Edmonton Public Schools releases Annual Education Results Report (2012-2013) and Three Year Education Plan (2013-2016)

Edmonton Public Schools has released its Annual Education Results Report and Three Year Education Plan (2012-2013). The combined report details the progress we’re making in a number of key areas, and the values, supports and strategies that will help us build on areas of strength, address our challenges and provide the best education possible to all of our students.

Board hears District Infrastructure Strategy to address student population growth and aging buildings

At its regularly scheduled meeting on December 3, the Edmonton Public Schools Board of Trustees were presented with the District’s Infrastructure Strategy, which addresses the issue of growing neighbourhoods and includes the District Accommodation Plan for New and Developing Neighbourhoods. Its purpose is to look at which schools are full or almost full and offer some options to solve the problem.

“Our schools are doing amazing work to help students succeed. I’m incredibly proud of how our schools are maximizing every dollar to ensure students reach their potential,” says Board Chair Sarah Hoffman. “Having said that, the District continues to be challenged by ever tightening budgets and overcrowding in new and developing neighbourhoods. Both issues need solutions.”

Board Chair Hoffman encourages the public to fill out an online survey found on the Space for Our Students site, which gives an overview of the plan and includes background information; the schools and neighbourhoods being looked at in the accommodation plan; and a list of options being considered. Stakeholders can find the school or area where they live and provide input and feedback on the options that have been developed, as well as suggestions. The survey will be open until January 17, 2014.

“We’re committed to ensuring every student attends school in a high quality learning environment,” adds Hoffman. “We’re working closely with parents and community members on options for these growing areas of the city.”

The Board also unanimously approved the recommendation for the Edmonton Public Schools’ Combined Three Year Education Plan and Annual Education Results Report, which the District will now submit to Alberta Education. Board Chair Hoffman acknowledged and commended the administration for their work on the report and plan.

Space for Our Students – Making Room for Students in Growing Neighbourhoods

If you’ve been to one of the newer areas of the city, you’ll know there are more families and more communities than ever before. Over the last few years, many of our schools in newer neighbourhoods have become very full because these areas of the city are growing so quickly. Since 2005, 46 new neighbourhoods are being served by Edmonton Public Schools. Over 11,000 of students who attend Edmonton Public Schools live in these newer areas.

Many schools have even had to take unusual measures to meet the needs of students, including increasing class sizes and using gyms, stages and libraries as learning space. Unfortunately, these measures are not realistic long-term solutions for healthy and quality learning. To address the issue, the District has looked at the limitations and opportunities those schools are facing, including current and future pressures, and prepared a plan with several options on how to address the issue.

This is called the District Accommodation Plan for New and Developing Neighbourhoods. Its purpose is to look which schools are full or almost full and offer some options to solve the problem.

A Space for Our Students site has been launched on the Edmonton Public Schools website giving an overview of the Plan.  It includes background information; the schools and neighbourhoods being looked at in the accommodation plan; and a list of options being considered. There is also a link to a survey where stakeholders can find the school or area where they live and provide input and feedback on the options that have been developed, as well as suggestions.  The survey will be open until January 17, 2014.

Edmonton Public Schools’ Board of Trustees and its Superintendent value your input and feedback. We’re looking forward to working with you as we consider the options to make sure students in newer areas of the city are all enjoying high quality learning environments.

 

In Advance of Snow Storm – All schools are Open … Possible Bus Delays

In advance of the heavy snowfall warning forecasted for Edmonton, many of Edmonton Public Schools’ bus carriers are predicting delays in tomorrow’s yellow bus service. All schools will be open.

It is recommended parents have alternate arrangements in place for their children if the bus is late or does not arrive.  Children should also be dressed appropriately for the weather conditions. Some winter weather tips for parents are available here.

For up to date information, go to the School Bus Monitor website.

Parents can also contact our bus carriers directly. Their contact information is as follows:

  • Cunningham – 780-458-3255
  • First Student – 780-473-7670
  • Golden Arrow –  780-447-1538
  • Southland – 780-466-9696
  • Stock  - 780-451-9536

Student Transportation’s number is 780-429-8585.

Edmonton Public School Board ratifies contract with Edmonton Public Teachers Local No. 37

At its regularly scheduled meeting on November 26, the Edmonton Public Schools Board of Trustees ratified a new contract for the District’s teachers and principals.

Teachers and principals had already approved the deal in a vote taken on October 27 where members of the bargaining unit voted in favour of accepting the Memorandum.

The agreement, which runs from September 1, 2012 to August 31, 2016, includes specific requirements (e.g., salary increases, term of agreement) outlined in the March 15, 2013 Provincial Framework Agreement and Bill 26, Assurance for Students Act.

The four-year agreement allows for the following salary increases:

  • September 1, 2012 – 0 per cent
  • September 1, 2013 – 0 per cent
  • September 1, 2014 – 0.06 per cent
  • September 1, 2015 – 2.0 per cent

“Our board is pleased with the agreement we have reached with our teachers,” says Board Chair Sarah Hoffman. “This agreement will provide our District and our teachers with stability over the coming years, so we can continue the important work of teaching and learning,” says Hoffman.

