Celebrate Teacher/Staff Appreciation Week, February 13-19, 2022

The P.E.I. Home and School Federation is looking for your help as we organize community cheers for school staff during the week of Feb 13 to 19. People are encouraged to make a poster and then safely line up outside the entrances of local schools to give the staff added encouragement and thanks for all their hard work. If you are former staff or alumni, cheer at your former school(s).


Watch the Federation’s social media and website for Community Cheer Day information. Make plans with other families to arrive at your child’s school early as teachers and staff being their workday and do a group cheer to encourage and celebrate during TSAW.


Cheer Day for primary/elementary/consolidated schools will be held on Feb 15, 7:30 a.m. Cheer Day for intermediate/senior high schools will be held on Feb 16, 8:00 a.m. Use Feb. 17 as a storm date. Details, including colouring posters for students, will be circulated to Home and Schools and on social media.


An emergency federation board meeting was held on Dec 30 to discuss COVID-19 and the Omicron variant’s impacts on students’ pending return to in-school learning. Members representing all families of schools in P.E.I. came up with a list of over 30 questions ranging on topics from pediatric health care concerns, school conditions and planning, testing protocols, access to vaccinations to staff, and student absenteeism. Questions were forwarded to the Education and Lifelong Learning, Public Schools Branch, and the Chief Public Health Office, who decided the best way to work through the questions was to hold a virtual stakeholder session.


On Jan 11, Education and Lifelong Learning Natalie Jameson hosted a Stakeholders Townhall with others from the education department, Public Schools Branch, French School Board, Dr. Heather Morrison and Health P.E.I. The federation, various education unions, and opposition MLAs also attended. Groups were encouraged to submit questions, both in advance and afterward. The virtual meeting was informative and answered stakeholder questions.


Supporting students at home with online learning was an overall huge challenge for families. The federation received related questions and held two webinars on Jan 24 to respond to these concerns. Over 300 people registered. Other speakers included Jameson, Norbert Carpenter, director of the Public Schools Branch, Tamara Hubley-Little, director of English programs. Two webinar recording links are at: peihsf.ca.


When the government announced a return to school date, the federation asked the Department of Education to provide extra support for families in isolation who cannot pick up rapid tests and masks at schools, as well as to continue to provide translation for all school-related announcements in order to support all school families.


The federation appreciates regular communications and collaboration with education partners to keep information relevant to families. Extra health measures that the government has put in place ensure the safety and well-being of children.


Please note the submission dates have been extended for the Parent Leadership Grant Program submissions. They are due Feb 28 with project ideas and the application at https://peihsf.ca/grants/.


Also, the Extra Mile Award is extended to Feb. 11. In addition, nominate individuals for the Volunteer of the Year or Life Membership recognition in the federation by submitting nominations on March 11. Find nomination forms at: https://peihsf.ca/awards/


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Heather Mullen, president of P.E.I. Home and School Federation, lives in Lot 38, Canavoy, with her husband and two children, who attend Mount Stewart Consolidated School and Colonel Gray High School. Her column appears in The Guardian during the school year on the first Friday of the month. She welcomes comments from readers and information from the column. She can be reached at 902-620-3186. For questions about this column or to find out more about the work of the P.EI. Home and School Federation, contact the office at peihsf@edu.pe.ca, 902-620-3186 or 1-800-916-0664.