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Workshops result in resolutions that will be considered at P.E.I. Home and School Federation's Annual Meeting (Guardian Column)

This winter the P.E.I. Home and School Federation held brainstorming workshops in Montague, Charlottetown, Summerside and Bloomfield. The workshops brought together parents, guardians, teachers, and administrators with an eye to identifying issues in public education, over the medium to long term, where the federation could take action – through resolutions, advocacy, or special projects – that would result in positive change.

The workshops were well attended and the discussions were focused and positive. Among the issues that were discussed were income and food security, breakfast and lunch programs, class composition, the role of French immersion, school busing, standardized testing, school attendance zones, and the need for a closer connection between health and education policy and operations. Notes from all of the workshops are available on the PEIHSF website, peihsf.ca.

The 2015 PISA Tests

This spring, randomly selected 15 year old students in Prince Edward Island schools will be writing PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) tests.

PISA testing is administered independently in Canada by the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC) and it is CMEC that selects which students at which schools will be writing the test. PISA testing is overseen internationally by the OECD, and there's an FAQ on its website that explains the basics of the testing.

Notes from Brainstorming Workshops

Over the past month the PEI Home and School Federation has held a series of “brainstorming workshops” across the province, providing an opportunity for parents, guardians, teachers, administrators and staff to come together to talk about the broader issues in education where home and school can work to affect change. Notes from these four workshops have been prepared and, taken together, are a good start at identifying what these broad issues are. At our April 11, 2015 Annual General Meeting we'll use the issues identified in the workshops as a jumping-off point for more discussion, with an eye to identifying issues we can take action on. Members are encouraged to review the notes of all of the workshops.

Meeting with the Finnish Parents League

The education system in Finland has been raised several times in the Legislative Assembly of Prince Edward Island in recent sittings, culminating, on November 18, 2014, with the a motion put forward by Hon. Steven Myers, Leader of the Opposition:

WHEREAS the Province of Prince Edward Island is failing to foster a culture of learning which is conducive to the highest standards worldwide;

AND WHEREAS providing Islanders with the opportunity to maximize their potential and accumulate a wide base of knowledge to achieve the upmost set of educational skills is a fundamental function of government;

AND WHEREAS there is great potential to learn significant lessons and policy solutions from a recognized leader in high standards of education skills achievement such as Finland;

Jaime Cole, 2015 Extra Mile Award Winner at Kinkora Regional High School

The PEI Home and School Federation is pleased to present three Extra Mile Awards during Teacher/Staff Appreciation Week.  This award is given to a Island school teacher or staff person who demonstrates going “above and beyond the call of duty” making significant contribution to the lives of Island students in a positive and caring way.

In 2015 the Federation awarded three Extra Mile Awards, and due to weather the presentation of the final award was delayed to March 5, 2015 when it was presented to Jaime Cole, Principal at Kinkora Regional High School

Here are comments from people in the KRHS  community:

Preparations well underway for next month's AGM

March is a busy month for home and school associations, as it’s the month where resolutions that will be voted on at our annual general meeting are discussed and voted on at local meetings across the province.

This year there are nine resolutions, on topics including character development programs, transportation and weather issues, communication and animals in schools policies, the location of alternate education sites, enrichment programs, the Students Achieve system and the establishment of a provincial school lunch program.

Towards Excellence: Final Report on the Structure and Governance of the PEI Educational System

In June of 1993, Albert Fogarty presented the Final Report on the Structure and Governance of the PEI Educational System to then-Premier Catherine Callbeck. Fogarty had been appointed by the Premier in February of that year to engage in a wide-ranging review of the structure of Prince Edward Island's education system, with Terms of Reference that called for him to:

Provincial Lunch Program Resolution Updated

The resolution from Montague Consolidated School Home and School Association and Montague Regional High School Parent Council calling for the establishment of a Provincial Lunch Program has been updated following from a meeting with the PEI Healthy Eating Alliance and some additional research spurred by the meeting. The resolution has been broadened to include all children, and the “whereas” clauses have been supplemented with additional references.

The resolution is now titled Establish a Provincial School Lunch Program for All Island Children and this revised version is the one that should be discussed and voted on at your local meetings, and that will be brought forward at our Annual General Meeting on April 11, 2015.

Bloomfield Elementary Brainstorming Workshop Notes

A “brainstorming workshop” was held on Tuesday, February 24, 2015 at Bloomfield Elementary School, one of a series of three such workshops scheduled for this winter to allow home and school members to reflect on larger issues in education where we can work to bring about change (notes from earlier sessions at Montague Consolidated, Spring Park Elementary, and Elm Street Elementary are available).

In attendance were parents and guardians from Bloomfield Elementary along with two of the school's teachers and the school principal.

The mandate presented to the group was to identify current issues in education, focusing on broader practical and policy issues rather than immediate ones.

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