As a Public School Board Trustee, I love what I do and am seeking a third term to represent Spruce Grove. I am committed to the time and energy this position requires. On October 16, please give me your vote of confidence that will allow me to continue to contribute to future successes in Parkland School Division (PSD).
In the past, I have made important commitments. As current School Board Chair, I am pleased to report that these commitments have been met and include the following accomplishments:
1. Addressing Population Pressures
Population pressures were outstripping our capacity to provide adequate student spaces. So in response to this, we acquired 13 additional modular classrooms, 8 replacement modulars, the Prescott Learning Centre (a new K-9, 900 student capacity school), Copperhaven School (a new K-9, 900 student capacity school opening fall of 2018), and a Woodhaven Middle School modernization with a completion date of 2018.
In addition, the future Capital Plan submitted to the government in November 2016, includes a request for a modernization (and increased capacity) to the Spruce Grove Composite High School. An application has also been submitted for a new high school to serve the growing needs of Spruce Grove.
2. Meeting Community Needs
PSD was highly instrumental in initiating the concept for the development of the Beaverbrook Wellness Centre, which provides families with easier and timelier access to a range of supports, including YMCA before and after school care.
PSD Trustees and community partners also lobbied the provincial government to acknowledge and increase understanding of the efficiency of our exceptional Regional Bus Transfer Station system. This resulted in additional funding from the government for a second bus transfer station at Copperhaven School.
3. Improving Public Opportunity for Engagement
Our current governance model requires public confidence in all facets of our system, including effective and transparent use of resources. The PSD Trustees have adopted a team approach that values and respects all input from parents, the business community, private and government agencies and the greater community.
Trustees attend every School Council meeting in PSD and support our student voice by meeting with our Student Advisory Committee four times per year. Public engagement events are also held twice per year to solicit thoughts and ideas to help guide us in setting our school board priorities.
We work very closely with our First Nation, Metis, and Inuit communities and have advanced our collaborative approaches with Paul Band First Nation through an Advisory Committee working with the Elders.
4. Developing Staff and Student Wellness and Environmental Citizenship
PSD Trustees have committed to ensuring schools are safe and caring environments that foster respectful and responsible behavior. This includes encouraging our children to make healthy lifestyle choices through the development and participation of staff in numerous healthy school programs, such as Food Passport (in partnership with our business community), Play Parkland Program (in partnership with EverActive Schools), Health Champions, Grab N’ Go Breakfast, Tower Gardens, and many more. For some of these programs, PSD has received provincial and national recognition.
5. Promoting Inclusive Education
Over the past several years, PSD has been recognized as a leader in true inclusive education in Alberta and has presented on provincial and national platforms, such as the Council of Ministers of Education Conference and the Physical Health Education National Conference. I believe strongly that all students must feel like they belong and feel valued, welcomed, and are respected members of the educational system.
6. Ward Restructuring
Due to the rapid population increase in Spruce Grove, I supported the Ward Restructure of 2017 to maintain the democratic principle of representation by population. It was important to ensure that the number of trustees accurately reflected the growing population. Our stakeholder community was offered a number of avenues for input on the matter, and they provided feedback. This resulted in a change of the rural-urban balance on the PSD Board, thus increasing the total number of Trustees in Spruce Grove to three, leaving one for Stony Plain and reducing the rural Trustees to 3 (as reflected in the current election).
7. Innovative Delivery of School Curriculum Through Efficient Use of Technology
I fully understand that today’s students want to learn and consume information differently than in the past. Children are being exposed to digital tools at home at an early age. We have encouraged this enthusiasm through the safe and controlled use of basic tools such as Wi-Fi, smart boards, video collaboration, and virtual learning. These digital strategies have included a strong focus on internet protocol, security, and safety. All of our school networks have also been updated to handle the capacity required in this modern era.