Guardian Column

Plan now for next year

May is a good month for home and school associations to reflect, take stock, and to work to make sure the transition to the next school year is a smooth one for parents, guardians, teachers, administrators and staff.

The focused discussions on provincial policy resolutions that took place in the months leading up to our Annual Meeting in April are done. The resolutions that passed at the Annual Meeting are on the PEIHSF website, and they will now be forwarded to the English Language School Board and to the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development for response.  The provincial board will be also be working to move the resolutions forward, organizing meetings and seeking input, and local members are encouraged to join in this effort. 

An update on the progress on ensuring all of the resolutions are acted on will be provided to members at the Semi-Annual Meeting in the fall.

Workshops result in resolutions that will be considered at P.E.I. Home and School Federation's Annual Meeting (Guardian Column)

This winter the P.E.I. Home and School Federation held brainstorming workshops in Montague, Charlottetown, Summerside and Bloomfield. The workshops brought together parents, guardians, teachers, and administrators with an eye to identifying issues in public education, over the medium to long term, where the federation could take action – through resolutions, advocacy, or special projects – that would result in positive change.

The workshops were well attended and the discussions were focused and positive. Among the issues that were discussed were income and food security, breakfast and lunch programs, class composition, the role of French immersion, school busing, standardized testing, school attendance zones, and the need for a closer connection between health and education policy and operations. Notes from all of the workshops are available on the PEIHSF website,

Preparations well underway for next month's AGM

March is a busy month for home and school associations, as it’s the month where resolutions that will be voted on at our annual general meeting are discussed and voted on at local meetings across the province.

This year there are nine resolutions, on topics including character development programs, transportation and weather issues, communication and animals in schools policies, the location of alternate education sites, enrichment programs, the Students Achieve system and the establishment of a provincial school lunch program.

Take the time to ask - Specific requests make it easier for people to commit as volunteers

When home and school members get together to talk about the challenges in their schools, at the top of the list is often the how to engage more families in home and school activities. 

Depending on the school and the year, sometimes this is expressed as a concern about the relatively small number of parents, guardians, teachers and staff who come to regular Home and School meetings, sometimes it’s about the challenge of trying to muster any interest in home and school at all, and sometimes it’s the problem of trying to run Home and School-managed projects, like breakfast programs, without sufficient volunteers.

Keep the lines of communication open

Discussion between parents, guardians, teachers, administrators and staff has been the heart of home and school for more than 60 years: home and school is fundamentally about dialogue, and is based on the notion that through open and regular communication we can improve education together.

In recent years the P.E.I. Home and School Federation has worked to increase the opportunities for members of local home and schools to communicate with each other, both by increasing the amount of time set aside for discussion at the semi-annual and annual meetings, and by encouraging home and schools in each family of schools to work together on joint projects.

In tune with transitions: Home and schools can work together to help students combat stress

Transitions, whether they be from school to school, grade to grade, classroom to classroom, or from public education to life beyond, are something that many partners in education are focusing on this year.

Indeed the Nova Scotia Federation of Home and School Associations, at its recent Annual Meeting, dedicated an entire session to the topic, focusing on the mental health aspects of transitions, which they identified as some of the most stressful events for students.

The Student Graduation and Transition Planner is the most significant new transition- related project in P.E.I. at the moment.  An initiative of the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, the school boards, and partner groups, it is designed to assist students in the move from intermediate to high school and in planning their high school academic program with an eye to their future career and life plans.

Conversations about Student Achievement: Parent-Teacher Interviews and Home and School Meetings

The term “student achievement” is used a lot these days when speaking of public education, and it’s a term that means different things to different people: achievement can mean good grades and high standardized test scores, or it can mean success at fostering empathetic, informed citizens.

This month presents parents, teachers, administrators and staff with two excellent opportunities to discuss student achievement from their own points of view.

Parent-teacher interviews will happen in all schools on November 6 and 7. Parents and guardians should have received information from school about the format and timing of interviews; contact your school office if you have not.


Subscribe to RSS - Guardian Column