Students, parents, teachers, administrators, architects and other community members were led through an exercise in collaboration last Tuesday night. We invited a diverse group of people to our semi-annual meeting: both people who have vision and ideas about the way things should be, and people who have been tasked to make these visions a reality. Organizers were most interested in what happens when the two come together. How do we find ways of working together well? Participants were asked to work together to design a new school and the discussions were lively! People were particularly creative in the task of naming their school: school names included Launchpad to Life, Windsor Heights Community School, Respect, and School of Life.
The greatest impact of the evening came from the participation of twelve students from East Wiltshire Intermediate School, who included their strong voices in our school designs. I would like to thank those students and their principal, Mr. Windsor Wight, for their great contributions!
Collaboration begins at the grassroots level with within each local home and school association across the island. The Federation’s fifteen-member board represents home and school members in the ten families of schools across the province. The board can work on Federation policies, such as our advocacy for a universal provincial school food program, and we can work with government to develop policies and practices that support an excellent education system and the total wellbeing of Island children.
But the strength of our organization lies in our local associations. This year, for a limited time only and in lieu of the parent engagement grants, we will provide customized leadership training, and collaborative facilitation to your school community. If you would like to hold a collaboration exercise similar to our semi-annual, please contact the office.
In October, the Public Schools Branch circulated a draft suspension policy, which is intended to support a safe learning and teaching environment. The policy will be considered at the next meeting of the Board of Directors of the Public Schools Branch schedule for November 17 at 7:30 p.m. at Queen Elizabeth School in Kensington.
Nominations for federation's Extra Mile Award will be accepted until January 12. Members are encouraged to identify staff in their schools that go above and beyond the call of duty to help improve the total wellbeing of the students in the school for a nomination; details and nomination froms are available on the federation's website under awards or by calling the office.
Local home and school associations can stimulate conversation across the province through our resolution process. If your association has concerns that may be of interest across the province – anything from operations to policy – please contact the office. The deadline for resolutions January 31 and the annual general meeting will be held on April 14, 2018.
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