Good opportunity to reflect on the past year

With the end of the school year just around the corner, the federation encourages parents to reflect on this  school year. What went well? What are some of the challenges? The federation would like to hear from parents to better inform our provincial board.

There is an increasing awareness of the connections between mental and physical health and success in education. At our recent AGM a motion was passed by parents asking the federation to continue a dialogue with the ministers of education and early childhood development and health and wellness to ensure that all schools be required to participate in the School Health Action Planning and Evaluation System (SHAPES) survey and to ensure that original school-based data is reported to parents and teachers in a timely fashion in each school thereby allowing them to collaborate on the results.

This project aims to establish a local comprehensive system to measure school health that provides student and school level health information. The project obtains information on tobacco use, physical activity, healthy eating, and mental fitness. The information provided by students may be used by schools and health officials to plan programs and interventions, and to provide information on effective health policies. For more information, visit www.upei.ca/cshr/html/shapes_yss-pei.html. The federation is also requesting that Health PEI and the English Language School Board cross-appoint ex officio members to each other’s boards.

In May, the federation attended a provincial Welcome to Kindergarten meeting. Welcome to Kindergarten sessions are continuing across the province for all students entering kindergarten in the Fall. These sessions help to prepare children and offer tips to parents in preparing their young students for their entrance to PEI’s public school system in the Fall. For more details, contact your local school.

The PEI Home and School Federation gave a presentation to the English Language School Board trustee meeting on May 27.  Led by board member Peter Rukavina, it was titled  Who is Home and School and what do we do?  “We’re the glue. We’re the glue between home and school. We’re the glue that connects parents and guardians and students and their brothers and sisters and grandparents and the community at large……with teachers and principals and staff and volunteers and administrators and trustees…” The presentation slides are posted at:    https://peihsf.ca/content/presentation-english-language-school-board

The federation will present two School Board Driver Awards in June. This award recognizes school bus drivers on Prince Edward Island for their service in keeping our students safe as they travel to and from school each day.  Our school bus drivers are professionally trained individuals who capably transport our children in a safe manner. They are the first school employees who come in contact with our children each school day, and the last at the end of the day.  Drivers are expected to teach students school bus safety rules and procedures.  School bus drivers play a vital role in our education system, and the PEI Home and School Federation is pleased to recognize outstanding individuals for their service and dedication to the safety of Island children.

Parent Leadership Grants were awarded to a number of Home and School Associations.  The grants support school-based initiatives that enhance the participation of parents in their children's learning through such activities as helping with homework, communicating, working and meeting with teachers to reinforce learning. Projects will be highlighted on our website at: https://peihsf.ca/peofprojects

As this is the last news column of the school year, the federation wishes everyone a happy and safe summer. Parents are also reminded that the summer period is a great opportunity to continue to support your children’s learning. On average, a child spends more than 120 hours a week at home and less than 40 hours at school.  Over the summer season parents, grandparents, extended family members will be spending more time with their children.  Your home is a learning environment that complements the classroom and summer is a great time to continue that learning.  Something to think about is that research shows that reading just six books during the summer may keep a struggling reader from regressing. Be sure and check your local library hours and plan regular visits with your child over the summer.

Enjoy the outdoors, visit fun places, and explore our lovely Island.  Consider Chris Hadfield’s recent trip to  the international space station – remember to explore the skies. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chris_Hadfield

Congratulations to graduates and all the best as you forge ahead to further your education and in your careers. Best wishes for a great summer!

This column is written by Pam Montgomery,
President PEI Home and School Federation

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