Connected to the Community
As trustees we need to be connected to the community we serve. Strong communication is imperative when changes need to take place. The decisions we make impact families and we need to understand the results of those decisions.
As the south end of the city continues to grow our student populations are increasing in a number of our schools. In 2017 the ribbon was cut on a new dual track K-8 school in South Pointe and in the spring of 2018 two more school were announced; a grade 9-12 High School and a K-8 school on the corner of Kenaston Blvd and Bison Drive. The school division has a long-term plan that includes two more K-8 schools, one in Bridgwater Lakes and the other straddling Prairie Point and Bridgwater Trails. As the province announces these schools the division will need to set catchment boundaries and decide on the programming offered.
The families of Pembina Trails play a key role in this plan; we need to hear from you on how any possible changes impact your child, your family, childcare, transportation or any personal concerns.
Three Expectations for Student Learning
In 2010 the Board of Trustees communicated their three expectations for student learning.
- All students in Pembina Trails will be personally and intellectually engaged in their learning at school.
- By the end of Grade 8, all students will meet the provincial curricular standards in literacy and numeracy, allowing them the greatest possibility for success in high school.
- All students in Pembina Trails will graduate from high school.
These expectations have given our division direction and purpose. They have provided our staff and students a clear understanding of what the Board of Trustees expects all children to achieve. I want to continue with the board to further develop Pembina Trails’ plan for student success.
My role as your trustee is to seek out information and present it to the board so that community needs are understood. I see this happening in a number of ways:
- community meetings held by the school division,
- attending PAC meetings,
- talking with parents one on one,
- emails and newsletters from the division to the community.
- staying connected through multiple social media platforms
We need to seek feedback from schools and parents and constantly reevaluate how we communicate with them to allow the board to see what is working well and what needs to be improved.
All schools are unique. Pembina Trails is made up of 34 schools and each has their own goals and challenges. Programming can be different depending on the needs of the community. I support programming that schools see as a benefit to their community. In the past eight years I have supported programs such as:
- Alternative High School – A unique graduation program that allows students the flexibility to achieve their goals
- Kindergarten Here We Come – a one day a week program for 4 year olds to prepare them to enter Kindergarten in the fall
- Ignite 3 – a summer learning enrichment program
- Students for Success in Literacy – A detailed divisional literacy plan to ensure success for all learners
- Literacy Links – an in-home summer program for incoming kindergarten students that encourages positive literacy skills
- Pembina Trails Early College (PTEC) – a 4 year accelerated learning technology program for students entering grade 9
- Right At School – a before and after school program
- Fort Richmond Hockey Skills Program
- Full day Kindergarten
- Peaceful Village – a program that supports newcomer families as they adjust to their new lives in Canada.
School taxes affect everyone in the school division; over half of Pembina Trails’ residences do not have children in the school system. I have an obligation to everyone in the division to be responsible with their tax dollars. There is a balance that needs to be met when discussing programming and available funding. Once we know the provincial funding available to the school division we can understand the impact on a homeowner. As a homeowner in the division I do not want to increase school taxes, but I also do not want to cut teachers and increase class size. Every option must be explored to understand the impact on students, staff and taxpayers.