Over the past few years, the members of the Federation have discussed and debated how to negotiate our position in relation to the new education structures implemented by the Education Act of 2016.
Through these discussions, it has become clear that the Federation is unique in what it has to offer Islanders. From its’ beginnings under the leadership of Dr. Helen MacDonald to the present day, the Federation has placed its sole focus on the wellbeing and educational success of Island children.
Our rich history of successful advocacy includes building support for building a bridge to Lennox Island, incorporating Kindergarten into the school system, and increasing the funding for technology in schools. The emphasis on the grass roots leadership as the strong foundation for our work, complimented by our emphasis on collaboration, have been central to our success and longevity.
Winners of the PEI Science Fair Home and School Federation Specialty prize were Madelyn MacPherson and Enya Burnett, from Summerside Intermediate School (Grade 7) for their project titled “Fishy, Fishy, Fishy, Fertilizer,” and Elliot Shea, from Alberton Elementary School (Grade 6) for his project titled “The Effects of Smoking.” Congratulations for your hard work!
“We are all in this together” is the theme for the PEI Home and School Federation’s 2018 AGM, which will be held at the Rodd Charlottetown Hotel on April 14. This gathering will give members an opportunity to come together to celebrate the Federation’s 65th year. The Home and School Federation’s resolution process takes center stage as we discuss past, present, and future issues in education and come together to create collective impact plans for selected issues.
As always, a thorough and lively discussion and voting on resolutions will be a central feature of the meeting. This year resolution topics include communication with school and education decision makers during crises, revisions the student attendance policy to promote student wellbeing, redefining school communities, helping students navigate transitions, funding for playground equipment and a call for a return to elected trustees and school boards.
This fall, as part of our work on the Department of Education’s Calendar Committee, we decided to send out a survey to get feedback from parents. We had 580 respondents and were able to provide recommendations to the committee based on the results. We learned that most respondents believe that professional development is extremely valuable, but many find it challenging to arrange childcare around days that are interspersed throughout the year. Our recommendation to the committee was to consider planning calendars several years in advance, consolidating professional development days as much as possible, and improving communication to parents about professional development activities. Although we regret that there is no place in a survey for a conversation, it is our hope that the survey sparked many conversations and debates in your school communities!
The work and care of many important people in our communities goes into making schools safe and caring places for our children and recognizing this work is one of the best parts of our job. Nominations for the School Crossing Guard of the Year Award are due on April 27. Nominations for the School Bus Driver of the Year Award are due on May 11.
More information is available online at peihsf.ca or through the P.E.I. Home and School Federation office at 902-620-3186.
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Written by Lisa MacDougall, President, PEI Home and School Federation