One of the most rewarding experiences of any leadership role is the opportunity to recognize hard work and celebrate success. Every year, the Prince Edward Island Home and School Federation accepts applications for its Extra Mile Award and provincial Board members select two recipients to receive the recognition. Applications are compiled by school communities and include heartfelt support letters from administration, teachers, and parents, along with beautiful artwork and testaments of appreciation from students. These applications are evidence of the extra effort and care that many teachers and school staff put into their work every day, and the end product is truly a work of meaningful collaboration from the entire school community. The decision is always a hard one!
This year, in honour of our 65th Anniversary, we were able to present awards to six individuals from across the province with Extra Mile Awards in recognition of their contribution to their school. Recipients of the Award were Kensington Intermediate Senior High teacher Todd Dyment, Queen Elizabeth Elementary chef Bev Campbell, Souris Regional teacher Graham Townsend, Georgetown Elementary Principal George Trevor, O’Leary Elementary teacher Tanya Gaudet, and Kinkora Regional High custodian, Elmer Croken. A heartfelt thank you to these individuals for going the extra mile to support student success and wellbeing.
One of the most important activities that local home and school associations go through each year is the discussion of proposed provincial policy resolutions. Once passed, these resolutions allow the Home and School Federation to speak with a collective voice. Since our beginning in the 1940s, we have debated and adopted almost 500 resolutions, many of which have had a direct impact on education policy. The theme for our Annual General Meeting on Saturday, April 14, is We are all in this together. We will be offering an opportunity for members to put their heads together to come up with collective impact plans for resolutions from our past, present, and future.
This year, resolution topics include communication with school and education decision makers during crises, revisions to 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. The meeting is a chance for members from across the province to gather in discussion on issues in education, to celebrate successes, examine challenges, and to learn from each other about how to best carry out the Home and School mission and influence educational policy from the bottom up.
Along with representatives from the Teachers’ Federation, principals, La Commission scolaire de langue française, La Fédération des parents de l’Î.-P.-É., the Department and the Public Schools Branch, a representative from the federation board sits on the Department of Education, Early Learning, and Culture’s School Calendar Committee. We meet to discuss items such as when March break, Christmas break, provincial exams, and Professional Development days fall. Some things are predetermined by union contracts, such as the start and end days, or other regulations, such as the number of instructional days per year, but the committee tries to find a solution that works best for student success. This year we have requested feedback from parents in the form of a survey and we have received an overwhelming response. We welcome your thoughts about this approach.
If you have questions about the Annual General Meeting, about resolutions, or about any aspect of Home and School, contact the federation office at email@example.com or by telephone at (902) 620-3186 or, toll-free, 1-800-916-0664.
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