I have been a committed member of the Board of Trustees for the Parkland School Division and am proud of the collaborative and progressive efforts that have been achieved, including:
1. Opportunity for Community and Stakeholder Input
I have helped initiate expanded opportunities and formats for stakeholder input through a number of in-person (on-line opportunities during Covid) meetings, representation at all school council meetings, online surveys, and questionnaires, as well as opportunities for public questions at all formal board meetings. I have stressed the importance of consolidating stakeholder input and using this information to help guide us in all decision-making and policy development.
2. Student Population Growth
Ensuring that all students have a safe and caring school environment involves extensive planning and major efforts in advocacy to the provincial government. My contribution in proactive planning has proven results as seen in the building of Prescott and Copperhaven Schools; the Woodhaven and Ecole Broxton Park (mini) modernizations; and a number of replacement and new classroom modulars to accommodate rising student numbers in a growing, dynamic community. In addition, as a member of the Board, I have contributed to the preliminary planning work for the replacement of Spruce Grove Composite High School, which is now complete and rests with the Government of Alberta for approval.
3. Early Years Funding and Support
There is clear evidence that proper support and funding of Early Years Education gives students the platform for success in their future school years. My support for this endeavour has been strong and steadfast. Through lobbying efforts by myself, the Board of Trustees, and colleagues around the province, we were able to reinstate a large portion of recent provincial cuts to early education.
4. Inclusive Education
All children must feel like they belong, and are valued, welcomed, and respected members of the educational system. To this end, working with our Board of Trustees, I have supported the development of policies and mission statements that reflect our commitment to meet the needs of all students.
5. First Nations, Metis and Inuit
I am proud of our collaborative efforts to work together with our First Nation partners to increase our understanding and knowledge of First Nation history and our endeavours to address the roadblocks to successful educational results for our First Nation, Metis and Inuit (FNMI) students.
As a member of the Board of Trustees, I supported the implementation of a number of activities such as; Indigenous Games, the Blanket Exercise, land-based teaching (Voyageur Paddling, Gathering Sage), BARE ICEBI (gathering together for traditional teaching).
However, the tragic discovery of unmarked graves of children who attended Residential Schools is a disturbing reminder that there is much work yet to be done to support our First Nations, Metis and Inuit communities.
6. Programs of Choice
A school system of our size opened the opportunity to offer specialized Programs of Choice. This allows parents and students to consider the opportunity to take part in programs such as French Immersion, the Maranatha Christian program, Student Athletic Academy, Building Futures Program, Nature Kindergarten Program, (Y) OUR program, My Path Program, Junior High Outreach, Full Time French Immersion Kindergarten, and Virtual Learning (through Connections for Learning).
7. Student and Staff Wellness
Over the last term, I have supported the continued need for the development of programs and activities that focus on student and staff wellness. For staff, PSD has available an extensive Employee Assistance Program. For students, examples include: Health Champions, Play Parkland, Grab “N” Go Breakfast, Tower Gardens, and Try-Me-Try-Athalon. The development of these programs is ongoing.
8. School Board Endeavors
It must be noted that an elected trustee represents the entire Parkland School Division Electorate and makes many decisions that affect all stakeholder groups. Some items of note:
● Trustees developed and implemented new Vision and Mission Statements.
● A replacement school for Stony Plain Central was announced in the Spring of 2018 and construction has begun.
● The Board hired a new Superintendent, Ms. Shauna Boyce.
● The Board addressed transportation concerns and problems and made changes to routing, co-operative bussing arrangements, and school start and end times.
● In the 2018-2019 school year, significant revisions were made to the K-9 report card.
● Trustees and senior administration met with the Minister of Education and our 3 MLAs (on a number of occasions) and held yearly meetings with councillors of Spruce Grove, Stony Plain and Parkland County.
● On March 17, 2020, PSD Trustees voted to close Seba Beach School over declining enrolment.
● PSD supported “at home learning” as a result of Covid-19 and implemented significant safety measures for students and staff for in-school learning.
● The Board established the modernization and/or replacement of Spruce Grove Composite High School as their number one priority.