Thanks for signing up for the Ward F Newsletter!
In this newsletter, here’s what you will find:
- Organizational Changes – New Board Chair, Vice-Chair
- School Safety Consultation Opportunity
- October is Learning City Month
- Latin American Heritage Month
- Islamic Heritage Month
- Read In Week
- Delegation from Germany
- Alberta School Board Association Session
2. Other Info/News
- Q&A with Minister Nicolaides
- EPSB student wins international science contest with cancer-treatment project
- Who says you have to learn math and social studies indoors?
- Elmwood School as an EcoSchool, featuring the Gardener In Residence Program
3. Mark Your Calendar
- Mark Your Calendar
- Deadline to submit expression of interest for school safety lab – October 19
- Next Board Meeting – November 7 at 2 pm
|New Board Chair & Vice Chair
It’s an incredible honour to be chosen by colleagues to serve as board chair. I’m humbled and look forward to carrying on the role of telling the story of Edmonton Public Schools, advocating for students, and working alongside division staff, families, and government to make it happen. Much gratitude to former Board Chair Trisha Estabrooks for her professionalism and dedication to public education. I’m grateful to continue working alongside her on our board. Congrats as well to Trustee Jan Sawyer for being elected into the role of Vice Chair.
The Board of Trustees is looking for participants to join our social innovation labs and engagement sessions to discuss how to create school communities that feel safe for everyone.
At a social innovation lab, participants share their lived experiences and perspectives in small and large groups, and work together to find solutions. The process is engaging, hands-on and action-oriented.
At the evening engagement sessions, participants will move from station to station to have conversations about school safety.
We want to hear from diverse voices in the community, including current and former students, parents families and guardians, school staff, community members, and external partners of Edmonton Public Schools.
Insights shared during the labs and engagement sessions will help the Board of Trustees:
- understand school safety from a variety of perspectives
- create a report from participants’ feedback, which will help Trustees develop an online survey that will be shared with the public in the coming months
- propose a recommendation and pathway for how we move forward on a shared approach to school safety
What else is important to know? In June of 2023, the Board of Trustees released an independent research report on the School Resource Officer program at Edmonton Public Schools. The study focused on the voices of racialized and otherwise marginalized students. At that time, the Board committed to listening, learning and hearing more about safety in schools.
Follow this link to learn more and to submit your expression of interest to participate. Note that the deadline is October 19 at noon.
Staff Group Appreciation
October truly is a month to give thanks. October 2 was Custodial Staff Appreciation Day and October 5 was World Teachers’ Day. We rely on the hard work of custodians every day to keep schools clean and contribute to a great learning environment. We look to teachers to guide students in their learning, inspiring young minds everyday. On behalf of the Board, I offer heartfelt thanks to both staff groups.
World Mental Health Day
Today is World Mental Health Day. A key division priority remains the wellbeing and mental health of students and staff. If you are struggling, please reach out to your network, a trusted friend or colleague, or one of the many available Division resources.
Read In Week
Earlier this month was also Read In Week. Thank you to the schools that welcomed guests and the many guests that visited students and shared their love of reading. And of course, thank you to the students – for your questions, for your enthusiasm, and for fun surprises like the “turkey tango” performance, Congo line, beating a drum with an artist in residence and more.
Learning City Month
October is Learning City Month. Edmonton is the first Canadian city to become a member of the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities. Last year, the City of Edmonton successfully led a coalition of community partners, including Edmonton Public Libraries, the three school divisions/boards, and eight post-secondary institutions to join the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities. We look forward to showcasing the great learning happening at Edmonton Public Schools throughout the month of October.
Latin American Heritage Month
October is Latin American Heritage Month. Latin Heritage American Month was adopted in the House of Commons in 2018 and is meant to recognize the important contributions of the Latin American community, as well to celebrate, share and promote their unique culture and traditions with all Canadians. Edmontonians of Latin American Heritage enrich our communities and our schools.
Islamic History Month
October is also Islamic History Month. Results from our student demographic survey last year show that 16% of students in grades 4-6 and 18% of students in grades 7-12 identify as Muslim. Taking time to learn about Islam this month and throughout the year, such as acknowledging days of significance in our multi-faith calendar, is an important part of ensuring that Muslim students, and all students, feel safe, welcome, and that they belong.
Thank you to Minister Nicolaides for inviting Edmonton Public Schools to participate in an event with a delegation of Education Ministers from Germany. Superintendent Robertson and I attended and learned more about how Germany structures vocational training for students. Gratitude to Division staff for hosting representatives from Germany at Bannerman School to share the work our Division does on inclusion and supporting every student’s pathway toward a life of dignity and fulfillment.
Thank you to Constituents
Thank you to everyone who came out for “Coffee With Julie” last weekend. It was great to meet so many of you and to discuss a wide variety of topics – from support for your kids in school, to funding, to infrastructure, environment, and more. Next time I’ll have to get a bigger table! Thanks for squishing in there. If you have a great coffee shop in mind within Ward F that has some space for a larger table, let me know. I’d love to get your tips.
It was great to be able to participate in this session. Thank you to Alberta School Boards Association for hosting the event.
Edmonton Public Schools has grown by more than 5,500 students this school year, to about 115,000 students. I am hopeful that with an education mandate that includes building more schools in high-growth areas that Edmonton Public School Board can work collaboratively with the Government of Alberta for new schools to be built – and soon! You can read the full Q&A article here.
Next Board Meeting: November 7 at 2 pm. Watch live or register to speak.