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Superintendent's Notebook - April 6, 2017

Provincial Budget has Good News for our District

Spring break is over, and our students and staff are back at school. I hope the break gave everyone an opportunity to rest and recharge before getting back into the swing of things.

Spring break also gave our Central staff a bit of time to reflect on the recent provincial budget and what it means for our District. It’s great news for Edmonton Public Schools. The province will continue to fund enrolment growth, which means we’ll have funding for the 3,000 new students we’re expecting to arrive in the fall.

The province is also providing us with funds to build two new schools and see the Highlands School project come to fruition. The neighbourhoods of Highlands, Montrose and Mount Royal will soon have a fully modernized building, ensuring students in those communities have a 21st century, high-quality learning environment for decades to come. We’ve heard from the community that the history of the Highlands School building is very important to them, so the work to modernize the building will respect and maintain its heritage characteristics.

District Feedback Survey

Hearing from the community is important to us. Knowing what Edmontonians value about Edmonton Public Schools helps us make decisions that improve our District and lead to even greater student success. Until the end of April, Edmonton Public Schools is asking students, staff, parents and community members to take a few minutes to complete our District Feedback Survey. If you’re a parent or guardian of a child who attends one of our schools or a community member, I invite you to share your thoughts. The survey will only take 10-15 minutes to complete and your answers will remain anonymous.

We’ll compare the feedback we receive this year to the 2015 survey to identify areas where we’ve improved and where we can do even better.

We want to know what you value about the education Edmonton Public Schools provides, where we should focus and how we can make our District even better. Your feedback will help us make decisions and measure our progress meeting the goals and priorities in our Strategic Plan.

Every day, we work hard to create great learning and working environments and build strong relationships within our school communities. By gathering as many perspectives as we can, we aim to continue serving our 95,600 students and make sure every student has the support they need to achieve success. Thank you in advance for taking the time to share your thoughts with us through the District Feedback Survey.

Superintendent's Notebook - April 26, 2017

Feedback Helps us Live up to our Values

Around this time three years ago, Edmonton Public Schools revised our Vision, Mission and Priorities to include a set of Cornerstone Values – equity, integrity, accountability and collaboration. We’ve worked diligently to always keep these values in mind and have them become a part of our organizational DNA. I’m proud of the work we’ve done as a District to live up to these values in everything we do.

One of the most obvious ways these values have been put into action is through our District Feedback Survey. We piloted the survey in 2015, took what we learned and built a survey that we’ll now conduct annually. This year’s survey has been running since the start of April and we hope to hear from as many parents, guardians and community members as we can. Your feedback is valuable because it keeps us accountable to the communities we serve. So the more of you we hear from, the better. More responses allow us to get a more complete picture of the range of people we serve and a more accurate reflection of the diversity of our city. This will allow us to make more informed decisions as we work to make Edmonton Public Schools an even better place for students and their families.

The District Feedback Survey closes on April 30 and I hope you’ll take some time to fill it out, if you haven’t already done so. You can find the survey by visiting epsb.ca/survey.

Getting Ready for Next Year

The survey isn’t the only thing happening in our District right now. April is a busy month. In many ways, we’re already starting to think about next year by getting our students pre-enrolled and planning staff assignments for the new schools we’ll be opening in the fall.

Work on those new schools is going well. The principals assigned to these schools have been hard at work for months, planning everything from staffing levels to classroom design. Everyone here is excited about opening so many new schools, but I’d bet no one is more excited than the families whose children will be attending them in the fall. And the excitement doesn’t stop once the doors open.

Come September, there will be plenty of opportunities for parents to get involved with their child’s education, whether they’re attending a new school or one with a long history in the community. Whether you share your thoughts through our District Feedback Survey or through informal conversations with your child's principal, whether you take an active role in your child’s school or simply play your part at home, we value your partnership and collaboration. Educating children is a collective responsibility and we wouldn’t be able to do our work without parents. Thank you for sharing your voice, and for working with us to make sure every student has the opportunity to succeed.