Putting students first. Atlantic parents, teachers meet in Newfoundland to discuss issues, share solutions.

Parents and teachers met Nov. at the Home and School Caucus meeting in St. John’s, N.L., with representatives from the Atlantic provinces discussing priority issues in education and sharing solutions that benefit students. The partnership works to strengthen student outcomes and achievements in education.


An area of shared concern was student access to mental health services. While it is recognized that many governments share family and school staff concerns regarding expanding mental health access throughout society, the timely access to assessment and services by students requires more attention. The caucus would like to see expanded supports for mental health services in schools.


The attendees expressed unified concern about vaping among students and is calling on all levels of government to take urgent action to limit youth access to these products through a combination of regulation and/or taxation. The P.E.I. Home and School Federation is pleased the government of P.E.I. recently increased the age of purchasing vaping products from 19 to 21 years of age.


The most effective way of raising issues that need to be addressed in P.E.I.’s education system is through the federation’s annual resolution process. Every year at our AGM, delegates discuss issues and determine through a voting process whether or not they become organization policy.  Policies guide the work of the provincial federation for the coming year.


Local home and school associations are encouraged to collaborate within their own school communities, as well as within their family of schools to identify priority issues that may be addressed at a provincial level. Consider issues needing change in P.E.I.’s education system and write a resolution on that issue by referring to our guide to writing and presenting resolutions and to the slides from the Leadership Training Workshop session on resolutions  Review previous resolutions and responses from government departments at:  https://peihsf.ca/agm  Contact the federation office if assistance is needed. Jan. 31 is the deadline to submit resolutions to the P.E.I. Home and School Federation office.


The P.E.I. Home and School Federation's Extra Mile Awards are your opportunity to recognize those within the school system who go above and beyond the call of duty to support our students. The submission deadline is Jan. 15. Find more information at Extra Mile Award of the Year .

School Staff Appreciation Week 2020 will be celebrated across Canada Feb. 10-14, 2020.  Form a local Home and School appreciation committee to make plans for showing gratitude to school staff for the contributions they make to children and their education. Keep plans simple! A little appreciation goes a long way!

Annual reports are due Feb. 28. Home and School presidents/co-chairs are asked to submit an annual report on their Home and School’s activities for this school year. Send reports to the office for inclusion in the 2020 Annual Book of Reports. For assistance, call: 902-620-3186 / 1-800-916-0664.

Looking ahead, the P.E.I. Home and School Federation's 67th annual meeting and convention is April 18th at the Rodd Charlottetown hotel.

Happy Holidays and a happy new year to all and thanks to all those involved in Home and School throughout the year. All the best for 2020.



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.