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Superintendent's Notebook - March 2018

People who work in public education are some of the greatest everyday heroes in our society. I’m biased, of course, but I suspect many of you will agree. Together with parents and community members, people working in public education play a huge role in ensuring children are able to learn and grow into successful adults – by whatever measure we choose to define success.

So when I think about the heart of Edmonton Public Schools, our dedicated staff come second only to the students we exist to serve. This month, I want to highlight the work that our staff do, in service of kids.

Almost everyone has at least one teacher they still remember, decades later. Maybe that teacher gave you a piece of sage advice you’ve never forgotten, or maybe you had a teacher who refused to give up on you when you were struggling to learn.

Equally important, though, are our hardworking employees who make schools safe and welcoming places to be.

The custodians and maintenance staff who keep our buildings in working shape are vital. Not only do they make sure children have a safe, comfortable learning environment, many of them also act as trusted mentors, giving advice or even just giving everyone a warm greeting in the morning. It’s because of these simple acts of kindness that they are essential and highly valued members of the school community.

Most schools also have a number of educational assistants. These integral staff members work with some of our most high-needs students, providing supports to help students with disabilities, behavioural challenges or learning difficulties. They are a lifeline for the students they work with and the teachers they support.

There are also the countless administrative assistants, consultants, curriculum experts, accountants and information technology professionals working in schools or behind the scenes to support students. Many of these people don’t work directly with students, but everything they do is in support of the children in our schools.

There are too many unique and varied positions within the District for me to list them all, but I wanted to share my appreciation for all of the hardworking Edmonton Public Schools employees who make sure your children are safe, welcome and respected while they’re at school. Education is a team effort and a collective responsibility. Every single person working in our District, together with parents and the wider community, is essential to the mission of inspiring student success.

District Feedback Survey

Each year, Edmonton Public Schools ask parents and community members to take some time to complete a survey telling us what’s important to you about public education. The survey will take 10-15 minutes and is an important tool for helping us learn what we’re doing well and where we can improve. The parent survey is open until April 16 and the community survey will be open from April 9 - 27.