Forty-eight members of home and school associations from across the province, along with 18 guests from the Department of Education, Early Learning and Culture, the English Language School Board, education sector unions and others gathered at Three Oaks Senior High School on October 20, 2015 for the Semi-Annual Meeting of the PEI Home and School Federation.
The heart of the meeting was 90 minutes of roundtable discussion in small groups: in one session, members had an opportunity meet Minister Hon. Hal Perry and Deputy Minister Susan Willis; in another they gathered with English Language School Board trustees to learn more about the role of the trustee and the board; and in another they focused on issues in communication in the education system. The discussion was vigorous, and focused on “how can we…” rather than “why don’t you…”, which is a reflection of the true spirit of home and school: collaborative, involved, supportive.
Feedback from the Semi-Annual Meeting, summarized on the Federation website, will be used in planning future meetings.
Later in October, the English Language School Board formally adopted a new School Change policy, outlining the process by which changes in school attendance zone boundaries, the composition of schools, and opening and closing of schools, and related matters will be considered. The policy incorporated changes suggested by the P.E.I. Home and School Federation; there is a summary of the feedback that was offered and that which was incorporated on the Federation website.
Trustees, as part of the motion adopting the policy change, made specific provision for collecting additional feedback on the policy; home and school associations are encouraged to discuss the new policy – available on the Board’s website – and to contact the board with any additional feedback, questions or concerns; trustees made it clear that the policy can be amended at future meetings based on new feedback received.
The English Language School Board will be holding both its regular monthly meeting and its Annual Meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 24, 6:30 p.m. Both meetings are open to the public, and Home and School members are encouraged to attend. Those wishing to make presentations to trustees at either meeting are reminded that a request must be submitted to the board chair or superintendent seven days before the meeting.
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.
Resolutions for the federation’s April 2016 annual general meeting are being accepted until Jan. 31. If your 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. Ghislaine O’Hanley, the federation’s new education and engagement coordinator, can assist members with this process.
For assistance with developing resolutions, for information about how a Home and School group 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 peihsf.ca.