reached with most of the District’s staff groups.”
The Board did not approve a recommendation to retroactively apply cost of living increases to remuneration received by current Trustees.
“Trustees ran for office based on the level of remuneration in place when we were elected,” says Hoffman. “The Board recognized it would not be appropriate for us to approve an increase to our own remuneration.”
The full board report, which is posted on the district website, provides details on all of the remuneration increase recommendations.
The next board meeting will take place on January 15, 2013 at 2 p.m.
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For further information, call the Edmonton Public Schools media relations line at 780-429-8282.
* Updated: Please see media release below. I am pleased to see the resulting information from our administration and the steps they are taking to ensure that no shortcuts are taken when it comes to student health. *
Building on District Priority #4 (Promote health and wellness for all students and staff) at our Tuesday, November 27th Board meeting I put forward an RFI (Request for Information) to the administration regarding concussions and compliance with best practices.
January 16, 2013
Board committed to concussion safety
Yesterday, the Edmonton Public Schools Board of Trustees received a report on the District’s use of best practices to prevent and address concussions among student athletes.
Board policy outlines the expectation that district staff provide safe learning environments for all students taking part in interschool athletic activities. To maximize student safety, staff must follow the Safety Guidelines for Secondary Interschool Athletics in Alberta and must implement safe coaching practices for athletic activities.
In addition, at least one member of a team’s coaching staff must have taken the Alberta Schools Athletic Association’s Concussion in Sports – What You Need to Know online course. Most recently, in November 2012, schools were provided with a Return to Learn Post-concussion Protocol to guide district staff in supporting students who are recovering from a concussion.
“The Board places the highest possible value on ensuring student safety,” says Board Chair Sarah Hoffman. “The District is taking the necessary steps to minimize the likelihood of concussions and to take appropriate action if they do occur.”
The District’s Comprehensive School Health team will continue to review district practice and make any necessary adjustments required to support student safety on and off the sports field. More details on concussion safety at Edmonton Public Schools can be found in the full board report, which is posted on the district website at www.epsb.ca.
I was honoured to share a special afternoon with the other recipients. They represented quite a cross-section of Albertan society and I’m sure their families and friends are very proud. I’ve posted the names of the other Edmonton winners below. Congratulations everyone!
Diamond Jubilee Medal
The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal honours Her Majesty’s service to our country. It also honours significant contributions and achievements by Canadians.
Premier Alison Redford presented the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal to more than one hundred recipients from across the province and various walks of life during a ceremony on November 14, 2012.
- Ms. Muriel Abdurahman
- Mr. Ken Agrell-Smith
- Mr. Giuseppe Albi
- Mr. Trevor Anderson
- Ms. Marg Andriuk
- Mr. Tesfaye Ayalew
- Mr. Bob Baker
- Ms. Juanita Bartsch
- Mr. Reg Basken
- Mr. Warren Becker
- Mr. Murray Billett
- Mrs. Lillian Boddez
- Mr. Allan Bolstad
- Mr. Ron Bos
- Deputy Chief (Retd) Mike Bradshaw
- Mr. John Brennan
- Ms. Sandra Bromley
- Mr. Glen Buick
- Ms. Mary Cameron
- Ms. Cindy Chiasson
- Ms. Yvonne Chiu
- Const. Timothy Connell
- Ms. Linda Cook
- Ms. Judy Cosco
- His Worship Nolan Crouse
- Mr. Chester Cunningham
- Mr. Rick Curtis
- Mr. Russ Dahms
- His Worship Headley Dennill
- Ms. Sylvie Duchesne
- Ms. Terri Duncan
- Sgt. Bruce Edwards
- Ms. Iris Evans
- Dr. Laurier Fagnan
- Ms. Val Figliuzzi
- Mr. Martin Forbes
- Mr. Werner Frose
- Mr. Gord Fuhr
- Mr. Dave Ganert
- Mr. Martin Garber-Conrad
- Ms. Peggy Garritty
- Mr. Brian Geislinger
- Mr. Doug Goss
- Ms. Susan Green
- Mr. Syed Hasan
- Mr. Doug Haynes
- Mr. John Healy
- Ms. Sylvia Holcomb
- Ms. Carol Holmes
- Mr. Danny Hooper
- His Worship Stuart Houston
- Mr. Ernie Ingles
- Mr. Michael James
- Mr. Michael Janz
- Mr. Mykola Kanevets
- Her Worship Gale Katchur
- Ms. Sue Keating
- Mr. Wallis Kendal
- Ms. Cathy King
- Ms. Suzan Krecsy
- His Worship Gregory Krischke
- Ms. Deborah Kully
- Most Reverend Joseph MacNeil
- Mr. Jean Grand-Maitre
- Mr. John Mahon
- Mrs. Lynn Mandel
- Mr. Loryn Marcellus
- Mr. Ray Martin
- Mr. Julian Mayne
- Mr. Scot McAvoy
- Mr. Ross McBain
- Mr. Blake McDougall
- Mr. Tom McFall
- Mr. Paul McLoughlin
- Ms. Christy Morin
- Mr. Joseph Moss
- His Worship Jeff Mulligan
- Mr. Reza Nasseri
- Mr. Don Neufeld
- Mr. Thanh Nguyen
- Ms. Brenda O’Donnell
- Ms. Sheila O’Kelly
- Ms. Fardoussa Omar
- Ms. Mary O’Neill
- Ms. Janet E. Parks
- Mr. Masood Peracha
- Mr. Rajmund Pierzchajlo
- Mr. Carmelo Rago
- Ms. Stella Rago
- Ms. Jean Richards
- Inspector Terry Rocchio
- Mr. Bruce Saville
- Inspector Darlene Savoie
- Mr. Allan Scott
- Mr. Lawrie Seligman
- Mr. Robert Sinclair
- Mr. Alan Skoreyko
- Ms. Teresa Spinelli
- Mr. Bob Splane
- Mr. Doug Stollery
- Ms. Colleen Sutherland
- Grand Chief Roland Twinn
- Mr. Todd Van Vliet
- Ms. Linda Wedman
- Staff Sgt. Randy Wickins
- Mr. Terry Wickham
- Ms. Sandra Woitas
- Grand Chief Marvin Yellowbird
- Ms. Harriet Younie
- Staff Sgt. Darren Zimmerman
- Mrs. Tillie Zyp
You can read the full article here:
Thank you to the Avenue Edmonton Team, 3Ten Photo, Cheryl Mahaffy and the anonymous nominators who put my name forward to receive this award.
