More than 60 people from across P.E.I. met using Zoom on Sept.14th to conduct the 67th annual meeting of the P.E.I. Home and School Federation. Delegates reported that the meeting was well organized and they will participate online again during the pandemic. The business meeting included the passage of resolutions covering issues including principal/vice principal allotment, school websites hosted on the government’s server and analysis of report cards. Full resolution details are on our website at https://peihsf.ca/agm/resolutions
The federation’s new 2020-2021 board was installed at the annual meeting and includes representatives in each family of schools. Plan to get to know your regional director this year. The new board list is available online: https://peihsf.ca/board
Education Minister Brad Trivers reported details on the return to school and answered questions during a Q&A. Other guests included deputy minister, Bethany MacLeod and Tammy Hubley-Little, the department’s director of English programs and Norbert Carpenter, interim director of the Public Schools Branch. Delegates’ questions covered topics such as: student transportation, classroom size, school health protocols, school lunch program and more.
HEALTHY SCHOOL LUNCH PROGRAM
The federation has received positive feedback from parents and students about the new school lunch program. The menu is developed by island chefs using Canada’s Food Guide with healthy ingredients being sourced from local producers and small businesses. The program is available to students in a pay-what-you-can model. If you have questions about the program, email firstname.lastname@example.org or go to: P.E.I.email@example.com / Food for Thought
BLACK LIVES MATTER AND TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION
Discussions about Black Lives Matter as well as Truth and Reconciliation are happening around the world. These are important conversations to hold in school communities. We encourage presidents to include these topics on meeting agendas and explore bringing in local speakers to support education and awareness by applying for assistance with the federation’s 2020-2021 Parent Leadership Grant Program at www.peihsf.ca/grants. Need help with ideas? Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Addressing youth anxiety is critical as some students are feeling anxious about the return to school. Six months was a long break from the classroom and in-person teaching. If you feel your child requires additional supports with this transition, reach out to the student well-being team assigned to your family of schools. More information is available at peihsf.ca/links Student Well-Being Teams
Safety on the roads is everyone’s concern for walking and bussed students. School drop off and pick up is different this year and the increased diligence of teachers, parents, school staff, crossing guards, bus drivers, local police and RCMP in keeping students safe as they enter and exit schools is appreciated. Please review the traffic plan for your school and keep an eye out for students. School bus drivers are doing their utmost to keep students safe. Remember to slow down when you see flashing amber lights and prepare to stop. When red lights are flashing you must make a full stop at no less than six metres (20 feet). It is illegal and dangerous to pass a bus when lights are flashing.
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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 Birchwood Intermediate 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 and can be reached at 902-620-3186.
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