Tag: City Council

Board Votes Unanimously in Favor of School Advocacy Plan

Today was our first 2014 EPSB Board Meeting and I have much good news to share. First of all I am greatly honored by my trustee colleagues for re-electing me as EPSB Vice-Chair. I’m excited by the opportunity to serve the board once again in this capacity and support Sarah Hoffman as she serves as the Re-elected Board Chair.
The second piece of pride for me at this meeting was that our board voted UNANIMOUSLY in support of steps that our board will take to advocate for new schools that our communities badly need. School space issues are by far one of the biggest pressures on our district and our city — the fastest growing city in Alberta.
As trustees we need to make sure that we explain to our community the steps we have taken as a board and how we are doing everything within our power. We also need to engage with our community and ensure that we are speaking in stereo in our new school advocacy.
The board spoke unanimously: we want to work together with all other elected officials (our MLAs and City Councillors) to clearly communicate the space needs of current and future Edmonton Public Students. We are all in this together!
 Carried Unanimously:

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:

    1. K-6 Windermere Estates
    2. K-9 The Grange (Glastonbury or Granville)
    3. K-9 Heritage Valley (Allard or Chappelle)
    4. K-9 Ellerslie/The Orchards
    5. Mature Neighbourhood Replacement school as determined by the Infrastructure Strategy
    6. K-6 Meadows (Laurel)
    7. K-9 South East (Walker)
    8. K-9 Lewis Farms (Secord)
    9. K-9 Heritage Valley (Allard or Chappelle)
    10. 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. 


Supporting documentation from EPSB.ca:


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:


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.

What will happen after the school closure Moratorium expires?

How do we support public education in mature neighbourhoods? Today, and 20 years from now?

As former Trustee Sue Huff asked on her blog, if the outcome is school closure, is there ever a process that the community will support?

Here is a copy of the administration recommendation that passed unanimously this evening.


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:

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

Community Use of Edmonton Public Schools

The Board Policy committee (of which I am a member) is in the process of collecting feedback on our Community Use of District Buildings Policy. The subject of sharing space in our schools is a very complicated question as there is a very high demand for use of school facilities during peak, non-school hours. Given the scarcity and conflicting demands, we are trying to come up with a solution that is truly fair and transparent. The draft revision of the policy is below.

I hope to see us work with the city, province, and external partners to transition our schools to be available and fully-utilized more often. I truly believe that these buildings remain the heart of our communities and that we should seek to make the most use of them as possible. I do not believe in diverting resources from the classroom, but I think we can do more with the partnerships we have available.

This was a question I heard about frequently on the doorsteps and from constituent emails. Now is your chance to help have input into a policy that could help better connect our schools to valued community partners. Please give me your thoughts on the blog, by michael@michaeljanz.ca, or by filling out the survey below.

Click here to complete the survey on our community use policy by FEBRUARY 14th!

The intent of Board Policy JG.BP – Community Use of District Buildings is to guide the Board and staff in determining community use of district buildings. The most significant changes to the policy include clearly identifying the role of the City of Edmonton in implementing the Joint Use Agreement: Facilities and the methods surplus learning space can be utilized by community groups.

Revised Board Policy JG.BP – Community Use of District Buildings    (http://www.epsb.ca/policy/adraftjg.bp.shtml) is open for stakeholder input from January 17, 2011 to February 14, 2011.

Here is a copy of the proposed revised policy for your feedback:

TOPIC: Community Use of District Buildings
EFFECTIVE DATE: 11-02-1997
ISSUE DATE: 16-05-1997
REVIEW DATE: 02-2002

The Board believes in cooperating with community organizations to meet the educational and recreational needs of the community in the effective management of district facilities to meet the needs of students and also the principles of the Joint Use Agreement: Facilities, which supports the sharing of publicly funded facilities to maximize benefits to students and citizens of the City of Edmonton.

In support of this belief, the Board encourages the use of district buildings by the community provided there is no conflict with school programs the District’s mandate to provide (K-12) education Use of district space leased by other users and the use shall be compatible with the Board’s educational aims and objectives. Surplus student spaces can be utilized in operational and closed buildings.

Members of the community can access surplus learning spaces through the following methods:

    A group represented by the City of Edmonton under the Joint Use Agreement: Facilities.

    An occasional paid rental for groups not eligible under the Joint Use Agreement: Facilities.

    As a group with exclusive use of space as specified in a lease agreement.

    As a group with limited use of space as specified in a license agreement.

    As a group with shared use of space with a direct benefit to the students at the school in a Memorandums of Understanding.

Fees for paid rentals will be determined annually by the Superintendent.

Leases are intended to be at no cost to the District. Information regarding leases in the District shall be provided to the Board annually.