Bill Comrie pays it forward

At the launch of the full-day Kindergarten at Calder School, Edmonton Public Schools Foundation Director, Sandra Woitas announced Bill Comrie has donated $500,000 over the next five years to support a full-day Kindergarten class at one of the high needs schools. Bill is well known in Edmonton for not only his business accomplishments, but his giving back to the City.

“I am excited about helping make a difference in the lives of young children in Edmonton, “says Bill Comrie. “What I’ve learned through Sandra Woitas is that full-day Kindergarten can make all the difference in ensuring disadvantaged students have every opportunity to succeed now and in the future. It’s all about putting them on a level playing field with their peers. I’m not only proud to be part of that; I challenge others in the community to support the Edmonton Public Schools Foundation.”

The school site where the Comrie Family Learning Center full-day kindergarten program will be offered will be determined in the new year.

The Edmonton Public School Foundation was launched February 10, 2010 to spread the word about the great things happening in the public education system and to support Edmonton Public Schools across Edmonton. They do this by offering opportunities for improved learning such as full-day Kindergarten through financial, in-kind and human resource contributions.

“We know investing in children today means investing in their future, our communities and our society,” explains Foundation Director Sandra Woitas. “Every child deserves the best teachers, resources and learning opportunities to help them blossom as they transition into Grade 1 and get ready for life.”

School bus delays predicted for Friday

Due to a heavy snowfall expected tomorrow, many of Edmonton Public Schools’ bus carriers are predicting delays in the morning and afternoon. It’s recommended parents have alternate arrangements in place for their children if the bus is late or does not arrive.

For up to date information, visit the School Bus Monitor website to check the status of your child’s yellow bus.

Parents can also contact our bus carriers. Their contact information is as follows:

Cunningham:  780-458-3255
First Student: 780-473-7670
Golden Arrow: 780-447-1538
Southland: 780-466-9696
Stock: 780-451-9536

Student Transportation’s number is 780-429-8585.

Winter weather tips

Cold temperatures, wind chill and snow can make getting to and from school challenging. This winter season, Edmonton Public Schools is reminding parents, guardians and families of the following:

  • Edmonton Public Schools does not close schools due to inclement weather. Assume that schools are open unless you hear otherwise through the media or directly from the school.
  • Schools need to remain open even under the most severe weather conditions to provide attending students with a safe and secure environment.
  • Students will be kept inside, during recess and the lunch hour, if temperatures reach -23 degrees Celsius.
  • Yellow school buses may run later than usual or not at all. As a result, students may have to wait at their bus stop for longer periods of time. Parents are asked to ensure children are dressed appropriately for the weather and are not left unattended at bus stops for any period of time, under any circumstances. Parents also asked to have alternate arrangements in place for getting children to school should the bus not arrive.

Following these guidelines will help students get to school safely and ready to learn!

Janz elected to ASBA Executive

At the Alberta School Boards Association’s (ASBA) Annual Fall meeting earilier this week, Michael Janz, Vice-Chair of the Edmonton Public School Board, was elected as the ASBA’s Vice-President. Janz is beginning his second term as a Trustee and is passionate about the importance of public education. 

“I look forward to working to support school board advocacy efforts, celebrating public education and building trustee leadership capacity throughout Alberta,” says Janz.”

In addition, the ASBA approved two policy positions brought forward by the Edmonton Public School Board.

The Board’s policy position recommendations were for the ASBA to call on the Government of Alberta to:

  • establish stable revenue streams to fund K-12 education as the alternative to fluctuating, non-renewable resource revenue; and
  • increase Provincial support for English Language Learning (ELL) students.

“The Board of Trustees strongly advocated for the ASBA to adopt the policy positions for the Government to provide sustainable funding for public education and to increase its backing for ELL students,” says Board Chair Sarah Hoffman. “It is very difficult for any Board to establish support strategies for students when education funding allocations continue to be a moving target.”

“Our Board looks forward to supporting the ASBA in the years ahead,” says Hoffman. “As Trustees, we are all focused on not only have long-term plans in place for all students, but to making sure some of our most vulnerable children can experience success now and in their future.”

Homesteader teacher sings solo part in Bryan Adams music video

Congratulations to Homesteader teacher and military wife Angela Larson who was a principal singer in Bryan Adams’ charity single, Ric-A-Dam-Doo (available for purchase on iTunes) - an effort to raise money for the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry Foundation, which provides funds and programs for active and ex-military personnel in need.

Bryan Adams and his 1980s writing partner, Jim Vallance, composed the song, Ric-a-Dam-Doo, commissioned by Adrienne Clarkson to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the PPCLI in 2014. The former governor general is the colonel-in-chief of the regiment. The orchestral ballad features Homefire – wives of PPCLI members, including soloists Angela and Brittany Hancock. Ric-A-Dam-Doo is the nickname of the PPCLI’s flag and believed to be Gaelic for “cloth of your mother.”

CBC’s “The National” came to Homesteader School to interview Angela. The story will air Friday, November 8 and on Remembrance Day.

Watch the music video here.  Portions of it were filmed in one of the ballrooms at the Hotel MacDonald.