Discussion between parents, guardians, teachers, administrators and staff has been the heart of home and school for more than 60 years: home and school is fundamentally about dialogue, and is based on the notion that through open and regular communication we can improve education together.
In recent years the P.E.I. Home and School Federation has worked to increase the opportunities for members of local home and schools to communicate with each other, both by increasing the amount of time set aside for discussion at the semi-annual and annual meetings, and by encouraging home and schools in each family of schools to work together on joint projects.
Later this month we’re introducing another opportunity for discussion: a series of three workshops bringing together home and school members to work together to identify issues in education that would benefit from our attention. The meetings will begin with a brainstorming session to identify the range of issues of concern, and will then collectively select a subset of those issues and break into small groups to identify possible actions, resolutions, or projects that can help to address them.
The workshops, which are open to all members and do not require pre-registration, will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Jan. 26 at Montague Consolidated School, Jan. 27 at Elm Street Elementary School in Summerside and on Jan. 29 at Spring Park Elementary School in Charlottetown. Members are invited to attend the meeting nearest to them, and local home and schools are encouraged to invite parents, guardians, teachers, administrators and staff from their schools.
A report of the issues identified at these workshops will be circulated to all member associations in February.
Resolutions are another powerful tool available to local home and school associations to drive change on a provincial level. Local home and schools are encouraged to consider issues of broad provincial importance to education, and to develop resolutions that recommend concrete changes to policy at the Department or Board level. Previous resolutions have concerned academic outcomes, lice policy, communications between home and school, technology spending, and e-cigarettes.
Resolutions are due in the office by Jan. 30. More information, including a guide to writing resolutions, is available online at https://peihsf.ca/agm/resolutions. Once submitted, resolutions are reviewed by the Resolutions Committee, and then circulated to all local home and school associations for discussion and local voting before the Annual Meeting in April. Please be sure to set aside time in your February or March home and school meeting to discussion this year’s resolutions.
Local associations – or groups of associations – are encouraged to submit applications for the Parent Leadership Grant Program. Funding is available to support activities in a school, or family of schools, that work to encourage the involvement of parents and guardians in education. Submit project proposals by Jan. 30. For more information and an application form, see https://peihsf.ca/content/parent-leadership-grant-program-2014-2015
Teacher/Staff Appreciation Week is Feb. 9 – 13. Local associations are encouraged to organize projects or events for this week that express gratitude to the dedicated educators and staff that work so hard, day in and day out, to help to educate our children. The P.E.I. Home and School Federation office can provide you with ideas and more information about this week, and local associations are encouraged to let the office know what they have planned so that ideas can be shared with other associations.