The Annual General Meeting of the PEI Home and School Federation, happening this Saturday, April 9, 2016 in Charlottetown, will see a diverse group of people with interest in public education gathering to discuss, question, share and deliberate.
The group will include parents, guardians, teachers, administrators, and staff from the Island’s schools joined by government ministers and staff, union representatives, retired educators, education advocates, and, for the first time, members of our peer organizations in Newfoundland & Labrador, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.
This will be the 63rd such gathering in the organization’s history: the first meeting, held at Prince of Wales College in July of 1953, was made up of a similarly broad coalition, and included representatives from both the Canadian National Home and School Federation and of the National Congress of Parents and Teachers of the U.S.A. Then, as now, the organization exists, as founding President Mrs. J. Gordon MacDonald said at that first meeting, “to promote the general welfare of the child within the home, the school and the community, and to provide better understanding between parents and teachers.”
What is unique about this meeting is the breadth of the participation: a table at the meeting might include the Minister of Education, a local union president, a teacher, a principal, and several parents and guardians. The superpower that this affords Prince Edward Island is estimable: what might take years to develop consensus around in larger jurisdictions can happen in a morning here in Prince Edward Island. It’s a superpower that Home and School members are rightly proud of. Next month’s column will summarize the results of these discussions.
There are two important award nominations deadlines coming up soon. Nominations for the newly-established School Crossing Guard of the Year Award are due on April 29, 2016. Details of the award are online at http://peihsf.ca/crossing-guard-award and the award will be given out during Safe Kids Week, between May 30 and June 5, 2016. Member associations are encouraged to identify crossing guards in their community who are deserving of special recognition.
Nominations for the School Bus Driver of the Year Award are due on May 13, 2016. Two awards are handed out annually, one in the east and one in the west, in June. Details of the award are online at http://peihsf.ca/bus.
The first round of meetings of the new Family of Schools District Advisory Councils have now been completed and reports of the discussions are online at http://www.gov.pe.ca/eecd/DAC . The second round of meetings will begin in mid-April, and council members will be charged with focusing their priorities into specific recommendations and plans for action.
Parents, guardians, teachers, administrators and staff are encouraged, at their April Home and School meetings, to ask their school’s representative to update them on the discussions, and to bring forward any concerns they would like to see discussed when the councils next meet.
Following the Annual General Meeting in April, a new PEI Home and School Federation board will begin its work; members are reminded that each family of schools has a Regional Director (listed online at http://peihsf.ca/board) who can provide information about the Federation’s work, assist with projects that span multiple schools in the Family, aid in the development of policy resolutions for the 2017 Annual Meeting, and can bring forward concerns to the Federation. The new board will hold its first meeting in May.
If you have questions about the Annual General Meeting, about the Family of Schools District Advisory Councils, or about any aspect of Home and School, contact the Federation office at email@example.com or by telephone at (902) 620-3186 or, toll-free, 1-800-916-0664.
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Posted by Shirley Smedley-Jay on Thursday, April 7, 2016.