How do we support public education in mature neighbourhoods? Today, and 20 years from now?
Here is a copy of the administration recommendation that passed unanimously this evening.
RECOMMENDATION (PASSED UNANIMOUSLY)
That after the Board articulates a set of principles to guide capital and accommodation
planning, the Administration develop and implement a District infrastructure strategy
that identifies timelines and goals to provide high quality learning opportunities, respond
to community needs, address the deferred maintenance deficit, and right size district
space to efficiently meet short-term and long-term needs. That this recommendation replaces the motions approved on March 13, April 10, and September 11 2012.
This effectively means that no school closure recommendation will be coming forward from the administration in the 2012-2013 school year and instead the district will shift their attention to developing a long-term plan that they can bring back to the board in the new year.
I’ll post more thoughts on this at a later time, but right now I would urge you to check out the moratorium committee reports, the work the board has been doing in this area, and my previous writings on this subject. You can click here or search by tags on the right hand side of the page.
Community Gathering to strategize about schools in mature neighbourhoods: http://www.michaeljanz.ca/2011/04/ward-gathering-recap-celebrating-our-communities-and-our-neighbourhood-schools/
Are School Trustees Urban Planners? – http://www.michaeljanz.ca/2012/02/are-school-trustees-urban-planners/
To fully examine the work we are doing to try and support schools, and our growing infrastructure pressures, please take a few minutes and read the research done through our school closure moratorium committee process. To see the information reports on the causes of closures, check out presentations on:
- 1. Urban Growth Patterns
- 2.Aging School Buildings and Infrastructure Deficit
- 3. Instructional and PO&M Funding
- 4. District Enrolment Trends
- 5. Space Utilization
- 6. Alternative Programs and Open Boundaries
- 7. Leasing
- 8. Concluding public forum
By administration numbers, our infrastructure costs outpace our revenues by $34.4 Million. Those costs are then paid for out of our operational budget (classroom dollars.) In some cases, there are very good reasons to do this (For example, keeping a small school open serving a high-needs population, or maintaining our commitment to choice in an area with limited educational opportunities.)
Plant Operation and Maintenance
Annual revenue $66.0 million & IMR funding $14.5 = Total $80.5 Million
2010/11 audited costs
Custodial $37.9 + Maintenance $25.2 +Utilities $24.3 + IMR 12.3 + Facilities Admin $9.6 + Amortization $5.0 = Total $114.3 Million
Last night the board voted to support moving forward with promoting active transportation initiatives for our schools.
I moved a motion to support active transportation based on the responses I have heard from parents and community members. Student health and wellness continues to be a priority for our board and I look forward to seeing more work in this area moving forward.
For more information on the research supporting active transportation, check out: http://www.epsb.ca/board/march13_2012/item05.pdf
Progress in this area requires the support of many partners. I hope that other levels of government will increase their commitment in this area moving forward.
September 26, 2012
Board encourages active transportation plans for all schools
Yesterday, the Edmonton Public Schools Board of Trustees called on all schools to have active transportation plans in schools, supporting safe and healthy transportation options for students. This decision reflects Edmonton Public Schools’ commitment to promote health and wellness for all students and staff.
Active transportation refers to any form of self-propelled (i.e., non-motorized) mode of transportation that uses human energy, such as walking and cycling. These modes may also be combined with public transit for trips to and from school, work and other community facilities.
Active transportation plans have several benefits, including, but not limited to, improved safety of all students travelling to and from school, more students walking and/or cycling to and from school, reduction in car volume, congestion and traffic concerns around schools. Thirteen schools in the District already have formal active transportation plans in place.
“Our Board encourages school communities to come together to find ways to support student health and wellness,” says Board Chair Sarah Hoffman. “We are committed to providing schools with information on how they can develop and sustain active transportation plans.”
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