The new year is a time where many of us make resolutions to better things or improve ourselves. Resolutions are a powerful tool that local home and school associations use to drive change on a provincial level in P.E.I.’s education system. 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, school food, school bus safety, lice policy, communications between home and school, technology spending, and e-cigarettes.
Resolutions are due in the office by Jan. 31. More information, including a guide to writing resolutions, is available online. 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, April 13. Please be sure to set aside time in your February or March home and school meetings to discuss this year’s resolutions.
There are many things in the upcoming months that require mentioning. It is the beginning of awards season for the P.E.I. Home and School Federation: January is the first in a series of deadlines for nominations for the provincial awards that the federation uses to recognize excellence in public education.
The Extra Mile Award recognizes teachers and staff who exemplify going the extra mile, going above and beyond the call of duty to support the total well-being of the Island’s youth. Two individuals are recognized annually. The deadline for nominations for the Extra Mile award is Jan. 11 and nomination forms and criteria online at peihsf.ca/extramile. The awards are presented during Teacher-Staff Appreciation Week in February.
At the federation’s Annual General Meeting in April the volunteer of the year award and the Life Membership Award are presented. The Stephen McQuaid Volunteer of the Year Award is presented to a home and school member who has made an exceptional contribution to the work of their local association or to the federation. One award is presented annually. The nomination form and details are online.
Life Membership in the P.E.I. Home and School Federation may be conferred on any person for outstanding service to the federation. There is no limit to the number of life memberships that may be presented, and no requirement to make an annual award. Criteria for nomination and the nomination form are online. Nominations for both the Volunteer of the Year Award and the Life Membership Award are due on March 4.
Later in the spring, nominations for the School Bus Driver of the Year award and a new School Crossing Guard of the Year award (details to be announced) will be accepted. Nominations for both will be due in May and members are encouraged to discuss bus drivers and crossing guards worthy of recognition over their winter meetings.
Cory Thomas, president of the 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 Thursday of the month. He welcomes comments from readers and information for the column. He can be reached at peihsf.ca or 902-620-3186.