Atlantic Home and School / School Council Caucus Meets In St. John’s Newfoundland

The 7th Annual Atlantic Caucus of Home and School/School Council Federations meeting took place in St. John’s, Newfoundland, on the weekend of October 17, 2009. Representatives from the Home and School Federations in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and the Federation of School Councils in Newfoundland Labrador participated in the meeting.

There was discussion on a variety of topics during the meeting and general consensus on the position of each provincial association regarding parental involvement in school; use of energy drinks by children and youth; and the need for consistency in school fees across the Atlantic region.

The Atlantic Home and School Caucus would like to see a high level of Parental Involvement in school-based activities. While parental involvement is occurring at some level at all schools, parents need to feel welcome at school, and strategies need to be developed to break down the barriers and include all parents.

The Atlantic Home and School Caucus is concerned with the availability of energy drinks to children and youth. They support the existing ban in Newfoundland Labrador and Prince Edward Island on the consumption of energy drinks on school property; and encourage the other two provinces to implement similar bans. The Atlantic Caucus further supports a ban on the sale and marketing of energy drinks to minors.

The Atlantic Caucus would also like to see some consistency in school fees that are charged to parents in each province and encourages the development of guidelines similar to the ones introduced in Newfoundland Labrador in the 2006-07 school year.

Ruby Hoskins, President of the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of School Councils (NLFSC) says, “There is tremendous benefit in having all four Atlantic Provinces meeting on an annual basis. It provides an opportunity for each of us to discuss our common concerns as well as share and highlight our educational successes. I would like to thank the Department of Education, Newfoundland Labrador, for their support of our meeting.”

Cynthia Richards says, “As the President, of the New Brunswick Federation of Home and School Associations Inc.(NBFHSAI), I would like to concur with Ruby Hoskins in her opinion of the benefits that Atlantic Caucus provides each of our individual provinces and the Atlantic region as a whole. This annual meeting provides the venue to discuss the issues we are dealing with in our respective provinces which also have far reaching implications for our children and education in the entire region.”

"This high level of regional collaboration and cooperation among parents talking about education builds a better understanding of the many challenges that face children, parents, teachers and administrators in all four Atlantic provinces, and collectively will lead to a road map for the future." says Bill Whelan, President, PEI Home and School Federation (PEIHSF).

The Atlantic Caucus of Home and School/School Council Federations purpose is to encourage discussion on common issues in public education in Atlantic Canada and bring added value to provincial associations.

For more information, contact:

Bill Whelan, President, PEIHSF, Telephone: 902-566-0419
Ruby Hoskins, President, NLFSC, Telephone: 709-279-2789
Cynthia Richards, President, NBFHSAI, Telephone: 506-451-6247
Janet Walsh, President, NSFHSA: Telephone: 902-864-0235