Making progress. P.E.I. Home and School Federation issues discussed by provincial cabinet at semi-annual meeting


Premier Dennis King delivered mandate letters to Cabinet on Oct. 11.  The premier expects ministers to work with colleagues and through established legislative, regulatory, and cabinet processes to make substantive progress on priority areas.

The federation is very pleased with two areas of the mandate letter that reflect on our policies. The first is that  Education and Early LearningMinister Brad Trivers is to work with the Agriculture Department to implement a “fulsome provincial school food program.” This is a policy of the federation and one that we want to see come to fruition. Such a program would be a foundational step towards better social, educational, and health outcomes for Island children. If designed correctly, it would help families and local economies as well. The second area is the province moving towards reinstating school boards with elected representatives. These items relate to the work and policies of the PEIHSF.  

Fifty-five members of home and school associations from across the province, along with Trivers and guests from education and lifelong learning, public schools branch, principals, education sector unions and others, gathered at Gulf Shore Consolidated School Oct. 8 for the Semi-Annual Meeting of the P.E.I. Home and School Federation.

Members listened to an informative presentation from Sterling Carruthers, school health specialist, Department of Education and Lifelong Learning and Melissa Munro-Bernard, Department of Health and Wellness, regarding vaping products, which have now surpassed tobacco as the most commonly used nicotine-containing product by Canadian and P.E.I youth.

As the rates of e-cigarette use by youth on P.E.I. continues to rise, it is important for adults (parents, teachers, school staff, family members, etc.) to educate themselves about what e-cigarettes are, health harms associated with using them, what is being done to address youth use, and where to access more information. Board members led productive small group discussions regarding conducting local home and school operations, networking with other home and schools and writing resolutions to impact change in the school system.

Resolutions for the federation’s April 2020 annual general meeting are being accepted until Jan. 31. If an association has an education issue of broad provincial concern – anything from operations to policy – its members are encouraged to develop a resolution and submit it for consideration by members. The federation office and board members can assist members with this process.

Nominations for the P.E.I. Home and School Federation Extra Mile Award will be accepted until Jan. 15. Members are encouraged to identify staff in their schools that go above and beyond the call of duty to help improve the total wellbeing of the students in the school for a nomination; details and nomination forms are available on the federation’s website or by calling the office.

The Federation continues to do its’ work of bringing people together around the common vision of an excellent education system, with the education and wellbeing of each Island child at the centre.  For assistance with developing resolutions, for information about how a Home and School can receive up to $1000 for parent engagement activities or for any questions or concerns related to Home and School, contact the PEIHSF office, (902) 620-3186 or


Cory Thomas, president of P.E.I. Home and School Federation, lives in Summerside with his wife and two children, who both attend Elm Street Elementary School. His column appears in The Guardian during the school year on the first on the Friday of the month. He welcomes comments from readers and information from the column. He can be reached at 902-620-3186.