I am committed to prioritize my work as your Trustee based on your input and needs, and in a manner that stays true to my core values:
- KIDS FIRST! In every policy, strategy and decision.
- Public education must serve all students equitably and fairly.
- All students and staff should feel safe, cared-for, included, and supported in their learning environment.
- Education is a joy!
As the past year has shown us, adaptability is very important! As we emerge from the pandemic, priorities will evolve. These 8 priorities are pertinent today, based on my assessment of our division’s challenges and conversations with you.
Additionally, I have a list of other goals and priorities which I would like to address over the 4 year term including; Early Childhood Strategy, Fine Arts Enrichment, Hot Weather Policy, Parent Engagement Best Practices, Optimizing Alternative Program Choice, Expanding Food Programs, Building Ventilation Standards.
My top priority this fall is to create a SUPPORT SYSTEM for our students and teachers to deal with pandemic and post pandemic challenges. These challenges include learning gaps, mental and physical wellness challenges, and ventilation and hygiene standards. Key areas I will work on as Trustee include:
- Mental wellness support for all students.
- Consistent hygiene and ventilation standards in all schools.
- Measurement and tutoring to address learning gaps.
It’s time to put KIDS FIRST and create a curriculum that is supported by teachers, curriculum experts, Indigenous leaders and parents. There are many issues with the content, as well as the process; we need a new APPROACH towards a supported curriculum. I have been advocating for a different direction since 2019 when the Ministerial Order was under development. As Trustee, my strategies include:
- Continuing the stance to demand a redraft before any implementation.
- Work with other boards across the province.
- Request that an independent commission be created, to develop a revised draft curriculum, recognizing the 2018 and 2021 curriculum drafts.
It is our duty in public education to give all children a fair chance. Funding needs to be directed in this way, prioritizing KIDS FIRST. I will work for you in two ways:
LOBBYING the Provincial Government for fair funding for Edmonton (currently one of the lowest funded divisions in Alberta), and for proper funding for support services including early intervention programs (PUF) and mental health supports.
PRIORITIZING. Looking creatively at all options to get funding where it is most needed, including internal allocations and external partnerships (such as working with Edmonton Catholic).
Diagnosis and learning supports are not reaching enough children. I have heard many stories of families advocating and often having to seek out private diagnosis and interventions for their children, at a cost of thousands of dollars.
I will advocate for more resources for diagnosis and learning plans so that all children can achieve their potential.
We need more High School space!
Our high schools are over capacity; hallways are crowded, there aren’t enough lockers, and we don’t have the physical space we need during this pandemic. The population bubble is still to come with our largest group currently in elementary school!
I will work for you on:
- High school expansions and/or new schools.
- Catchment areas that make sense.
Programming that families want.
Anti-Racism starts with education.
Our schools play a critical role in providing students, staff and the greater community with tools to respond, speak up and demonstrate anti-racist behavior.
I will continue and expand upon the work started by the June 2021 Anti-Racism policy which was a great step in the right direction.
I’m committed to strengthening PARENT VOICE within Edmonton Public. As your voice, I will create forums (such as a Council of School Councils) to regularly connect with Ward F and keep an open dialogue with parents on any and all issues.
I’ve demonstrated this commitment during my past 8+ years volunteering and advocating within Edmonton Public including as Chair, CSC Parents’ Society.
I will advocate for a deeper level of measurement to understand the division’s performance. Many of our current research tools have a low response rate or do not offer a depth of understanding parent, teacher and student experience. I will bring forward analysis and tools from my business experience that will enable the division to set the bar higher.
Nancy had GREAT answers to these questions asked by EPSB.