Time to start thinking about resolutions

The Prince Edward Island Home and School Federation hopes everyone enjoyed a great holiday, welcomes you to the new year, and wants you to be inspired, motivated, and ready for the many possibilities in education ahead. A parent’s job is to show how exciting and valuable learning can be.

A new year is a time to think about resolutions, but of a different kind. The federation works to ensure the highest standards of education for every student in the province and does so by considering resolutions. Resolutions are the single most important tool that Home and School can use to influence decision-makers in government and school boards. The resolutions are discussed at the annual general meeting in April and, if passed, are delivered to the Minister of Education and Early Years and the board of trustees for action. Parents should remember that resolutions become part of the federation’s ongoing dialogue with the minister, school trustees, director, and principals and are taken very seriously. 

All resolutions must be received in the Federation office by Jan 31. Guidelines on how to write and present a resolution and examples of previously passed resolutions are available at www.peihsf.ca/resolutions. Please discuss topics with local association members and consider submitting a resolution. There are many important issues that parents have raised this school year that could be turned into resolutions, such as improving communications, understanding student assessments, learning more about student health surveys, monitoring the use of screens, risks of vaping, and other education and safety issues. Consider important issues to bring forward to the federation by the deadline.

January is also the time for local associations to consider nominating a school teacher/staff person for the federation’s Extra Mile Award. This award recognizes individuals who go the extra mile, over and above the call of duty, to positively impact our youth’s education. Nomination information is available on the federation’s website (peihsf.ca/awards) and the deadline is Jan. 19.

Local Home and Schools will also be calling on parents to help organize national school staff appreciation week activities, Feb. 12-16. It is a time to recognize the dedication and hard work teachers and school staff put into our children’s lives. A great time to simply say thank you. A little appreciation goes a long way.

The P.E.I. Home and School Federation will hold its 71st Annual General Meeting on Saturday, April 13. All Home and School Associations are invited to attend the A.G.M. Each Association is asked to designate five of your school’s attendees as voting delegates. Registration details will be available in February and posted online.

Presidents/Co-Chairs are requested to submit your 2023-2024 Annual Reports to the Federation by Feb. 29. If you need help writing an annual report, contact the office at peihsf@gov.pe.ca/ 902-620-3186. Find writing tips by reviewing yearly books of reports at: https://peihsf.ca/agm/.

National Family Literacy Day is Jan. 27. Children spend five times as much time outside the classroom as they do in school, so parents and caregivers need the tools to support their learning (The Read-Aloud Handbook, Jim Trelease, 2006). Children whose parents are involved with them in family literacy activities score 10 points higher on standardized reading tests (The Effect of Family Literacy Interventions on Children’s Acquisition of Reading: From K to Grade 3, by Monique Sénéchal 2006). Visit abclifeliteracy.ca/ to learn more about this year’s theme, “Let’s have a family party!”.

The PEIHSF office is available to help local associations in deliberations, from organizing meetings to writing resolutions. Email peihsf@gov.pe.ca or phone 902-620-3186 or 1-800-916-0664.

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Dionne Tuplin, president of the P.E.I. Home and School Federation, lives in Tyne Valley area, with her husband and four children, who attend Ellerslie Elementary School, Hernewood Intermediate and Westisle Composite High School. A Home and School column appears in The Guardian during the school year on the first Friday of the month. For questions about this column or to find out more about the work of the P.E.I. Home and School Federation, contact peihsf@gov.pe.ca or 902-620-3186/1-800-916-0664