Busy agenda for federation’s AGM and conference – Special guests, workshops part of April 12 event in Cornwall


Registration is still open for the P.E.I. Home and School Federation’s annual general meeting and conference being held on Saturday, April 12th 2014, 8:45 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Dutch Inn (Howard Johnson Hotel), 100 Trans-Canada Highway, Cornwall.

Alan McIsaac, minister of education and early childhood development, and deputy minister, Sandy MacDonald will present the department’s new plans for improving student achievement at the meeting.

Doug MacDougall, the English Language School Board’s Director of curriculum delivery, will present the board’s new strategic plan on student achievement.  P.E.I. Lt.-Gov. Frank Lewis will join the group for the luncheon at 12:30 p.m.

Three afternoon workshop presentations will be offered 1:45 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. on the following topics:  computing & robotics lego wedo technology with Ricardo Angel; student achievement system with Sean Cain, and project ideas & how to write parent leadership grant proposals with Jean Davis.  Business and non-profit displays will be set up for viewing.  Island businesses have also donated a number of items for door prizes.

Learn more about the new initiatives in P.E.I.’s education system at the PEIHSF AGM and conference 2014.  Register by calling 620-3186 or 1-800-916-0664.  The federation’s board volunteers have arranged an informative meeting for its membership.  Don’t miss it!

The new 2014-2015 School Calendar was released last month by McIsaac. The minister will reference the calendar at the AGM. Check the department’s website  at:  http://www.gov.pe.ca/education/  to review the calendar.  As well, Communications PEI has completed a new video about the school calendar available on a YouTube channel at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=b5IwXwYYNEQ  

Home and School conjures up a picture of parents getting together to fundraise or plan for a successful teacher/staff appreciation week. And while the Federation encourages supporting schools/students and teacher and staff appreciation, the organization is about so much more.  The common view of parents volunteering at school activities somewhat misses the mark. There is a vital role for parents and guardians in achieving student and school success.  For students to succeed, parents should understand what is happening in the classroom and education system.

The overall mandate and purpose of Home and School is to make every child’s potential a reality by engaging and empowering parents and guardians and the community-at-large.

The federation prides itself on being the parent voice in education, working in cooperation with the ministry of education, school boards and other partners in education, health, and safety on behalf of every child.

Parents should have access to, with a view to better understanding, key information about what their children are learning and how well they are learning it.

This information must be set in the context of school-based performance data that is aligned with the whole education system’s mandate, goals and strategies for student success.  With the right kind of information, parents can meaningfully engage in their children’s education by providing direct support for learning and by working with educators on student achievement efforts.

There are three months remaining in this school year. Getting things organized now will set the stage for a smooth finish to this year and for a more efficient startup in Home and School in September. Hold elections for officers in May or June. Plan for positive succession by putting in place, two year terms to prevent volunteer burn-out. Set up committees to share the tasks. Collect email addresses for communication purposes.  Empower everyone in the group to do the work, not just the "leaders".  Individual assistance is available for executive members and associations at the Federation office. 

Engaging with policy-makers is key.  Home and School does this by writing resolutions to identify progressive policy changes in PEI’s education system that impact student learning.  Sign up this week for the provincial federation’s April 12 AGM and conference to participate in this process, first-hand.

The AGM will also mark the end of my term as president.  My warmest thanks go to the provincial Board and Executive for all its hard work, dedication, support, and encouragement throughout the past two years.